Congratulations - you have been selected to attend an assessment centre!
But if you are reading my blog, wondering what happens at an assessment centre or how you can prepare for your assessment centre - don't worry. You are in the right place.
In this blog, I will explain what an assessment centre is and share with you, my top 10 tips for being successful at an assessment centre.
So what is an assessment centre?
An assessment centre is an event where employers invite all the candidates who were successful at the application form stage. An assessment centre can be done over one day or split over a few days. At an assessment centre, you will complete several activities which you will be scored against.
Typical activities at an assessment centre are:
- Roll play exercises;
- Group activities;
- Written exercises;
- Delivering a presentation; and
- An interview.
My Top 10 tips
- Eat breakfast. Even if you are like me and don't normally eat breakfast, I would definitely recommend that you do, on the day of your assessment centre. A day at an assessment day can be a long, draining day and you won't be able to perform to the best of your ability if you are instead thinking about when you are going to eat.
- Wear clothing that is professional and smart. Remember you want to "dress to impress". That said I recommend that you also wear something you are comfortable in. An interview or assessment situation is not the best time to find out that your new dress or new suit makes you feel all itchy! Likewise, if you wear makeup this should be professional - remember it's a job interview not a night out.
- Plan how you are going to get to the assessment centre. Ideally you want to do this a few days beforehand to avoid any stress on the morning of your assessment centre. I would definitely recommend having a back-up plan in case anything unforeseen happens!
- Research, research and do some more research into the firm you are applying for. My go to points of research are: financials of the firm you are applying to, key people and key departments, firm specific publications and firm updates.
- Review your application form. As well as knowing the firm inside out, you want to know your application form inside out. Reviewing your application form is also a good starting point to refresh any research you did when completing your application form.
- They say practice makes you perfect, so it is a must that you practice competency based questions.
- Arrive in plenty of time. But not so early that you are there before the assessors. If you are super early, go to the bathroom and check you are suitably presentable and take some time out to calm your nerves!
- Be polite to everyone you meet. You never know who your assessor will be or who will be reporting back on you to the assessors.
- Remember there is often no one right answer to group exercises. It often doesn't matter what answer or answers you come to but how you and your fellow candidates came to the answer, and how you all worked together. For interviews I recommend you follow the rule of stop, listen, think and then answer.
- Last but definitely not least, stay calm and believe in yourself. You have already done exceptionally well to get through to an assessment centre; you have been selected because the assessors believe you can do the job but it is up to you to sell yourself and show the assessors how amazing you are.