Assessment Centre Days: what to expect

So you’ve been invited to an assessment center, which is excellent. But hold on, what does that mean? What is an assessment centre? What happens there, and is it as scary as it sounds? (It isn’t, we promise.) Each assessment centre experience will be a bit different depending on the role, industry, and organisation but there are lots of similarities between the themes and skills that each employer will be looking for. There are also lots of standard formats for the different assessments, so you might find it helpful to take a look at some of those you are most likely to come across.

Throughout the day, you will be assessed on common skills such as communication, teamwork, timekeeping, achieving results, problem solving, influencing, and persuading.  Depending on the role you are going for, they may well look at numerical or other skills.

Assessment centres are not always a competition between everyone in the room for a single role. In many organisations, for example, if all 6 people in a group display the right qualities, there is a chance that all 6 people will be made an offer, so focus on presenting your best self and try not to worry too much about the outcome. Be honest about who you are, and even if you don’t get the role, there can be lots you learn from it. Even if you’re unsuccessful this time, the experience will undoubtedly be valuable for future roles that you will perhaps be better suited to. Whether you get the role or not, it’s always useful to ask for feedback – it also shows pro-activity and a willingness to learn.

As with all types of interviews, practice is the key to feeling prepared and confident. Try our Virtual Interview Practice tool and 10-step guide to interview prep, and make the right kind of impression.

Why not extend your interview knowledge further by trying one of the resources below? Alternatively, you can visit our interview hub for more tools and tips.