How to succeed at your assessment centre

Similarly to psychometric tests, assessment centres are used to test your suitability for the job. An assessment centre is a combination of tasks and activities designed to see how you deal with work related situations. This will usually include an interview and one or more of the following activities:┬ápresentations, written exercises, interviews, case studies or group exercises. The assessment centre is often the final stage in the recruitment process, so it is key that you show up prepared and ready to demonstrate the wide range of skills you have to offer. To help you get ready for the big day we have written a short blog post highlighting some advice and resources you might find useful. Keep on reading to find out more…

1. Read the instructions and literature provided by the employer carefully

The information provided by the employer will include practical information about the date, start time, location and what you will need to bring. It will also give you an overview of the assessment centre tasks and how it will be structured. All of this will be important when you start figuring out how to prepare for your assessment centre.

2. Revise your employer research

Tasks are likely to be related to the industry or the specific job you are applying for – so the more you know about the employer, the better. It might be a good idea to revise some of the research you did before applying for the role. Focus on the values that are important to the employer and the skills they are looking for in potential candidates. Make sure you pay a visit to their website and any social media channels to get a better idea of who they are and why you would fit in there. Speak to people in the company if you can – they might give you valuable insights and information!

3. Get some rest

It’s important that you prepare, yes – but it’s also important that you focus on your own well-being. Make sure that you get proper nights of sleep and that you eat well in the run up to your assessment day.

4. Make your first impression count

Look smart and professional, be punctual and make sure you bring everything you need (materials and documents – read the instructions carefully so that you don’t forget anything) – it’s as simple as that. Doing all this will help you appear like someone the employer would like to hire and will make you feel confident.

5. Use King’s Careers & Employability

Yes – we’re here to help. Shocker! We have plenty of information and employer insights to help you get ready for your big assessment day and we want you to take full advantage of everything we have on offer. Some great resources are linked below but you can also use our events, workshops and one-to-one appointments to brush up on your interview skills. Sometimes employers will come on campus to run Mock Assessment Centre workshops so make sure to keep an eye out for those on the King’s CareerConnect event calendar.

This is not all, of course – there is so much you can do to prepare for your assessment centre and it is not easy to include it all in one blog post! Some of the main things to think about are highlighted above but it’s also key that you work out what kind of tasks you will doing on your assessment day. This may include presentations, written exercises, interviews, case studies or group exercises. Find out more about the various tasks and how to prepare for them in our Assessment centres – what they are and how to do well information handout. You will also find other resources and books with information about assessment centres on the King’s Career Kit, including in The Ultimate Careers Guide 2019.

On a final note, although assessment centres often happen in a group setting, it’s important that you don’t think of it as a competition. The assessment centre is all about you demonstrating why you are good for the job.┬áRemember that you are being assessed against the skills and criteria set by the employer and not against the other candidates. If a task requires teamwork, you need to find a way work to together with the other candidates to achieve the goals set.


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