Advice for Assessment Centres

Having seen many candidates both succeed and fail at assessment centres, here are six tips for ensuring that you present yourself at your best.

Get involved.

You don’t have to be the leader of the group, or even the loudest, but we are assessing your contribution. If you don’t contribute, we don’t have anything to assess.

It’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

Employers don’t care whether you can build a newspaper tower, solve crossword puzzles or guide a colleague blindfold around a course. What they are interested in is the process you go through to get to your result. They want to see you communicating with others, sharing your part of the team’s workload, contributing ideas to discussions and how you work out solutions that are not immediately obvious.

Know what is being searched for.

Almost all assessment centres have specific behaviours they are looking for. If you are not made aware of these in advance, don't be afraid to ask the person running the event what they are. That way you can ensure that you demonstrate what they want to see.

You are always on assessment.

Every interaction I have with you as an assessor makes an impact on me, that is from the minute you walk in until you leave. Be polite, help out where you can, don't be late and don’t be rude about anyone when you think they are out of earshot. If you are willing to do so on assessment, my assumption is you’d do it in the workplace as well.

Look after yourself.

Assessment centres can be long drawn out affairs, typically at least a day, sometimes as many as three. Make sure you eat and drink plenty all day, if you are hungry or dehydrated you won’t perform at your best. Get plenty of sleep the night before and, if you are there for more than one day, don’t be the last person in the bar!

Don’t put others down.

While you may all be competing for the same job, you won’t win points with the assessors by bad- mouthing or putting down other candidates. Almost all employers want team players, not lone-rangers and we are very adept at seeing through behaviours like this. Give praise to others where it is due and it reflects well on your ability to function well in the modern work place.

Good Luck!