So the first part is over, you have secured yourself a place at the assessment day. You now need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for a full day of activities so make sure you are well rested and confident in your abilities to deliver.
Assessment days are a good way for interviewers to assess candidates comparatively against set criteria. This is a fair method as the tasks are consistent across the candidates. Typically you will be required to attend an interview or perhaps multiple interviews, this part will be like any other formal interview. This is to see how well you would potentially fit into the company, what you can bring to the company and what the company can offer you. Remember it is a 2 way process, you need to be able to assess your aspirations and career path goals within the fit of this particular culture. If this role is not right for you or if you have concerns about the role, this is your opportunity to raise them. This also allows a window to find out more about the company’s expectations of the role and how they envision you becoming a part of this.
You may have to deliver a presentation, you will perhaps be asked to present on a topic of your choice or a subject area that has been given to you. Sometimes you will prepare before the day and other times the assessors want to see how you a) cope with the pressure of being unprepared and b) the quality of work you can produce within a timed constraint. The presentation has the aim of finding out how well you can communicate and engage with your audience. Sometimes this is a way of testing your knowledge within a particular subject area, to see if you have the right expertise for the job.
Group exercises are a good way of assessing how you interact within a team and the expected behaviour would be dependent on the role type. For example a managerial position needs to highlight core competencies such as strong leadership, quick and assertive decision making and excellent communication skills ensuring inclusion of all team members. If you are going for a more junior role, the interviewers will want to see that you are able to respect authority, be a good team player and use your own initiative in decision making, so no over-reliance on your manager. The assessors will be marking you against criteria regarding your ability to work within a team and the role that you take on, communication skills and your knowledge of the industry/role.
Dependent on the sector you may have to carry out some practical based exercises. In tray exercises will test your knowledge, allow you to demonstrate the necessary skills for the job and see how well you fit the role. You should make notes on why you have made certain decisions and your thought process behind prioritising particular tasks, as the interviewer will assess you on this. This exercise has the particular aim of assessing your time management, organisation skills, decision making ability and your justification for choices made.
Psychometric testing is often used as part of the assessment process, this can be tested at either the assessment day or before as part of the early selection process. Psychometric testing is used to test your verbal and numerical reasoning skills as well as general IQ. Why not try a practice test here http://www.jobtestprep.co.uk/freepsychometrics.aspx
There are many other online resources that can be used to help you out before the big day. So I suggest that you have a browse and make sure you are confident in what to expect.
I hope that you find this information helpful, we have a number of blogs that provide useful tips on the whole assessment process from CV writing through to interviewing and assessment days.
Here is some of our work:
Michelle Baginski- Marketing and social media co-ordinator