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Assessment exercises: Advice

What you need to know

Assessment exercises are used in assessment and development centres. These are events which help employers to build a comprehensive picture of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to a particular job. The results of the assessments can be used to help make decisions about recruitment, development, and promotion.

Types of assessment exercise

Typical assessment events consists of a number of activities that have been specifically selected to help build a picture of your potential performance and style in a role with the employer. These activities can include:

  • Group discussions – these can involve the whole candidate group or smaller sub-groups who must work together to meet a challenge
  • One-to-one meetings – You will work with another candidate or role-player to come up with some solutions to a range of issues
  • Analysis exercises – In the olden days these were In-basket tasks; modern analysis exercises require you to make decisions based on a range of information

You should learn more about yourself as a result of taking part in an assessment event. The style and approach you demonstrate in response to the assessment activities will offer you insights into your potential performance in the role, the strengths you can bring to bear, and the areas you may choose to develop further.


What you need to do

The people who demonstrate their personal best during an assessment event do so because:

  • They prepare in advance – they understand the employer’s business, the role and have thought about how to present a clear and authentic picture of themselves during the exercises
  • They throw themselves into the event – successful candidates demonstrate energy and an appetite to take part during the activities
  • They are true to themselves – be yourself on the day, rather than what you think the employer wants to see, and you will play to your strengths


Click here for more information about assessment centres 

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