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ASSESSMENT CENTRES

Jenny Keaveney Careers Advisory Service 28th November 2012

What is an assessment centre? Who uses assessment centres? Why do employers use assessment centres? What happens at an assessment centre? How will you be assessed? What are assessors looking for? What happens after an assessment centre? How can you prepare for assessment centres? Further help and information

What is an assessment centre?


Good news! Normally only 5% of the original applicants will get this far A series of exercises, carried out individually or in a small group over one or two days, designed to measure the competencies needed in graduate recruits The final stage in the selection process

Who uses assessment centres?


Most large graduate recruiters including:
The Civil Service Local government; the NHS Manufacturing companies Banks, chartered accountants Advertising agencies Consultancies The armed forces, police etc

Why do employers use assessment centres?


They are one of the most reliable indicators of successful future job performance They are a fair and objective selection method They assess candidates across a number of dimensions

What happens at an assessment centre?


A number of different exercises, which are likely to include: Group exercises: Discussions Practical tasks Role play Individual exercises: Written tasks In-tray exercises Psychometric tests Presentations Interviews

Plus socialising with assessors, fellow-candidates and recent graduates

The most frequently-used exercises at assessment centres


Interview Psychometric test Group discussion Personality test Case study Presentation In-tray exercise 97% 91% 89% 79% 71% 61% 48%

How will you be assessed?


By people with clipboards! On a range of competencies that are important in the job you are applying for By more than one person On your own merits

What are assessors looking for?


Evidence of the competencies needed to perform well in the job You have already been assessed on these on paper and at first interview The assessment centre will look particularly at your ability to work with others, influence and persuade and how others respond to you

Group exercises
Discussions Practical tasks Role play

Group Discussions
Discussion of a general topic, e.g.
Should tolls be introduced on all motorways? What can be done to improve the NHS? How can the problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption be tackled?

Discussion of a scenario:
Assessment of bids for lottery funding Shipwreck/desert survival

Group Exercises
Practical tasks, e.g.
Constructing a Lego tower or paper chain Creating an advertising campaign for a specific product Crossing a shark-infested river

Role Play
Discussion of a given topic or problem Each member of the group allocated a role,
e.g. Marketing Manager/Finance Director

You will have information that other members of the group do not Need to reach an agreement or produce a recommendation

What are assessors looking for in group activities?


Interpersonal skills Persuasiveness Co-operation and teamwork Analysis, judgement and decision-making Initiative and creativity Time management

Case Studies
May be one of the group exercises and discussions, often involving role-play .. or an individual task Will need to study the information you are presented with, pick out the key points and reach decisions which you may need to write up in a report or to present verbally

Presentations
You may be given a topic in advance or allocated one on the day Keep visual aids simple and relevant You will be allowed to use notes small cards are best

In-Tray Exercises
Simulates the work you will be doing if selected You will be given a number of messages plus attached documents that you might find in your inbox one morning Need to sort, prioritise and take or recommend action Time-limited: new emails (and even phone calls) may keep coming in!

Interviews
Likely to be more challenging and probing than previous interviews but will be with a different interviewer so be prepared for some of the same points to be covered especially anything that has emerged as a weak point at previous interviews

The Social Side


May include coffee breaks/lunch with the assessors and/or meetings with recent graduates Not part of the formal assessment but anything you say or do could be remembered

What happens after the assessment centre?

or

How you can prepare for assessment centres


You can practise for some exercises in advance .. and keep up to date with current issues Think back over your previous interviews with this organisation Use the information sources coming up on the next slide!

Further help and information


At the Assessment Centre DVD (AgCAS)

www.kent.ac.uk/careers-local/vid/ACIntro/assessmentcentre.html

Book: How to Succeed at an Assessment Centre www.kent.ac.uk/careers/selection.htm

THE END . of this presentation

Careers and Employability Service


http://www.kent.ac.uk/ces

At the end of Keynes driveway, Opening hours 9.00 am - 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday