What can you expect from an Assessment Center?

To dispel any myths and preconceptions about Assessment Centers and to be well-prepared, it helps to know exactly what this examination entails and what exercises may be covered during the day.

Below is all the information you need to start an Assessment Center without any issues.

introduction.pngWhat is an Assessment Center?

An Assessment Center is a method of assessing competences through psychotechnical tests, a competency-based interview and a number of simulation exercises that take place within a fictitious business context. The idea behind an Assessment Center is that the behaviour in the simulation exercises predicts future workplace behaviour.  

During the Assessment Center, your behaviours, skills, abilities and knowledge are systematically observed by multiple assessors or evaluators. The results of psychotechnical tests and the interview are also added to the final evaluation of your competences in light of a particular job.

Based on the results, statements can be made about selection, career planning, growth potential, detection of training needs, and so on.

How long does an Assessment Center take?

Because of the use of tests, simulation exercises and an interview, an Assessment Center usually lasts from half a day to a full day.

What is the purpose of an Assessment Center?

During an Assessment Center, assessors examine whether you are capable of performing a particular job with your current experience and skills.

During an Assessment Center, a predetermined competency profile is used. This competency profile is a detailed description of the desired behaviours specific to a position and lists the behaviours required for you to be successful in a particular position.

Who will I be assessed by?

During the Assessment Center, you will come into contact with Search & Selection consultants, who are certified assessors, and with a personnel manager or line manager from the client.

Which measuring moments are covered?working_on_pc.png

Competencies are measured on the basis of three measurement moments: the interview, the psychotechnical tests and the simulation exercises. The main simulation exercises are: in-basket, analysis and presentation exercise and conversation simulation (role-play).

The nature of the job will of course determine which assignments will be covered during the Assessment Center.

What simulation exercises can be included?

  1. An in-basket/in-tray exercise or an analysis and presentation exercise.

    The in-basket/in-tray is the best-known and most-used simulation exercise of an Assessment Center. It is an individual assignment that requires you to process and structure various data (notes, mail items, memos, phone notes and messages ) in the in-tray over a period of a week. A second part of this exercise could be to describe in detail how you come to decisions for a set of problems.

    An analysis and presentation exercise is also an individual assignment where you have to analyse a business case using available information. Based on this information, it is up to you to draw up an action plan and present it to the management committee of the fictitious company. After the presentation, you can expect to be asked some critical questions.

  2. A role-play exercise

    This exercise aims to evaluate your people management skills. You are given all kinds of information that will allow you to get a clear picture of the problem and should prepare you for a conversation with a subordinate, a colleague or a customer.

    In this exercise, it is important to be alert to your interlocutor's reactions. For example, you may play the role of a department manager who has to hold an evaluation interview with an employee who is not performing well. The consultant then evaluates, for example, to your willingness to listen, how you come to solutions (do you decide alone, do you consult ...), what your communication style is, ...

  3. A competency-based interview

    In a competency-based interview, we will measure your behaviour in a professional context. You are expected to describe as concretely as possible what you did, why, how, when... It is important to take your time to recall a relevant experience.

  4. Psychotechnical tests

    These are automated questionnaires that vary depending on the job you have applied for. Search & Selection has an extensive testing infrastructure (Cebir, SHL and Pearson). In addition to a wide range of personality and skills tests, there are also various technical, administrative, language and intelligence tests.

Why is the exercise not always situated in a business context familiar to you?

During an Assessment Center, you will be presented with a fictional situation where you will not need your specific professional knowledge or expertise. The assessors aim to measure your behavioural competences and how you react and act in different situations. So it is very important that you can empathise with the situation of the exercise.

How can I prepare?

For an Assessment Center, you cannot study and there are no specific techniques you can apply to influence the outcome. In an Assessment Center, your insights and skills will be measured, so this means that there will be several situations to which you will have to react spontaneously.

We will give you some tips on what you can do anyway in preparation:

  • Be yourself and be honest.
  • Make sure you are fit and well-rested. An Assessment Center is quite an intensive affair.
  • Inform yourself as best you can about the job description and the requiered profile.

Any questions?on-the-phone.png

If you have any further questions or need clarifications, do not hesitate to ask for more information. We will be happy to help you. Get in touch with your contact person or with the office where the Assessment Center takes place (contact details).

We are convinced that this day will also be a learning experience for you.

All that remains is for us to wish you the best of luck!

On behalf of the Search & Selection team!


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