What are employers testing at Assessment Centres?
Again, understanding what they’re looking for is the first step to satisfying their requirements.
The first thing is your communication skills – absolutely key to any employment. You
need to be able to demonstrate that you can talk clearly and coherently and that demonstration
will start from the moment you arrive in the employer’s offices and speak to the receptionist.
They might also want to see your presentation skills. There are few jobs now where presentation
is not ever required. And they may well want to know that you will be able to stand up
in front of a group of people and present. Negotiation skills are really important too.
This is not about dragooning through your personal point of view. It’s about working
with others often to reach a collaborative and agreed solution so don’t be combative
when you are asked to negotiate. Try to be collaborative and work with others.
They’ll also want to see your inter-personal skills. Actually, are you somebody who can
fit into an organisation and work with others or are you a loner? Somebody who is going
to be difficult to interact with and who is not necessarily going to meet
the requirements of the business. This matters and it matters that you demonstrate
this ability from the moment that you walk into the Assessment Centre. That working with
others also involves being able to work effectively in a team. That’s critical to almost any
employment. At this stage employers are not typically
looking for the accomplished manager but for the team player who can work seamlessly with
others. That’s what you are aiming to show on the day of the Assessment Centre.
You might also need to show your intellectual skills, your analysis and your ability to
think creatively and to argue things through. And finally you’re going to be working under
pressure at an Assessment Centre. The idea is to simulate the sort of pressure that you
might meet in the working environment and the employer wants to see that actually you
have the resources and resilience to deal with that. So, yes you are going to feel pressed. The point is to stay calm, to stay cheerful
and if you possibly can, stay smiling!