Assessment Centres, Group Interviews – can seem very daunting to jobseekers, as for many it is “stepping into the unknown” and a far cry from a traditional face-to-face interview. We discussed in an earlier blog entry how important it is to prepare for an interview, so how can you prepare for such an assessment? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Favoured for more customer-focused or teamworking roles, assessment groups are usually made up of between four and twenty people. The main purpose of the assessment is to observe jobseeker traits in terms of social interaction, influencing, leadership qualities, relationship building, team working and the ability to perform under pressure.
Understand both the assessment and the criteria – it is important that you know the nature of the assessment and the criteria you will be assessed against during the process. More often than not, the criteria are predefined on a basis of personal qualities, skills and competencies – most of this information you will gain from a full job description, ensure that you have read and understood this thoroughly before your assessment. Will there be role plays? Will you be taking part in team exercises? The more information you have, the less likely you are to become nervous or “thrown” during the process.
Practise – It may seem difficult to find an opportunity, but with assessment centres practise will help. So run through role playing exercises with your friends and family so that you feel more at ease and are better prepared for the interview. Use situations/problems from your previous position to help you create your role play, thinking about the background and the process you went through to achieve the desired result.
Be yourself – when you are being assessed, it is important that you remain professional. Allow your personality to “shine through”. Being pro-active, confident and showing your contribution and methodologies to the discussion will stand you in good stead. It is important that the assessors see the “real you” as they will be looking at your “cultural fit” within the team or organisation and your personal qualities will be a big part of that.
Body language speaks volumes – to stand out from that crowd of jobseekers consider your body language and what this is communicating. It’s not just about listening; it’s about showing that you are listening. Achieving this balance of social interaction will see you succeed in this assessment situation.
Time management is key – this is particularly important with assessments containing multiple staged exercises. Make sure you have read through and understood the complete brief at the assessment before breaking the exercises down and concentrating on fulfilling them. You don’t want to run out of time, having not completed all of the aspects required.
Assessment Centres and Group Interviews can sometimes be daunting, but as with other interview situations, the better prepared you are the more successful you will be. We’d love to hear your thoughts on assessment centres that you have attended. Why not get in touch by leaving a comment below.