The biggest reasons people underperform at assessment centres are because they don’t know what to expect or how to prepare and they are understandably nervous.

Top Tips To Help You Stand Out

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next assessment centre and ensure that you shine throughout the process:

1. Find out… exactly what you are going to face on the day. Most assessment centres include activities such as presentations, case studies, role-play exercises and other group exercises as well as a sit-down interview. The hiring manager may send you more information beforehand so read everything through carefully or check their website or contact the HR department to find out more.

2. Research… the company, market, competitors, role and required skills thoroughly. The assessors will want to see you’re knowledgeable and truly interested in the role and company, so make sure you come prepared.

3. Know your CV… inside out and practise how you will introduce yourself to the assessors and other candidates.

4. Practise… whichever tests you are going to face. Verbal, numerical and inductive reasoning tests, for example, are widely available online.

5. Prepare yourself… for group exercises. The trick is to get involved, but also to encourage others to share their ideas. This is a chance to show off your leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

6. Think about… the questions you may be asked during the interview and practise answering them or take a mock interview. Also, think of questions you can ask your assessors.

7. Bring… all the information or specific documents you are required to bring in order to progress.

8. Complete… any assignments you’re given. For example, you may have to give a presentation. Clearly read any instructions you’re given and if you’re unsure about anything, ask.

9. Don’t forget… the more practical steps you need to take to prepare for the interview, like planning out your route to the office or setting up the video conferencing tool you’ll be using in case of a remote assessment centre.

10. Relax… and know that it’s normal to be nervous. Try to get plenty of sleep the night before and take some deep breaths just before to calm your nerves.

Don’t Switch Off

An important thing to keep in mind when attending an assessment centre, whether in person or virtual, is that you’re being assessed at all times. For example, during break times, assessors might still be looking at how you interact with the other candidates. So throughout the experience, be friendly, open and make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best way possible.

It’s also important to realise that you are not in competition with the other candidates. If you are all good enough they will take you all or they may not take any of you. Building bridges with other candidates early on will actually help you to perform better throughout the day.

Assessment centres are not designed to trip you up; they simulate the sorts of situations you may face if you got the job and they enable the employer to see how you perform in those ‘real life’ situations. Remember that it is also a good opportunity for you to gauge if the role is right for you too.

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