Assessment Centre Essentials

A Typical Day

The type of activities and the order of the day will be different for each company. They may want to do several tasks, or they may only need two or three. This is an outline of an assessment day to give you an idea of what you can expect.

You may be asked to stay for all activities or you may need to pass the morning’s activities (e.g. psychometric tests / group tests) in order to progress to the afternoon. 

Example Assessment Day Schedule 

9.00 a.m.  Group introductions
9.30 a.m.  In-tray exercise
11.00 a.m.  Coffee break
11.30 a.m.  Group discussion
12.30 p.m.  Networking Lunch
1.30 p.m. Psychometric/personality tests
3.00 p.m.  Individual interviews
3.30 p.m.  Tea and departure of candidates
4.00 p.m.  Assessors begin discussion of candidates

The employer will let you know either on or before the day the tasks and schedule for your assessment day.  

The following are our top tips for making it through the day.

Looking the Part - First impressions count in the interview process - evidence has suggested that an employer will made certain decisions about you as a candidate in the first 30 seconds! So dress well; things which impress are appropriate clothing (usually a suit), a good haircut, polished shoes and clean nails. Avoid wearing too much make up or any overpowering fragrances.

On the Day - Try to arrive around 10-15 minutes early as it will show your enthusiasm and should give you time to collect your thoughts or read over last minute notes.

What to do if you are late - Always make a note of the employer's contact details so if you are late and it is something which is out of your control than you can call the employer as soon as you realise that you are going to be late. You should apologise immediately upon arrival and explain that it is completely out of character. If it is a cancelled train, or a serious accident on the road then it is not your fault and the employer should understand this.

Interpersonal Skills: Be pleasant to everyone - the day starts as soon as you reach the company. The receptionist is likely to know a great deal and also be able to report back as to those candidates they liked and those that they didn't.

Maintain confident positive body language: a firm handshake, direct and regular eye contact, smiling, and leaning forward when listening and replying are regarded positively by employers.

Feedback: Most employers will provide individual feedback after assessment centres which is a great way to improve your techniques so always ask. Many employers will let candidates know if they are successful the day after the assessment centre, but this can vary, particularly if they have several assessment days and may wait until all are completed to make a decision.

What should I do if I am not successful?
If you are not successful then don’t let it knock your confidence. For some of the bigger companies there may be over 60 applications for each role, so getting to the interview stage is a great achievement and shows you are doing all the right things. Make sure you reply to the employer thanking them for the opportunity and ask for feedback for next time. Following up with the employer is also a great way to stay in the employer's mind should the role become available again.

Last modified: 
Monday, October 27, 2014 - 14:28