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University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

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University of Nottingham

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  1. UniversityofNottingham Maggie Wolff and Rob James Senior Careers Advisers Careers and Employability Service Assessment Centres

  2. Learning Outcomes: • To have the opportunity to practise an assessment centre activity • To have the opportunity to reflect on the application stages leading up to an assessment centre • To receive feedback on performance • To develop your understanding of what constitutes an assessment centre

  3. Assessment Centres Why do employers use Assessment Centres? • To select the best candidate(s) for the job by observing and analysing behaviours in a range of simulated situations. - Assessment against the candidate profile. - May use a matrix to score performance

  4. Assessment Centres What are Assessment Centres? • Intensive recruitment programmes, incorporating a variety of activities, which the employer uses to assess the potential of candidates to do the job for which they have applied. • The activities will reflect the job competencies being sought. • Will assess behaviour under pressure and are designed to challenge candidates mental and physical stamina

  5. Assessment Centres Examples of Matrix approach: Leading: to understand and articulate the future direction of the business together with the values which underpin the uniqueness of the business:

  6. Assessment Centres What might they involve? • Group Exercises and Group Discussions • Presentations • Role Play • In-Tray Exercises • Written Exercises, reports, letters, memos • Psychometric assessments • Interviews • And....dinner! An Assessment Centre is usually a one or two day event. You will work alongside other candidates and be assessed against a standard set by the employer.

  7. Types of Activities • Interviews– two or more interviews with an individual or a panel of experts. • Ability Tests– provide objective evidence of your aptitude. • Personality Tests– used to measure characteristics and traits, for example, what motivates you, how you interact with others or your emotional make-up. • Group Exercises– can take different forms: leaderless discussions, leader led discussions, role play exercises or problem solving tasks.

  8. Types of Activities • Case Study– often focus on technical or business problems relevant to the organisation or role. Assessed through interview and written report. • Presentations – the topic might be set in advance or given during the day or emerge from an activity. • In- or e-tray exercises– manage an administrative scenario, which might include prioritising letters, memos, emails, faxes, both internal and external to the department or organisation. • Social Activities– meals, informal discussions with employees, company managers etc.

  9. Assessment Centres What’s involved? A typical agenda for an Assessment Centre • 9.00 Coffee and registration • 9.30 Introduction to the day plus company presentation • 10.15 Group Exercise • 11.00 Individual presentations • 12.00 Lunch with partners, managers and recent graduates • 1.00 Aptitude Tests • 2.00 Coffee • 2.30 Individual case/in-tray exercise • 3.30 40 minute case study interview with senior manager • 4.30 Interview with Partner

  10. Assessment Centres Group Exercises • Group is given a task. • Idea is to assess a range of skills e.g. teamwork, negotiation, leadership, problem solving, interpersonal skills, time management, ability to summarise/come to conclusions. Will depend on competencies they are seeking. • Observers sit around the room making notes on individuals’ performance – there may be one per candidate!

  11. Assessment Centres Group Discussions • Designed to assess your: - communication skills and ability to listen! - understanding (of the topic or issues) - how you ‘think’ - personal effectiveness - powers of influence • Timed discussion topics – sometimes job or functional specific or ‘general’ • Listening skills and assertiveness!

  12. Assessment Centres Group Exercise: Using the eight shapes given you, make a square (5 minutes)

  13. Assessment Centres Group Exercise How did you find this? What group work skills did you use? What might employers be looking for with an exercise like this?

  14. Assessment Centres The Boat Disaster! After a fierce storm you find yourself trapped on a sinking yacht in shark infested seas. The storm damage has also destroyed the boat’s radio equipment. You and your companions are 1000 miles from the nearest land and you discover that, to your horror, the lifeboat will not hold everyone! The yacht is sinking fast. Your group have 15 minutes to decide who will be allowed to travel in the lifeboat, taking into account the following information:

  15. Assessment Centres • They will need to carry a supply of water weighing 2 stone • They will need to wear life jackets that add 1 stone to the weight of the boat • The average person weighs 12 stone • The boat will only hold 290kg • There are 6.3503 kg in a stone • Who’s on the boat? - Orla Jones, a voluntary Red Cross worker - Britney Spears, pop star - David Beckham, football player - David Cameron, politician - Tom Nelson, Captain of the boat - Freda Heindrick, Doctor - Sophie Mitchell, a 5-year old

  16. The Boat Disaster • There is no right answer! • The maximum capacity of the lifeboat suggests that you can choose only 3 people! • It’s up to the group to realise this and come to a consensus through using skills such as: communication, body language, numeracy, teamwork, problem solving, analytical thinking, decision making, assertiveness, negotiation, time management, logical argument.

  17. Group debriefing • What actions helped your group accomplish the task? • What actions hindered the group? • How did leadership emerge in the group? • Who participated most? … least? • What feelings were shown? (frustration, humour, enthusiasm, boredom) • How could the performance of the group be improved?

  18. Resources on Assessment Centres • Books (available for overnight loan) • DVD – at ‘At the Assessment Centre’ and ‘Assessment Centre’ • See Careers website and Assessment Centres • Careers leaflet ‘Assessment Centres and Psychometric Tests’ (available on-line) • Prospects