Welcome to your Assessment Centre Experience
What is an assessment centre?
Assessment centres are a key part of the recruitment process for many organisations, regardless of the size of the organisation or sector that they are in. They provide an opportunity for employers to bring together groups of candidates at one time, to take part in a number of exercises from which they can evaluate a candidate’s suitability for roles. This is your opportunity to go through a real life assessment centre, giving you the opportunity to practice all of the elements in a safe environment.
Your assessment centre will be made up of three different exercises with the aim being for the assessors to evaluate your skills and competencies in different situations/activities. This is a great way for you to showcase your strengths and provides you with more opportunities to do this than just an interview would.
Your Assessment Centre: What will happen on the day?
On the day, you will be met by the event organiser and/or the assessors at the location. Once everyone has arrived, there will a welcome briefing so that you all know what to expect from the day and how the day will run, for example, details of the exercises, timings etc.
As part of your assessment centre experience you will be expected to participate in three exercises on the day.
In the resources section you will find the presentation brief that includes a list of topics to choose from. You are required to choose one topic and prepare a 5-minute presentation in response to the presentation brief. There are no PowerPoint facilities at the venue so you will need to take this into consideration when preparing your presentation. You can use handouts or other forms of visual aids.
In the group exercise you will work with your peers on a time sensitive task. This could be a case study or a problem-solving activity where you will discuss and agree on the required action. You will then present your agreed action to the assessor, who will ask questions based on your decision-making.
In the resources section, you'll find a list of job descriptions. Choose the job description that you'd like your interview to be based on. The interview will last 10 minutes and is designed to test your understanding of the role and your skills and experience.
Each of these exercises simulates a live assessment centre environment and are designed to test a number of behaviours, including:
Performing well under pressure
Communicating well with others
Thinking on the spot and problem solving
Working well with other members of the team
You will be accompanied throughout the day by a number of assessors who will observe you in each of the exercises. Don’t be distracted by the fact that they will be making notes on your performances throughout the day. They need to do this so that they can provide valuable individual feedback to all candidates.
The assessors are professionals from various industry backgrounds with excellent knowledge of recruitment and selection processes. They are not there to trick you and will make you feel comfortable during the day. They will provide constructive feedback to you at the end of the assessment centre so that you know what you excelled in and which areas you could look to strengthen going forward.
Meet the Team: We are all really excited to meet you!
We will provide you with feedback on your performance at the assessment centre for each of the activities, including your strengths and areas for development. You will receive the feedback within 24 hours of attending the assessment centre via email. This feedback will provide you with key take aways that you can easily apply at future assessment centres.
You will be assessed by a different assessor for each activity – we are highly experienced and assess for placement and graduate jobs. We want you to do well and will do everything we can to help you feel at ease but remember that we can only assess you on what we see and hear, so make sure you contribute fully to each activity.
Schedule for the day
You will receive your invitation to attend either the morning or the afternoon session via email, in advance of the day. Please arrive in plenty of time and be prompt for each exercise, as we may not be able to accommodate late comers.
How to prepare for an assessment centreThis is your opportunity to really sell yourself, for them to see you in various scenarios and how you handle different situations. Be your authentic self: It’s important for the employer to get to know who you are, not only through demonstrating your skills but also your personality. They need to ensure you are a good fit for the role and organisation and you need to feel confident that this is the right employer for you. Don’t panic if you make a mistake: We are all human and mistakes happen. If you feel you didn’t answer a question well, or didn’t contribute to a task in the way you would have liked to, don’t dwell on it. Focus on the next task in hand. Stop comparing yourself to others: Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. If you start comparing yourself to others you won’t present the best version of yourself. Step up: It’s important to fully participate in all of the exercises. If you are not a natural leader and more of a think, it’s ok to let someone else take the lead in a group task but make sure your voice is heard. Encourage participation from everyone in the group, ensure you are running to time, listen to everyone’s ideas. This demonstrates essential teamwork skills. Get clear on the task: Before you start anything, make sure you fully understand what is required of you in the task. If you have any doubts, it’s ok to ask. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail: Make sure you familiarise yourself with all of the relevant resources made available to you in advance of the day. Practice your presentation, think of examples that you may need to talk about at the interview. What questions will you ask the recruiter? Smile and relax: Assessment Centres can be daunting especially if it’s the first one you have attended. Remember that you have been invited for a reason – the employer wants to learn more about you, not make you feel stressed or panicked. Smile, display positive body language, talk to others, make eye contact and breathe.
Group ExerciseMake sure you all understand and interpret the task in the same way so you all have a common objective/outcome Make yourself heard; even if you are not a confident speaker or a natural leader, your contributions are still really important and the recruiter will need to hear from you Be confident in your participation; if someone disagrees with you this should encourage a healthy discussion Don’t talk over anyone and encourage everyone to participate Agree at the start who will be time keeper and who will make notes If you are delegating, make sure everyone is clear and confident in their role Give each other encouragement and praise
Individual presentationDisplay positive body language; make regular eye contact and don’t just look at your notes the entire time Speak clearly, varying the pitch and tone of your voice Don’t fidget but think about using hand motions to make the presentation less rigid Keep an eye on the time so you don’t run over Remember to breathe and don’t rush through it
Individual interviewPrepare some answers; if you know you are having a competency based interview, think about the skills on the job description that you are likely to be tested on and have some examples ready Think about the more obvious question you will get asked, for example, ‘Why have you applied for this role?’, ‘Why would you like to work for this organisation?’ Prepare relevant questions for the interviewer to ask at the end (typically no more than 3) – you may wish to have these written in your notepad in advance to refer to Present positive body language, make eye contact, smile and don’t fidget
How to prepare for an interviewReview the job description thoroughly - highlight the key competencies and prepare answers for these, i.e. time management, attention to detail, teamwork (you could use examples from professional work experience, university project work, volunteering, community projects etc) Prepare for the obvious questions - i.e. Why have you applied for this role? What skills and attributes can you bring to the role? Research the organisation - you don’t need to know everything but showing you have done your research is a big thumbs up! Prepare 2-3 questions to ask the panel at the end of the session to show your interest in things such as staff development opportunities, anticipated areas of growth within the company etc
STARThe STAR technique helps you to prepare for competency-based interview questions. It is like storytelling, ensuring that you get all the necessary details into a structured response. Situation: Outline the situation Task: Talk about the task – what was required of you? Action: What did you do? What action/s did you take and why? Result/Reflection: Summarise the results
Your assessment centre will be held at Liverpool football club – in the Kenny Dalglish stand
Address: Liverpool Football Club, Anfield Road, Anfield, L4 0TH
When you arrive, security will complete a quick bag search before you are permitted into the stadium. You must not bring any liquids or food, but there will be refreshments available.
When you’ve been through security, please head up to the Shankly suite for your welcome session.
There is no car parking on site, but you can park in the Stanley carpark nearby.
Your assessment centre briefing
The Student Sessions, hosted by TG Consulting, is a podcast series for students and graduates, covering all things employability
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