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4 Easy Ways To Shine In Assessment Centres
9th Jun 2015

Considered by many employers to be the most reliable and objective way of selecting suitable candidates for their company, assessment centres traditionally formed the second stage of an interview process, following a first interview. However, more construction companies are using assessment centres as the first stage to select suitable applicants to interview. Whichever stage the assessment centre that you are attending is at, it’s vital that you portray yourself in the best possible light.

 

Group activities

 

 
 
Usually, there will be a number of group activities as part of your assessment centre. This will help your employer assess how you listen and communicate with others and generally work in a team. They may take the form of discussions, tasks and role-plays. The important thing to remember in any group exercise is to get involved. You visibly need to be seen taking an active part in the activity. Don’t automatically think that you have to be domineering and loud to portray your leadership potential. Modern business leaders require so much more than that, so often a positive, consultative but decisive style can be much more attractive to employers.
 
 
Interviews
 
 
 
 
Don’t be fooled into thinking that assessment centre interviews are just the same as any other interview, because often they are not. They can be in-depth and quite often see you facing a panel of interviewers rather than just one. As with any interview, it’s vital that you prepare, but one thing to take special note of is to include the whole panel in your answers. Don’t just address your reply to the person who asked the question, include everyone else in your answer by looking at them too. Many people will fail to do this and it will differentiate you as a promising candidate.
 
 
In-tray activities
 
 
 
 
These will most probably be undertaken on an individual basis but they can sometimes be used as a group exercise. The normal in-tray exercise requires the candidate to prioritise the workload in a typical in-tray. Read through each document and make notes of any further action that may be required. If you’ve done your research on the job and have a good amount of common sense, these can be a relatively easy part of an assessment centre. Always remember to say why you have placed each document in their order of priority. Even if the panel disagree, a well thought out and argued answer will be impressive.
 
 
Presentations
 
 
 
 
Often, you will be required to give a presentation, individually or sometimes as a group. Whatever type of presentation you are asked to do, ensure you have it mapped out clearly and it is well researched. Use notes, but don’t use a script, it’s impersonal and doesn’t sound natural. Remember to look up and make eye contact with your audience, this draws them in, engages them and will make them take particular interest in what you have to say. And don’t forget to have a strong and clear introduction and conclusion. These will bookend your presentation nicely.
 
Engage with four easy steps and you'll be all set for shine at your next assessment centre.
 
Best regards,
 
Chris