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Mkbp assessment-centre-guide

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Mkbp assessment-centre-guide

  1. 1. Assessment Centre Preparation Guide
  2. 2. 1. Purpose of Guide The aim of the guide is to achieve the following: v To enable you to get as close to your optimum performance as possible when being assessed for a role. v To provide you with the opportunity of developing transferable skills that can be applied to future selection processes and support your longer-term career development. The guide is not about providing answers, which would contravene the British Psychological Society Code of Conduct, but focuses on ensuring you are aware of what to expect and therefore prepare optimally for the actual selection process when it comes around. 2. What is an Assessment Centre? What is an assessment centre? An assessment centre typically involves: · A variety of assessment exercises · Several assessors evaluating candidates performance · Assessment against a number of job-relevant competencies · Feedback on performance against the competencies to inform selection decisions and future personal development Why use an assessment centre? Research has shown that carefully designed assessment centres are more likely than other selection measures to produce reliable assessment information which can be predictive of future performance in a role. Assessment centres (and work sample tests) go well beyond interview methods and actually put candidates in the situation as opposed to presenting a description of it. As a result it offers insight into abilities to do the work rather than knowing how to do the work. In addition, multiple assessments are made at an assessment centre, so it also lends itself to fairness, as candidates are given a number of opportunities to demonstrate their strengths.
  3. 3. Figure 1: Example of Validities of Different Selection Methods * Adapted from Anderson & Snell (2000). Also note structured interviews have validity coefficients up to 0.44. To achieve higher validities and reliabilities care needs to be taken to assess job critical competencies and associated behaviours, especially those displayed most frequently amongst top performers. 3. Assessment Centre Techniques The basics One would hope the following advice would not need to be given but all too often candidates lack of preparation and organising prevents them from performing at this best. The following basic steps are strongly recommended: v Understand the job role in detail prior to the assessment centre. v Understand the role competencies. If these competencies and their definitions are not provided to you in advance of the centre, ask for them. v Learn about what the assessment centre involves (exercises, psychometric assessments). v Arrive in good time; do not go into selection processes feeling rushed. v Request overnight accommodation if travelling long distances (or at least get a good sleep) need to be fresh. v Avoid distractions during the course of the day (e.g. checking e-mail and phone-calls). 1.0 Perfect prediction 0.0 Graphology 0.13 References 0.11 0.33 Unstructured Interviews 0.68 Assessment Centres (Potential) 0.41 Assessment Centres (Current Performance) 0.38 Personality test 0.54 Work Sample & Ability tests
  4. 4. General advice v Try to consider the exercise as actual work. The more you present your normal approach to work the more likely the assessors are going to get an accurate representation of your abilities and behavioural preferences. v Maintain a positive approach to the assessment centre. Whilst the structured nature of the centre makes it a demanding process, the design ensures comprehensive coverage of job-relevant competencies thereby enhancing the accuracy of assessments made. v Try to relax. It is normal to feel nervous or apprehensive about this kind of event; remember that none of the exercises will be considered in isolation, so if one doesn t go as well as expected refocus on the next exercise. v Manage your time. Often there is a lot of work to do in each of the exercises, so take a watch with you and set yourself goals within the exercise. v Demonstrate your skills and knowledge. Remember that assessments are made on observed, not assumed, knowledge or skills. This is particularly important with regards to knowledge-based or technical competencies. Exercise-specific advice v Group Exercises: § You need to be actively engaged in the process. § If you are making a contribution make sure it is in context. Just saying a word because you think it is being assessed is counterproductive. § Be a good team-player but don t compromise on championing the value of your ideas. Your goal is to do what is best for the task. § Focus on adding value e.g. building on others ideas, coming up with options. § Look at contributing to how the group structures its response to the question posed. v Role-Plays: § Get into the role. It is ok to probe/question role-player for further information if it is not provided in brief. Never make excuses due to role- play being a simulation rather than actual work scenario. The conditions are standardised for fairness and expectations are realistic in the times provided. § Assessors are interested in core processes (e.g. planning/organising, problem-solving, leadership) - don t be put off by lack of familiarity with specific details of the situation.
  5. 5. v Presentation Exercises: § It is likely that both content and delivery is being assessed. Pay attention to both. § Clarity and impact of communication is of great importance. § It depends on the question but it is generally best to focus more time on what you are going to do (action) rather than just stating facts. § Avoid simply regurgitating facts already provided; assessors are looking for additional insight. v In-Box Exercises: § Review the entire list of items and prioritise before getting into the detail of answering how you would tackle issues. § Make it clear why certain actions are needed, how they will be executed and the impact expected once implemented. § Explain why different communication methods have been used for different tasks. § Make use of available resources at your disposal. § Strictly manage your time. v Competency Based Interviews: § Tailor examples to the competency. § Tailor examples to the specific question. § Focus on how you achieved success (what was actually done to get there), rather than the outcome of the situation. For further advice about competency based interviewing, please see the relevant document on the McAdam King Business Psychology website www.mkbusinesspsychology.co.uk.

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