View advice on how to prepare and succeed at an assessment centre.
What is an Assessment Centre?
An assessment centre analyses your performance in a range of situations, to see how suitable you are for a job. Assessment centres normally take place over one or more days. They involve a variety of exercises, which can include:
– Team exercise
– In-tray exercise
– Psychometric tests
– Social events, such as dinner or lunch with your assessors.
Assessment centres involve multiple assessors and candidates, and activities are usually timed, allowing the assessors to observe your ability to work under pressure.
How to Prepare for the Assessment Centre
Practise to ensure you are as prepared as possible. Ask your recruitment consultant to help identify the assessment criteria, and look through the job specification to remind you what the assessors are looking for.
Make sure you research the company you are applying to. Don’t just visit their website; research the latest company and pharmaceutical news, and any new partnerships or product launches. If you are asked to prepare a presentation, allow enough time to prepare properly, and don’t forget to bring all the documentation, notes and resources you might need.
Finally, organise how you are going to get to the assessment centre, and what you are going to wear. Make sure you take directions, and contact details of your recruitment consultant and who you are meeting with you, so you can contact them if you get delayed or lost.
On the Day
Arrive in plenty of time and be polite to everyone you meet, from the receptionist to the manager interviewing you. Relax and be yourself – let your personality shine through so you don’t come across as uptight. Throughout the assessment, be enthusiastic and show genuine interest in your fellow candidates, the company and job that you have applied for.
Make sure you fully understand each task before starting it. Don’t be tempted to launch straight into an exercise before reading the instructions and risk misunderstanding what you are being asked to do. If in doubt, ask one of the assessors to clarify.
During a team exercise, invite other people to contribute to the discussion. Remember to listen and consider other candidate’s opinions without getting defensive.
Finally, remember you are still being assessed at lunch – don’t talk about anything inappropriate, or that could be seen as controversial.
After the Assessment Centre
When you reach the end of the assessment centre, thank your assessors for their time. Once you have left, call your recruitment consultant to tell them how you think it went, and find out when you should expect to hear back.