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Attending an Assessment Centre can be a key part of appraising your suitability for a particular job. This is where you will be observed undertaking a range of activities to see how you interact with other applicants, and how you cope in certain situations which are often modelled on real life work-based scenarios. The assessments can vary in length, from half a day through to a number of days.
Assessment centres use a range of diﬀerent activities. Some of the more common ones include:
Psychometric tests: These will assess aptitudes such as verbal and numerical skills as well as your personality traits.
Presentations: Sometimes you will be given the topic in advance, or at the start of the day. Designed to see how you research, communicate eﬀectively to an audience and how you organise and present information.
In-tray exercises: These are individual tasks in which you are given a real-life scenario and asked to prioritise and make certain decisions. These are usually timed.
Written exercises: You may be provided with a variety of documents relating to a business situation and then asked to write a brief report.
Group exercises/role play: Designed to see how well you work in a team and what you are able to contribute.
To prepare for an Assessment Centre:
Research the company and the job role. This will ensure that you have a good understanding of the type of things they will be assessing you on.
Review your copy of the application form you submitted.
Review and practice psychometric tests before you attend. Examples can be obtained from the Careers Service and the University website.
Speak to one of the Advisers at the Careers Service to discuss how to prepare for any speciﬁc tasks.
Practice your interview techniques. If it has been some time since you last had an interview, arrange a mock interview with one of the University Careers Advisers.
Assessment centres can be daunting, so ensure you prepare as much as you can in advance. Remember that the employer was obviously impressed with your application for you to have made it to this stage!
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