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Assessment Centres. Why do Employers Use Assessment Centres. Used to assess if a candidate has the personal qualities needed Used to predict future work performance Used to see if you fit in the organisational culture. What is an Assessment Centre. Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process

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why do employers use assessment centres
Why do Employers Use Assessment Centres
  • Used to assess if a candidate has the personal qualities needed
  • Used to predict future work performance
  • Used to see if you fit in the organisational culture
what is an assessment centre
What is an Assessment Centre
  • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process
  • Attended by a group in the company premises or a neutral venue
  • Includes: Group exercises, In tray exercises, Role plays, presentations, aptitude test & interview
what is an assessment centre4
What is an Assessment Centre?
  • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process
  • Company premises or neutral venue
  • Includes social or informal events
  • Meeting with recent graduates or managers
  • Simulates real work environment
  • Varied activities to assess different attributes
typical asssessment criteria
Typical Asssessment Criteria
  • Teamwork
  • Ledership
  • Interpersonal skills – Communication, Networking
  • Problem-solving/logical reasoning
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to think quickly on your feet
  • Ability to cope with uncertainty
  • Ability to see the big picture
diary of an assessment centre
Diary of an Assessment Centre
  • 9.30 Meet other candidates over coffee
  • 10.00 Group discussion
  • 10.30 Fact-finding exercise
  • 11.30 Interview
  • 12.00 Aptitude test
  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 1.30 Case study exercise
  • 2.30 Case study presentation
  • 2.45 Group exercise
  • 4.45 Company presentation by senior managers
  • 5.15 Depart
assessment exercises
Assessment Exercises
  • Group
    • Group Discussion/Chaired Discussion Group
    • Case Studies/Business Games/Outdoor exercises
    • Informal Discussion with Employees
  • Individual
    • Personality and Aptitude Tests
    • In-tray Exercises/Written Exercises
    • Presentation skills
    • In-depth Interviews
informal discussion with employees
Informal Discussion with Employees
  • Network with other candidates and employers
  • Ask intelligent questions
  • Show interest in their work
  • Don’t drink too much
  • Don’t boast about what you can do for them
in tray exercises
In-tray Exercises
  • Measures competencies such as Organisational Skills, Planning, Communication Skills, Problem Solving, Client Focus
  • Based on typical day to day issues that may arise
  • The contents of your “in-tray” might include faxes, meeting minutes, emails, letters etc.
  • Your task is to prioritise the tasks, take action and give reasons
in tray exercise
In – tray exercise

Do

  • Try to be clear about the instructions.
  • Keep a sense of proportion - balance the urgency against how important something actually is.
  • Aim to focus on the essential points about the tasks not every minor detail involved.
  • Be specific when giving your reasons.

Don't

  • Get distracted by irrelevant information or 'errors'.
  • Spend too much time analysing the information.
  • Over scrutinize the details.
  • Try to do everything yourself - use other people in the organisation!
  • DON'T PANIC!
group discussions
Group Discussions
  • Given a topic to discuss – may be the company, the industry, current affairs, recent news headlines, university life etc.
  • Usually a time period is given e.g. 30 minutes
  • Observed by 2 or more staff members
group discussion exercise
Group Discussion Exercise
  • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to decide how to spend €1m for the benefit of the business. Your company has acquired this through selling off one of its chains of Italian-style restaurants and you have to decide which parts of the remaining business could benefit. You have a chain of hotels, a small chain of up-market pubs, a chain of travel agencies and five new leisure complexes. (You will be given data about the performance of each of these groups and you may be allocated a role as representing one of these sections.)
case study
Case Study
  • As an individual, you have 15 minutes to study the following example of a problem which may face a manager in our company. You may make notes if you wish.
  • As a group you will be asked to discuss the problem and reach conclusions on it. These conclusions should be unanimous and not decided by voting.

(45 minutes allowed for discussion)

group discussions14
Group Discussions
  • Be prepared – research the company, use websites, brochures, trade journals etc.
  • Be prepared – be up to date with any relevant developments in the news – read the ‘quality’ newspapers
  • Be prepared - Get some practices speaking up in tutorials, clubs, societies etc.
chaired group discussions
Chaired Group Discussions
  • Candidates are chosen in turn to lead a group discussion on a given topic
  • Usually about 10 minutes each

Your role:

  • Introduce the topic – manage the time
  • Encourage contribution from participants
  • Help to maintain the flow of discussion
  • Summarise when neccessary
group exercises
Group Exercises
  • How do you perform in a group setting?
  • Are you a regular team player, a natural leader or a maverick?
  • Do you tend to be the ice-breaker, the protagonist or the ideas generator in the group?
  • Employers are interested in the right balance of characteristics
group discussion exercise17
Group Discussion Exercise
  • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to decide how to spend €1m for the benefit of the business. Your company has acquired this through selling off one of its chains of Italian-style restaurants and you have to decide which parts of the remaining business could benefit. You have a chain of hotels, a small chain of up-market pubs, a chain of travel agencies and five new leisure complexes. (You will be given data about the performance of each of these groups and you may be allocated a role as representing one of these sections.)
group discussion
Who talks the most

Who strays from the subject

Whose arguments are ignored

Who insists on being dominant, interrupts or squashes other contributors

Who doesn’t talk at all

Whose points are accepted

Who encourages others to join in

Who introduces new ideas

Who listens before contributing

Who builds on the ideas of others

Group Discussion
  • Notice:
psychometric tests
Psychometric Tests
  • Aptitude Tests- measure skills relevant to position
    • Verbal comprehension - evaluate logic of text
    • Numerical reasoning - interpret statistical data
    • Diagrammatic reasoning - recognise patterns
    • Watch timing – complete as many as possible
  • Personality Questionnaires
    • Look at personality style
    • No right or wrong answers
    • Be spontaneous, don’t try to second-guess
    • Tests include built-in checks
    • Employers may be looking for different personality profiles
  • Practice using online tests on www.ul.ie/careers
before the test
Before the test
  • Practice, Practice, Practice!
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Do some basic maths revision
  • Listen to/Read the instructions carefully
  • Avoid spending too long on a question
presentations
Presentations
  • Prepare and practise
  • Have a structure
  • Think about the audience
  • Use some visuals
  • Have 4-5 main points
  • Don’t overload with information
  • Give an outline and summarize at the end
  • Watch the time
  • Finish on a strong note
in depth interviews
In-Depth Interviews
  • Prepare
      • Review CV, company information, job description
      • Review skills checklist and think about evidence
      • Prepare questions to ask
  • Interview more related to work you will be doing
  • Interviewers much more technical in their questions
  • Interviewer might refer to some of the exercises
  • Person you might be working for will probably be highly influential
resources
Resources
  • www.ul.ie/careers-Destinations
  • www.targetjob.com
  • www.shl.com
  • www.realworldmagazine.com
  • www.gradirealand.com
  • DVD on Assessment Centres from Careers Service