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Assessment Centres University of Limerick Careers Service Assessment Centres University of Limerick Careers Service

Why do Employers Use Assessment Centres • Used to assess if a candidate has Why do Employers Use Assessment Centres • Used to assess if a candidate has the personal qualities needed • Used to predict future work performance • Used to see if you fit in the organisational culture University of Limerick Careers Service

What is an Assessment Centre • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process What is an Assessment Centre • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process • Attended by a group in the company premises or a neutral venue • Includes: Group exercises, In tray exercises, Role plays, presentations, aptitude test & interview University of Limerick Careers Service

What is an Assessment Centre? • • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection What is an Assessment Centre? • • Usually a 1 or 2 day selection process Company premises or neutral venue Includes social or informal events Meeting with recent graduates or managers • Simulates real work environment • Varied activities to assess different attributes University of Limerick Careers Service

Typical Asssessment Criteria • Teamwork • Ledership • Interpersonal skills – Communication, Networking • Typical Asssessment Criteria • Teamwork • Ledership • Interpersonal skills – Communication, Networking • Problem-solving/logical reasoning • Ability to work under pressure • Ability to think quickly on your feet • Ability to cope with uncertainty • Ability to see the big picture University of Limerick Careers Service

Diary of an Assessment Centre • • • 9. 30 10. 00 10. 30 Diary of an Assessment Centre • • • 9. 30 10. 00 10. 30 11. 30 12. 00 12. 30 1. 30 2. 45 4. 45 5. 15 Meet other candidates over coffee Group discussion Fact-finding exercise Interview Aptitude test Lunch Case study exercise Case study presentation Group exercise Company presentation by senior managers Depart University of Limerick Careers Service

Assessment Exercises • Group – Group Discussion/Chaired Discussion Group – Case Studies/Business Games/Outdoor exercises Assessment Exercises • Group – Group Discussion/Chaired Discussion Group – Case Studies/Business Games/Outdoor exercises – Informal Discussion with Employees • Individual – – Personality and Aptitude Tests In-tray Exercises/Written Exercises Presentation skills In-depth Interviews University of Limerick Careers Service

Informal Discussion with Employees • • • Network with other candidates and employers Ask Informal Discussion with Employees • • • Network with other candidates and employers Ask intelligent questions Show interest in their work Don’t drink too much Don’t boast about what you can do for them University of Limerick Careers Service

In-tray Exercises • Measures competencies such as Organisational Skills, Planning, Communication Skills, Problem Solving, In-tray Exercises • Measures competencies such as Organisational Skills, Planning, Communication Skills, Problem Solving, Client Focus • Based on typical day to day issues that may arise • The contents of your “in-tray” might include faxes, meeting minutes, emails, letters etc. • Your task is to prioritise the tasks, take action and give reasons University of Limerick Careers Service

In – tray exercise Do • Try to be clear about the instructions. • In – tray exercise Do • Try to be clear about the instructions. • Keep a sense of proportion - balance the urgency against how important something actually is. • Aim to focus on the essential points about the tasks not every minor detail involved. • Be specific when giving your reasons. Don't • Get distracted by irrelevant information or 'errors'. • Spend too much time analysing the information. • Over scrutinize the details. • Try to do everything yourself - use other people in the organisation! • DON'T PANIC! University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Discussions • Given a topic to discuss – may be the company, the Group Discussions • Given a topic to discuss – may be the company, the industry, current affairs, recent news headlines, university life etc. • Usually a time period is given e. g. 30 minutes • Observed by 2 or more staff members University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Discussion Exercise • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to Group Discussion Exercise • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to decide how to spend € 1 m for the benefit of the business. Your company has acquired this through selling off one of its chains of Italian-style restaurants and you have to decide which parts of the remaining business could benefit. You have a chain of hotels, a small chain of up-market pubs, a chain of travel agencies and five new leisure complexes. (You will be given data about the performance of each of these groups and you may be allocated a role as representing one of these sections. ) University of Limerick Careers Service

Case Study • As an individual, you have 15 minutes to study the following Case Study • As an individual, you have 15 minutes to study the following example of a problem which may face a manager in our company. You may make notes if you wish. • As a group you will be asked to discuss the problem and reach conclusions on it. These conclusions should be unanimous and not decided by voting. (45 minutes allowed for discussion) University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Discussions • Be prepared – research the company, use websites, brochures, trade journals Group Discussions • Be prepared – research the company, use websites, brochures, trade journals etc. • Be prepared – be up to date with any relevant developments in the news – read the ‘quality’ newspapers • Be prepared - Get some practices speaking up in tutorials, clubs, societies etc. University of Limerick Careers Service

Chaired Group Discussions • Candidates are chosen in turn to lead a group discussion Chaired Group Discussions • Candidates are chosen in turn to lead a group discussion on a given topic • Usually about 10 minutes each Your role: Ø Introduce the topic – manage the time Ø Encourage contribution from participants Ø Help to maintain the flow of discussion Ø Summarise when neccessary University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Exercises • How do you perform in a group setting? • Are you Group Exercises • How do you perform in a group setting? • Are you a regular team player, a natural leader or a maverick? • Do you tend to be the ice-breaker, the protagonist or the ideas generator in the group? • Employers are interested in the right balance of characteristics University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Discussion Exercise • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to Group Discussion Exercise • Working in groups of 6, you have two hours to decide how to spend € 1 m for the benefit of the business. Your company has acquired this through selling off one of its chains of Italian-style restaurants and you have to decide which parts of the remaining business could benefit. You have a chain of hotels, a small chain of up-market pubs, a chain of travel agencies and five new leisure complexes. (You will be given data about the performance of each of these groups and you may be allocated a role as representing one of these sections. ) University of Limerick Careers Service

Group Discussion • Notice: – Who talks the most – Who strays from the Group Discussion • Notice: – Who talks the most – Who strays from the subject – Whose arguments are ignored – Who insists on being dominant, interrupts or squashes other contributors – Who doesn’t talk at all + Whose points are accepted + Who encourages others to join in + Who introduces new ideas + Who listens before contributing + Who builds on the ideas of others University of Limerick Careers Service

Psychometric Tests • Aptitude Tests - measure skills relevant to position – – Verbal Psychometric Tests • Aptitude Tests - measure skills relevant to position – – Verbal comprehension - evaluate logic of text Numerical reasoning - interpret statistical data Diagrammatic reasoning - recognise patterns Watch timing – complete as many as possible • Personality Questionnaires – – – Look at personality style No right or wrong answers Be spontaneous, don’t try to second-guess Tests include built-in checks Employers may be looking for different personality profiles • Practice using online tests on www. ul. ie/careers University of Limerick Careers Service

Before the test • • • Practice, Practice! Get a good nights sleep Do Before the test • • • Practice, Practice! Get a good nights sleep Do some basic maths revision Listen to/Read the instructions carefully Avoid spending too long on a question University of Limerick Careers Service

Presentations • • • Prepare and practise Have a structure Think about the audience Presentations • • • Prepare and practise Have a structure Think about the audience Use some visuals Have 4 -5 main points Don’t overload with information Give an outline and summarize at the end Watch the time Finish on a strong note University of Limerick Careers Service

In-Depth Interviews • Prepare • Review CV, company information, job description • Review skills In-Depth Interviews • Prepare • Review CV, company information, job description • Review skills checklist and think about evidence • Prepare questions to ask • • Interview more related to work you will be doing Interviewers much more technical in their questions Interviewer might refer to some of the exercises Person you might be working for will probably be highly influential University of Limerick Careers Service

Resources • • • www. ul. ie/careers - Destinations www. targetjob. com www. shl. Resources • • • www. ul. ie/careers - Destinations www. targetjob. com www. shl. com www. realworldmagazine. com www. gradirealand. com DVD on Assessment Centres from Careers Service University of Limerick Careers Service