Assessment Centres – Group exercises January 26, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : employability and skills , trackback
Continuing our blog posts on assessment centres, group exercises are commonly used by recruiters. They are used to determine how candidates behave in team or group situations.
Typically they will consider:
- How effective are you at communicating with people you do not know.
- How you present your own views or argument
- Do you assume a natural leadership role?
- Are you competitive?
- How persistent are you in convincing people?
- Can you negotiate?
- Do you encourage others?
Not all of these are positive qualities. Companies are looking for team-players as well as leaders; being competitive is good only if it is productive; do you know when you are wrong or when somebody else has a valuable contribution to make?, do you listen? Listening is as much a part of communicating and speaking. Employers look for a range of different qualities in their staff.
This is usually an assessed discussion with a small number of candidates – usually about 8. Candidates will receive a short briefing paper and will be asked to come up with a team response to the question posed.
This can also take the form of a case-study where the group is presented with a dossier of information about a client and the group needs to make recommendations about how the company can help the client.
Role play is used to place a candidate in a hypothetical situation and see how they respond. Of course the situation is contrived but the closer you get to thinking as a real employee should, the better.
Assessment Centres are a key part of the recruitment and selection process. You may not feel confident about them but you can prepare in advance and build your confidence up. The careers centre can help through one-to-one coaching, DVDs and printed materials, skills development workshops and practical advice. We have even been known to help students understand etiquette and prepare for formal dinners and functions which formed part of their selection process (some Investment Banks and armed services invite candidates to formal dinners). If you feel you are a bit stuck, drop by and see us!