【Interview】What to expect at an Assessment Centre…🏢

For those who may have been following my posts, you may remember that in the last few months, I have went through several stages of interview with different companies. And I thought I might as well use this chance to share some of my ‘interviewing experiences’ with those who may be also going through this stage, or are about to go through this long process.

If you have made it to this stage then congratulations! You’re already half way through this marathon, but this is also the difficult part!

The activities you do in an assessment centre will vary from one to another, however in general it can be split into 4 ‘parts’. (note that apart from the 1st part the order of the rest will vary)

1. First thing you would do at an assessment centre is a short introduction/ice breaker activity! 

You will be ask to give a short introduction of yourself OR for one of my assessment centre, we were given 5 minutes to find out about the person sitting next to us, and then introduce them to the rest of the group!

2. Second part to your assessment centre will include some sort of group activity

The whole point of inviting you all to the assessment centre is so that they can assess you in large numbers but within a short period of time. And this will definitely include a group activity.

I’ve done 3 group activities and none of them has been the same, however in general I did quite enjoy the activities. At the beginning the assessors will give you a short briefing of the scenario either verbally or in written format and then you guys will need to discuss with each other.

In terms of what to prepare, well… it should be quite obvious… your TEAMWORK skills!!! Assessors will need to know whether you are a good team player, anyone that’s too passive or too aggressive is not good.

3. Individual exercises/ interview

Apart from assessing how well you can work in a group, the assessors will also want to see whether you can work well as an individual. Some individual exercises will include: presentation, in-tray exercise and also aptitude or psychometric tests. For my last two assessment centre I had to do a presentation. One of them we were asked to prepare on that day, so we were given a set time to read and analyse the data and also prepare a short presentation that should last around 10 minutes to show our findings etc. My most recent one was to prepare beforehand. We were given 4 questions to choose from and then prepare a presentation that would also last for 10 minutes or so.

Now at this point you might start panicking thinking about having to present to the rest of the candidates… Don’t worry, they normally wouldn’t ask you to present to the other people. You may only have to present on a one-to-one basis or to several assessors.

As for in-tray exercises, if I’m honest I have only done this once. For this exercise, we were given a bunch on emails and were asked to write a brief description and also rate it whether it’s important or urgent. For these type of exercise, there really isn’t any right or wrong answers. The assessors simply want to look at how you deal with these tasks, and simply just take a look at how you think…

Very often you may have a one-to-one interview, but in my most recent one, I had an interview with 4 assessors!

But it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it is better than having a one-to-one. Don’t worry! It’s not like in Dragon Dens or the Apprentice! To me, it really felt like as if we were just having a nice chat among us. I personally feel it’s less awkward, compared to a one-to-one interview. In terms of the questions that were asked, I think I will talk about this in another post.

For those that are experiencing job hunting and are also going through these never-ending interviews, I want to wish you all the best of luck!

💕Miss Wai Ting


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