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© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services1 Introduction to assessment centres – preparing for graduate recruitment
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services2 Learning Outcomes By the end of this session, you should be able to: u understand the purpose of assessment centres in the graduate recruitment process u identify the range of activities commonly included u identify steps you can take to prepare for assessment centre activities
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services3 What is an Assessment Centre? u It is a series of activities, not a location u Generally the last part of a selection process & can last for 1 or occasionally 2 days u May consist of interviews, ability tests & personality questionnaires, group and team exercises, in-tray exercises, presentations, social events & a site visit/tour
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services4 Why do employers use them? u More rigorous than a traditional interview as it gives a more rounded picture of a candidate u Allows employers to form an opinion of candidates’ potential future performance & suitability for the role and organisation u A chance for candidates to find out more about the employer/organisation
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services5 Interviews u Possibly one-to-one and/or a panel looking for evidence to show how candidates meet specific selection criteria, therefore you need to give examples to illustrate your suitability u May address specific aspects of your performance during the assessment centre process
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services6 Preparing for Interviews at Assessment Centres u Similar to standard interviews u Re-read important documents – job description and person specification, your application, company information u Reflect on first interview and on assessment centre activities (if applicable) u Questions – what are they likely to ask?; what do you want to know?
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services7 Group exercises Different types: u Leaderless group discussion, maybe on a current topic u Led discussion with candidates taking turns to chair the meeting u Role play – candidates allocated a role and a brief to “act out” in the discussion u Team tasks - problem solving using case studies/tasks u Team games – competing against another team to complete a task
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services8 What is being assessed? u Communication skills - how well you express yourself, listen to others, participate and contribute to the exercise u Leadership/ Team working - supporting & encouraging other team members u Problem solving- ability to analyse a situation & generate solutions
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services9 Group exercises Do’s u Listen to others and acknowledge their contribution u Build on what others have said u Be aware of body language and tone of voice u If you think the discussion is straying from the point, tactfully steer the group back towards its goal Don’ts u Talk across other people u Ignore what someone else has said u Shout or appear aggressive u Display negative body language u Opt out/not join in
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services10 Presentations – What is being assessed? u Style of delivery and speaking – ability to engage the audience u Structure (ie a beginning, middle and end) u Preparation and analysis of ideas u How well you convey information, knowledge and understanding of the topic u Ability to use audiovisual aids/equipment effectively
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services11 Presentations Do’s u Have a clear structure – beginning, middle and end u Use positive, open body language and smile u Rehearse beforehand and check timing ( if possible) u Find out what equipment will be available for use u Speak clearly and at an even pace Don’ts u Over-run the time allocated u Obsess about the content – how you do the presentation is more important u Use complicated visual presentation techniques unless you’re very competent
© Career Development and Employment Service Psychometric tests u Tests typically used to measure abilities, aptitudes, interests and temperament u Generally 2 main types used in recruitment – aptitude tests and personality inventories u Aptitude tests likely to have strict time limits u May be “pencil and paper” or online Department of Student Services12
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services13 Psychometric tests u Aptitude tests typically measure ability in: s numerical reasoning s verbal reasoning s problem solving s diagrammatic or spatial reasoning u Personality questionnaires are used to gauge how an individual might react in a particular situation and relate this to potential “fit” within a team or organisation.
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services14 How to prepare u Familiarise yourself with different types of tests. Practice books may be found in bookshops and libraries and are available for reference within the University Careers Service. u On line examples for practice can be found on the Careers Service website: https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/careers/curr ent/csmarket/testing/testing_home.cfm
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services15 Social activities This may include: u Meals and coffee breaks u Visits eg. visits to offices or ‘shop floor’ u Informal meetings with current staff
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services16 Social activities Do u mix and engage with a range of people u listen and respond u network u be careful around alcohol u be aware that your behaviour is being observed Don’t u dominate conversation u relax too much! u say anything indiscreet! u reveal anything of a personal nature
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services17 In-tray exercises - what are they? u A timed simulated exercise in which candidates assume a given role in a company u Involves dealing with typical in-tray tasks - e mails, letters, faxes, memos, reports, telephone messages. Information needs to be assimilated, tasks prioritised and appropriate action suggested.
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services18 What is being assessed Ability to: u Analyse and make decisions u Organise and prioritise workload u Read and assimilate information quickly, identifying key points u Write effectively using appropriate format and language
© Career Development and Employment Service Summary u An assessment centre involves a variety of activities typically including group exercises, psychometric tests, presentations, in-tray exercises and interviews u You should be notified in advance about the tasks included u Preparation is essential – always consider what the employer is looking for in each element u For more information on activities and how to prepare see: http//:www.prospects.ac.uk/interview_tests.htm http//:www.targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/assessment-centres Department of Student Services19
© Career Development and Employment Service Career Development & Employment Service (CDES) u This service has a presence at both City and North campuses and offers guidance and support to all students and to graduates for up to 3 years after they leave. This includes: u The opportunity for individual discussion on areas such as career planning and job/work experience search u Workshops on a variety of job search topics u Information on careers events and activities u For more details on the services offered and on how and where to access them please refer to the website: u https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/careers/ Department of Student Services20
© Career Development and Employment Service Career Development & Employment Service (CDES) u The university Employment Service provides access to vacancy information for full time and part-time opportunities, vacation work and internships. u For details on how to register go to: u https://intranet.londonmet.ac.uk/studentservices/careers/the- employment-service/home.cfm u CDES Contact information: u North Campus: 1 st Floor, Tower Building, Tel: u City Campus: 8 Goulston Street, Tel: u Department of Student Services21
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