Assessment centres – how to do well

These are more tips from my new book called The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book; How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters. It is due to be published in September 2014. Email for more information

Assessment centres – how to do well

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Assessment centres are daunting for most candidates. There are lots of different views on their value. But I think they can provide a very good opportunity to show a potential employer just what you have to offer. I’ve set up a run assessment centres. Also I’ve been through a number as a candidate. Here are some tips based on the advice I give my coaching clients.

Here are my top tips for handling assessment centres

  1. Be Yourself! Work on the basis the assessors know what they are doing. They will be able to see through an act. Keep your wits about you and show your best but try to relax enough to let the real you shine through. You may want to use a simple relaxed breathing technique during the odd break.
  2. Know the criteria. Usually, the assessors will be assessing you against a predefined list of qualities and competencies for the job. For most public sector jobs, you’ll probably know what these are before the event. In the private sector, openness can vary. But you should try to find out the criteria before the assessment centre. If you applied through a recruitment agency they should be able to help. At the very least, the job description will usually give you an indication of the qualities they are looking for.
  3. Manage your time carefully. Many candidates at assessment centres fail to do themselves justice because they run out of time in the exercises. Where you have to read a brief and then do an exercise afterwards, start by skim reading to get an idea of the issues. Then go back and study important points more carefully. Keep an eye on your watch and allocate your time carefully.
  4. Don’t put other candidates down. Remember at an assessment centre you are unlikely to be measured directly against each other. You are being measured against the criteria for the role. Scoring points off others in group exercises doesn’t make you look good. It makes you look like a non-team player and that is not likely to make the assessors warm to you. Your best strategy is usually to support, not to compete.
  5. Practice if you can. It really helps if you can run through possible exercises with someone you trust as preparation for the centre. You will find organizations that offer paid-for practice online.
  6. Listen carefully to all instructions. Know what you are doing and show you are doing it. Listen carefully to all instructions and show you are listening through your body language.
  7. Interact with the assessors. If there is an opportunity to interact with the assessors, say at lunch time, then make the most of it. But don’t be a nuisance and certainly don’t hog the limelight. You want to make an impression memorable for the right reasons.

Your job search – other resources to help you

Stuck in your job search? Have you have been out of the job market for a while? There are new techniques to learn and some you need to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing them at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in Wendy’s handy little pocket book.

assessment centres
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

You can find more help for your job search in the “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.” Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; .

Remember working with a career coach can really help your job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype. Meanwhile I wish you every success in your job search.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy at this Link