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Assessment Centers - What You Can Expect On The Day

Aug 29, 2007
Many employers are taking steps away from the traditional one on one interview. More and more employers are favoring a potential employee evaluation process called the Assessment Center.

The Assessment Center is sort of like a group interview, except instead of one person leading the discussion there isn't any real leader. Instead a group of trained observers silently evaluate each potential employee and how they react to situations they encounter while at the Assessment Center. Common situations involve Group Discussions, Role Playing, and sometimes smaller 'group interviews'.

Assessment Center Activities You Might Experience

Group Discussions are often leaderless. In this situation, a group of potential employees meet and discuss issues related to the job for which they are applying. As they talk, they are observed and evaluated by behavioral experts.

They are evaluated in terms of inter personal communication and whether or not they display any leadership skills. Sitting back during a group discussion is usually not evaluated well.

During Role Playing, job applicants act out scenarios they might encounter if hired as an employee of the company. There is one person who is a trained scene player and they interact with employees in an improvised scene. The potential employees are evaluated on how they react during these improvised sessions and what kind of skills they project.

Pitfalls Of The Assessment Center Recruitment Method

Assessment Centers are sometimes frowned upon because of the time and money a company has to put forth for their hiring practices.

Instead of standard questions with key phrases each applicant is expected to say in response (if those buzz phrases aren't said the applicant is usually rejected), these are largely not standardized scenarios. And because each group evaluated is made up of different members, often the process could be said to imply a bias toward one group's dynamic over another's.

An individual who gets run over in a group exercise might shine in a one-on one or smaller group interview. It is also given to a large amount of play acting. Someone who plays confident during the interview might not actually be confident as an employee; they might just be good at the games put forth during the assessment center.

Benefits Of This Type Of Recruiting Tool

The hiring process is open to much scrutiny and many different methods are used when companies choose new employees. An assessment center is certainly a far cry from the traditional interview process, but it could be good when a large number of employees need to be hired.

An assessment center could be helpful when starting a company or opening a new branch of a company, whereas a one on one interview process would be more productive when only one or two employees need to be hired to fill certain, specialized gaps within a company.

Regardless of what hiring practice a company chooses, care must be taken to ensure that all evaluated applicants feel that the assessment center process was unbiased and fair.
About the Author
(c) 2007 How To Win At Assessment Centers. You can succeed in your application whenever you want to. Want a free e-course? Just mail htwaacmini@aweber.com and for more, checkout Martin Haworth's website, http://www.HowToWinAtAssessmentCenters.com
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