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Assessment centres

Some employers will invite candidates to take part in what is commonly known as assessment centres or assessment days. These usually last between half a day and a couple of days, in which the candidates take part in different activities. 

If you find yourself being invited to an assessment centre, consider this a great opportunity to get a close look into the employer and their working culture! 

The assessment days will usually include some tasks to be done individually, such as a writing task. This will test specific skills related to the role you are applying for. Other individual assessments might involve aptitude or psychometric testing.

Other activities might be in small groups or teams

“We do a group task, in which you’d be set a mini-project. You might be given half an hour in your team to pull together research to then present back to the group. It’s not so much, we’re looking to judge your understanding of the task you’ve been given, but a lot of it is the softer skills, like ‘how did you delegate roles and responsibilities in your team’, ‘how did you think about presenting that back to the audience’, your confidence, your ability to relay information. Again, not that these tasks are red herrings, but sometimes it is less about the task and more about how you approach them, how you deal with the scenario in front of you, and testing things like your aptitude, resilience.

Katie Caine, Recruitment Business Partner at Ashfield MedComms, Ashfield Health, on what to expect on one of their assessment day

Virtual assessment centres present a similar structure to face-to-face ones but will typically last between a few hours to half a day. 

Presentation assessments

In addition to individual and group activities, a presentation can be part of the assessment. In some cases, you might be asked in advance to come prepared, or it might be one of the impromptu exercises on the day. The topic of the presentation can vary, and sometimes it might be hard to be ready. Remember to keep calm and show your true self. 

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