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Sunday, 29th November 2020

Advice from the experts

Assessment centre

Some employers make use of tests or assessment days as part of the interview process. These may sound daunting, and indeed there is a serious purpose to them, but you should not be put off or overawed by the prospect.

They are not designed to catch you out or to intimidate you in any way. They are simply an additional tool used by employers to ensure that they really do pick the right people for their particular company environment.

Assessments vary, but commonly, candidates are pitched against each other in a competitive, though often enjoyable, environment over the course of the day.

Assessment days could include any of the following elements:

  • Group debate on a topical issue
  • Individual presentation to the group
  • Team working on a problem (either intellectual or practical)
  • Team presentation
  • Initiative and other tests (including numeracy and literacy)
  • Individual and/or panel interview.

The assessors will be looking for your personal strengths as an individual, how you behave in a peer-group environment, your ability to work under pressure and how you interact with senior people. You may also be evaluated on qualities such as leadership, flexibility, creativity and innovation.

As with individual interviews, it's important to be natural and to let your true character speak for itself. Don't try and be someone you're not and don't try to second-guess what any particular employer is looking for.

Also, it's easy for us to say, but these assessments are not designed to be frightening - so try to relax and enjoy the day too!

CV and Interview tips

See our essential hints and tips on putting your CV together, making an impact at an interview and choosing the right career path. Watch the online video clips to find out exactly what the experts look for during an interview. It could land you that first job!


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