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Six steps for success in assessment centres

The road to getting a job can often be long and hard: after sending off an application and conducting a phone interview, you may be invited to attend another interview at an assessment centre in lieu of an interview.

With more employers recognising that assessment centres can have a positive impact on diversity, this part of the job selection process is becoming an increasingly popular way for top employers to find their ideal employee. Focussing on everything from interviews to teamwork exercises, these centres are designed to put you through additional screening to determine whether you are the right fit for the role. 

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare for them in advance.

Know the company inside out

Nothing says dedication like job candidates who know exactly what is expected of them and how they fit into the company’s work ethos and culture. Most hiring managers say that appearing disinterested in a role is the most important thing not to do in an interview, it pays to be engaged.

Taking the time to research your prospective employer in-depth is one of the top tips to ace an interview. Find out how they work, whether they have any success stories, and the names of the people that you will be speaking to, or reporting to. You should also know your job description and if you want to make a good impression during the interview, you should constantly be referring back to it. Many assessors will also have a list of qualities or attributes that they will be looking for in their candidates; try to ask for a copy so you know what they’re looking for. 

 

Be aptitude-test ready

A large part of any assessment centre involves testing the skills you say you have on your CV to determine whether you’ll be able to keep up with the demands of the role. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to prepare for any aptitude tests you’re going to face, whether numerical, logical or verbal. There are lots of test papers online for you to practice and if you want to stand out, knowing what you’re dealing with is a must. 


Practise your verbal skills

Whether in an interview or a presentation, you’ll be required to use verbal skills. Practising is key: come up with questions that you’ll likely be asked, make sure that you have your own answers ready and practise your interview techniques. It’s vital that you don’t appear flustered or stressed when you’re answering questions or speaking to the interviewers. Make sure you speak slowly, confidently and don’t forget to make eye contact. 

 

Make a good first impression

The first test you’ll face in the assessment centre is making a good impression at the start of the day: invariably, this will shape your prospective employer’s view of you as a candidate. There are lots of dos and don'ts when it comes to interviews and assessments centres, like wearing appropriate clothing. In fact, 71% of employers admit they'd discount a candidate who didn't understand the dress code.

Other ways to make sure you make a good impression from the minute you walk in the door include bringing everything with you that you need, such as identification, and checking whether you’re required to complete any written tasks before going. It’s also a good idea to take an updated version of your CV with you, which should be tailored to the role you are interviewing for.   

 

Be employable

You need to show your assessors that you are somebody worth employing. The most important elements they are looking for is somebody who is flexible, responsible and able to think quickly on their feet. It is also worth remembering basic interview behaviour: be polite, curious and enthusiastic. If appropriate, ask questions; show that you are engaged with the role and with the task at hand.

 

Be a good team player

Do you work well with others? One of the tests that you’ll undoubtedly face in the assessment centre is seeing how well you interact with other people. Whether through group exercise or social breaks, make sure you stand out as a valuable team member: support other people, don’t be afraid to speak up and contribute to discussions in a meaningful way. If you do have some criticism, try to make it constructive rather than negative: one of the things assessors will be looking for is how other people respond to you, and how well you can influence and persuade them. 

 

Is it time for your  next career move?

At IQVIA, we often use assessment centres to recruit the best candidates for the role. Assessment centres are places where you will be tested as a candidate in multiple ways, from your social to your verbal reasoning skills. If you want to impress an employer, the most important thing that you can do is be prepared so you know in advance what to do and say to strike the right note with your assessors- and hopefully land your ideal job as a result. 

Now you know exactly what you need to do to impress in your next assessment centre, all that's left to do is start the job search. Browse our latest medical sales representative roles or search our other job categories to find the role that is right for you.

 
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