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Understanding Assessment Centres Careers and Student Employability.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Assessment Centres Careers and Student Employability."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Assessment Centres Careers and Student Employability

2 Session Aims To help you  Gain an appreciation of how assessment centres operate  Understand why employers use assessment centres  Better prepare for assessment centre activities

3 What is an Assessment Centre  ‘A method for assessing aptitude and performance; applied to a group of participants by trained assessors using various aptitude diagnostic processes in order to obtain information about applicants' abilities or development potential”  Invitation to an Assessment Centre usually occurs towards the end of the graduate recruitment process. The typical process would be:  Application Form – usually online  Online Psychometric Test  Initial Telephone interview  Invitation to Assessment Centre

4 Assessment Centre Activities Typically an Assessment Centre will run over 1-2 days at either the company’s offices or at an external location: Activities might include:  Group Activities  In-tray Exercises  Individual Presentation  Psychometric Test- if not already used  Panel Interview

5 Group Activities These vary but can include:  Discussion exercise: candidates given a topic and asked to discuss  Planning activity: candidates given a brief and asked to work together to organise  Role play: candidates asked to play out specific scenario usually related to the roles on offer  Fun exercises: candidates asked to work together on something more light-hearted as a means of developing group dynamic, e.g building a paper tree!

6 General Tips on Group Exercises  Remember that the assessors are looking for a range of qualities – ability to lead, to listen, to work in a team, to offer ideas  Try not to hog the discussion – you may come across as bombastic!  Make sure you do contribute – assessors need something to base their assessment on!  Find a balance between contributing your own ideas and supporting the group.  Demonstrate active listening skills throughout.

7 In-tray Exercises These can include:  Prioritising and justifying typical daily activities  Writing an email/letter responding to a query  Checking a document for errors  Evaluating a document and summarising its contents/recommending actions

8 Psychometric Tests  They are standardised procedures for measuring, usually, aptitude or personality  Employers use them to measure characteristics against job-related criteria  They are useful to employers because they help filter applicants  They can be used at different stages of the recruitment process

9 Types of Psychometric Tests Tests can include:  Ability or aptitude tests – verbal, numerical, diagrammatic  Personality questionnaires

10 Ability or aptitude tests  Measure logical reasoning abilities relevant to job  Possible to improve your score in these tests by practising beforehand  Strictly timed  Taken under examination conditions  Usually multiple-choice tests  There is always a right answer

11 Personality questionnaires  Less frequently used by recruiters  Designed to: –measure character traits –assess how your personality functions in different environments  No right or wrong answers  Not strictly timed  Usually taken online  Important to answer the questions as honestly as possible, and not to try to predict what employer is looking for  No real advantage to practising tests beforehand, but may be worth familiarising yourself with them in advance, in order to know what to expect on the day

12 Before the test  Get some practice:  CaSE Website  Profiling for Success –Find out from your recruiter which test publisher they use –See Useful resources section for info on other practice tests  Brush up on your verbal reasoning and maths skills  Let recruiter know about any special needs

13 During the test  Pay attention to any instructions  Raise any issues before test starts  Ensure you have been provided with a calculator, pencil and rough paper  If you get stuck on a question, move on to the next one  Multiple choice: –Try to work out answer, then see if it matches any of those given –If no match, even after checking your reasoning/calculations, make an educated guess  Concentrate, stay focused, and ignore what other people are doing  Keep an eye on the time

14 Useful Resources  Profiling for Success: Practice tests in verbal and numerical reasoning and the opportunity to undertake personality assessments. Available through the CaSE website. Profiling for Success  Prospects: Information and advice about testing and assessment days. Prospects  Psychtesting: British Psychological Society's Psychological Testing Centre. Psychtesting  Saville Consulting: Preparation guides for a range of numerical, verbal and diagrammatical tests. Saville Consulting  SHL Direct: An information service about assessment methods which provides an overview of selection processes, interview hints, assessment centre advice and sample tests. You can also take example personality and motivation questionnaires. SHL Direct  Team Technology: Access the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a commonly used assessment by employers to discover a candidate's personality type. Team Technology

15 Presentations: “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it”

16 First Impressions  You have 4 – 7 seconds to make a positive impact and good opening impression  Start with a good, strong, solid introduction - practice it in advance  Remember to introduce yourself, smile and connect with the audience through confident eye contact

17 Set Objectives  What is this presentation about?  What am I seeking to achieve?  Is the purpose to inform or persuade?  What is my key point that I must get across to the audience?

18 Nature of Presentation  Audience – how large will it be? What level of knowledge will they have?  Venue – where will it be, what facilities are there?  Timing – how long have I got?

19 Structure Use the rule of three to structure your presentation 1.Introduction – Introduce what you are going to tell them and why it is important, include a hook 2.Main body of talk – 3 key points, stories etc. 3.Conclusion – Summarise what you’ve told them, include a call to action

20 Content  Attention span of the average listener is only 6-8 minutes  Keep it simple  Strong start, make 3 main points, strong finish  Know your material – Use brief notes/words on cards  Grab the audiences attention and be memorable  Don’t apologise for anything  Include a call to action (if relevant)  Prepare and practice your opening and closing statements carefully

21 Ways of Engaging your Audience  Start with a Hook - pose a question, statistic, quote to illustrate the key message Consider using:  Anecdotes/stories to convey a particular point  Personal touches if relevant  Controversial quotes to grab attention  Interesting facts/opinions  Images to convey key points/messages quickly  Appropriate humour  Visual aids if appropriate – PowerPoint, Flip Charts

22 Interviews Often the final stage of the process  Panel of Interviewers  Questions around your application  Competency based  Scenario based  Motivational Questions  Best advice- attend an Interviews Workshop  Book a Mock Interview  Try our Interview Simulator (CaSE site) )

23 Any Questions? )

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