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We all get stressed when faced with an assessment centre as they are a lot more involved than your standard job interview.

Assessment centres are selection events where candidates are brought together to do different job-related activities as a group. As long as you prepare well in advance then there's really nothing to be scared of... 



What does an assessment centre usually include?

  • Intelligence and personality tests.
  • Group exercises including discussions and team activities.
  • In-tray exercises where you read, interpret and act on documents.
  • Skills tests like using word processing software.
  • A presentation.
  • A detailed interview, possibly looking at your competencies.


1. Be clear

Remember when you passed your driving test? You didn’t just need to look in your mirror before you manoeuvred, you had to move your head to make sure the examiner SAW you check. It’s the same in an assessment centre. You need to show that you’re actively listening with positive body language and asking your own questions.


2. Chill!

Being observed can be stressful and you won’t want to put a foot wrong; however, if you are too guarded then your personality may not come across and that could count against you. Don’t be too uptight, relax as much as possible and just be yourself… a more professional version of yourself, of course!


3. Practise makes perfect

Practise always helps with any kind of job interview and assessment centres are no different. Try to run through competency questions before you attend and if you have a friend who has attended an assessment centre then run through some example activities with them. Ask around, chances are you’ll know people who have been there and done that, although remember that all assessment centres are different.


4. Knowledge is power

Most companies that hold assessment centres will list what they’re looking for in candidates on their website. Make sure you do your company research and prepare to show ways that you fit each competency. If you applied through a recruitment consultancy they should be able to help.


5. Manage your time

As with exams, running out of time is an awful way to lose out on 'points' and can show the assessors that you can’t properly manage your own time and workload. Make sure that you plan your time out for each task and stick to it.

Many assessment centres involve a panel interview, and you should prepare for each part of the process to be in with the best chance of success.

Panel interview guide


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