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Navigating the weird and wonderful world of assessment centres

May 24, 2017 by Hana Woolerson

Navigating the weird and wonderful world of assessment centres

More and more companies are using assessment centres as part of their hiring strategies. They sound intimidating, especially if you are a shy person, but we have some strategies you can implement to not only survive but thrive at an assessment centre.

First, it’s good to know what you are walking in to. Assessment centres will vary between employers, but for the most part, they will include a presentation exercise, role play, a written exercise and a team exercise.

Research the company before you go. I feel like I say this in every second article I write, but go online and research the company. In particular focus on company values, recent sales and acquisitions, new contracts and any reference to future direction for the company.

Take care to complete the pre-prepared work. Shy people, this is your time to shine! Actually, everyone should schedule in time to prepare for the assessment centre. Create a draft, get feedback and practice. This is likely to be your strongest task as you have the most control over it. Make sure you get yourself off to a good start.

Show your enthusiasm. Engage with the content. It’s ok to be shy, but don’t be afraid to contribute. Employers are looking for candidates that are willing to listen to feedback, are prepared to work hard to learn and improve, and are motivated.

Don’t dominate the conversation. Collaborate with your team members and invite everyone to contribute. If you are challenging someone’s view, be constructive.

The lunch break is part of the assessment centre. Without freaking you out, you are being constantly assessed. Socialise with others during the lunch break and ask friendly questions about what they’ve studied or do. Keep it polite, and avoid swearing. If you get an opportunity, greet the assessors.

Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership run mock assessment centres on an ad hoc basis throughout the year – definitely worth keeping a look out for one if you are applying for graduate positions at mid to large companies. If there isn’t a workshop coming up, you can schedule an appointment with one of our Career Development Consultants who can help you prepare.


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