What is an Assessment Centre?
An assessment centre is used by prospective employers to test candidates for suitability for a particular job (or jobs). It is an important tool for recruitment because it provides an all-round view of the candidates and gives an indication of their potential performance and personality.
The Panel Interview
Each member of the group was interviewed by the remaining five individuals. The roles on the interview ‘panel’ were swapped around for each interview. The roles included: scribe, time keeper and chairperson of the interview panel. The interviewee was told to leave the table while three questions were chosen at random by the panel.
On return, the selected questions were asked and a grading form was filled out with an assessment of the replies
The task proved to be difficult on the spot as it was difficult to assess and identify our own qualities and skills without having prepared.
The Psychometric Tests
These tests consisted of different scenarios with 8 possible solutions. The solutions were then ranked with a maximum of 10 points for each scenario; this answers given by an individual to the scenarios allowed determination of which sort of role suits them best. This task is helpful for an employer as it shows what skills an individual possesses.
From this exercise I learnt that it is important to be truthful when answering. It allows prospective employers to know what roles suits you best which would be important in ensuring that the job would be right for you.
The last task of the day was to sift through 7 e-mails, addressed to the Human Resource Manager of ‘Wildlife Forensics Services Ltd’, and determine which were the most important depending on contents and person who sent the e-mail.
This task tested how well an individual prioritised and made decisions on a small amount of information in a short time frame. Skills assessed included: analytical thinking, prioritising, decision-making, time management and working under pressure.
I learnt a lot about different forms of tests and exercises that are sometimes used in conjunction with interviews. I have only been interviewed once previously and this workshop gave me a lot of confidence in my interview skills and gave me an invaluable insight into tasks that may come up in jobs that I apply for in the future.
Tips For Assessment Centres
- Re-read CV, covering letter and job description
- Research the company and their competition
- Dress appropriately
- Read current affairs as some exercises may involve topics that are relevant
- Visit Bangor University’s information on Assessment Centres here