Preparation for Assessment Center

The author Birgit Löding M.A. from Düsseldorf is self-employed in the field of coaching, career consulting and outplacement. She prepares specialists and executives for assessment centers or job interviews, among other things.

In this way you prepare yourself successfully for an assessment center.

In contrast to an invitation to an interview, an invitation to an Assessment Center (AC) is more worrying for many applicants. Although the procedure is very common, it is obscure for applicants.

In principle, an AC is about comparing your performance with that of other applicants and selecting the best applicants within one to two days in a group.
The AC focuses on your methodological and social skills. The employer is interested, for example, in whether you are a team player or how well you can assert yourself. Your behaviour is recorded by trained observers over the entire period and assessed on the basis of defined criteria. The employer defines in advance that, for example, a structured working method is important to him. This should ensure a high level of verifiability of the AC results.

Which exercises are typical?

There are exercises that are common in ACs, such as group discussion or presentation exercises. If you apply as a trainee, the exercises are not as demanding as in a management position. It is common to put applicants under temporary stress through short consecutive exercises and time pressure. This allows you to observe whether you are able to deal with conflicts even under stress. Frequent exercises in AC are role plays: With an applicant for a sales position it can be observed in simulated customer discussions how customer-oriented he is.

How can I prepare myself?

  • Analyze the ad: What social and methodological skills are required?
  • A coach will give you qualified feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and how you can present yourself better in AC. In coaching you can prepare all exercises and role plays in a targeted way.
  • Try to consciously show the required competences (of course only if they correspond to your personality). In any case, you should not rehearse a role that you cannot maintain in your daily work.
  • Lectures and self-presentations of your career can be practised well in advance and feedback can be obtained from friends.
  • Take a closer look at the employer and current trends in the industry. This helps you to stand your ground even in difficult situations and, when needed, in group discussions.
  • Exercises are evaluated completely independently: Don’t let a difficult start demotivate you!

Published on 6.05.2013 in the career blog at the No.1 job exchange for the
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