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Assessment Centres

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Rachel Coombes

on 3 November 2016

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Transcript of Assessment Centres

Welcome to Your
Assessment Centre

E-Tray Exercise
Case Study
Group Exercise
Networking Event
Psychometric Tests
Written Exercise
Rachel Coombes
Careers Consultant

Aim of the workshop

To gain a clearer
understanding of
assessment centres
and how to prepare
for them
Learning Outcomes
What do you know about Assessment Centres already?

Who has experienced an assessment centre and how was it?

What concerns do you have about them?
Your Experience
Range of exercises
Observed vs Reported evidence
Tests suitability for a role
Assessed against company criteria
Need to meet benchmark in ALL areas
NOT a personal battle with fellow candidates!
½ day to 2 days in length
Various locations and normally clearly defined
A test of a candidates’

Understanding of the company
So what may be involved?

‘A standardised sample of behaviour which can be
described by a numerical scale or category system’

Also Aptitude tests
Measure a talent / skill or potential to acquire it
Compare performance with ‘norm’ levels
Predictor of potential performance
Time pressured!
Psychometric tests
Verbal reasoning
Numerical reasoning
Diagrammatic or Logical reasoning
Situational Judgement
Personality inventories
Main types of psychometric tests
Attend Psychometric Testing Skills Session
On-line Practice Test Sessions – call into the Career Zone, or telephone 264493 to register


Practice test leaflets available to purchase

Reference books available from the Career Zone:
‘How to Pass Advanced Numeracy Tests’
‘Psychometric Tests for Graduates’
Psychometric test resources
Individual exercise
Computer or paper based
Skills tested = analysis, decision-making, time management
No prior knowledge required
E.g on Fast Stream website
Sometimes followed by a written exercise – drafting an e-mail / writing a report
E-tray or in-tray exercise

Over to you!
Exercise 1:
It’s Friday afternoon and you’re clearing your desk, as you’re about to start your holiday on Saturday. You still need to pack.

There are some items in your in-tray for you to clear before you go. Decide:

A: What needs your immediate attention?
B: What can be postponed until you return?
C: What can you delegate to someone else?
In-tray exercise:
Immediate attention?
Minutes of a recent management team meeting circulated for your information.
A mail shot from a regular supplier, asking you to act within 5 days to qualify for a huge discount.
Phone message from the MD’s secretary. He needs to deliver a speech at an important function tonight and wants to clarify some figures.
Message from the marketing department – have you had a chance to look at her proposals for your product.

Arrange meeting to discuss strategy?
The report of the latest customer survey you’ve been waiting for with anticipation.
Your in-tray
Led or leaderless
Topical issues
Everyone to contribute
Closely observed
Measuring ability to work in groups and interact with others
May be task orientated and timed
Group exercises

Group Exercise Example
Assertive not aggressive
Constructive not destructive
Reinforce others' contributions
Be an active listener
Check for understanding
Summarise, reflect and encourage
Bring in quieter members
Not a competition
Communicating effectively in groups
Groups or individual basis
May involve role play
Analyse information, come up with solutions and express yourself
Interested in how you came up with answer than answer itself
Hypothetical business problems are increasingly popular – www.mckinsey.com
Case Studies

“Movies R Us”
A case study
Exercise 2:
Your client is a small independent cinema.
Profits have been in decline for some time.
Your task is to suggest possible ways to increase their revenue.
Background Information: 4 screens, opening hours 2pm – 11pm, snacks and soft drinks are on sale, average age group of visitors 18 - 40
Movies R Us – Background Info
How would you tackle this exercise?
What factors do you think may have led to a decline in profits?
What recommendations would you make?
Discuss with your neighbour – 5 min.
Movies R Us – Discussion
Topics can be set in advance or on the day

Good practice:
introduction & scene setting
presentation style & content
verbal & non-verbal communication
handling questions
positive closure
May be 2nd Interview
Preparation, preparation, preparation
A two way process
Interviewers want you to succeed – help them!
Not an interrogation
Chance to expand on your application form/CV
Demonstrate enthusiasm and interest
Prepare questions to ask
Part of the assessment?
Opportunity to network
Prepare questions, topics to discuss
How you interact in a relaxed setting
Remain professional
Keep interested, inquisitive and enthusiastic
Opportunity to find out if company is right for you
Networking Event
Advise employer in advance of any special requirements
Lots to get through but stay positive
Don’t dwell on elements that may not have gone as well as you hoped
Take a watch
Take snacks to see you through
Arrive early
Employability and Graduate Development Career Zone – The Forum

On-line career management programme on ELE

20 min. appointments with Careers consultants

Skills sessions - Interviews, Psychometric Testing, Networking, Presentation Techniques

Further Resourses
Employability & Graduate Development
Career Zone – The Forum
Phone: (01392) 724493
Email: careers@exeter.ac.uk
Web: www.exeter.ac.uk/careers

Opening hours:
Term time: 9.00am-5.00pm (Monday-Friday)

Vacations: 9.00am-5.00pm (Monday-Friday)
Where to find us?
By the end of the session you will be able to:

Understand the purpose of assessment centres in the recruitment process

Engage in typical assessment centre activities

Identify various activities that may be included

Evaluate areas you wish to work on

Explore resources to help you find out more
Often included due to poor written communication experienced in students upon joining
Likely to be assessing:
Use professional business language
Do not use acronyms or text speak
Listen carefully to instructions
Full transcript