A group assessment center is a great alternative to the traditional one-on-one interview. It allows you to learn so much more about the role and have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and abilities rather than just talk about them.

Have you been invited to a group assessment center? Are you unsure what the day will involve? Here are a few insights to help you prepare:

What Should I Expect at a Group Assessment Center?

A whole heap of fun and information!

Okay, maybe I am biased, but I love group assessment centers. They are great for the hiring team because they allow the team to see how a candidate will act in a role, and they are great for candidates because the candidates get to learn so much more about the company and role than they would have in a traditional interview. Plus, if you’re a candidate, you get the chance to meet other candidates, making it a great opportunity to grow your network!

Every assessment center is different. Your session may last an hour or two, or it may even take a full day. If the time frame hasn’t been explained yet, ask! If you drive there, make sure you plan ahead for parking so you don’t need to pop out to move your car or put more money in the meter.

So, what will the day involve? Generally speaking, at the start of the day, there will be a presentation about the company and role. You will likely have an opportunity to ask questions about the information contained in these presentations. Do not waste that opportunity. Come prepared with a few different questions to ask, and only ask questions that were not covered by the presentation.

After the presentation. there is generally some form of icebreaker activity to help everyone loosen up and get into the swing of things. Then you will be guided through group and individual activities. These may include testing, role play situations, and one-on-one interviews. Exactly what you do depends on the role and what the hiring team is looking for.

birdsEvery activity you do is designed to measure your behaviors and skills against the employer’s ideal candidate. Before the day, make sure you read the job advertisement and position description and work out what some of the core competencies are. If you are unsure or would just like to discuss the process further, call the hiring team and ask. You may get a generic answer, but you may also get a lot of insight into the specifics of the assessment center. It’s definitely worth a try.

The most important thing to remember in this situation is to participate! Get involved, ask questions when you can, and be yourself. The hiring team is there to assess your behavior and see how well you would fit into the role and the company.

If there are any breaks during the process, use them to strike up conversations with the hiring team or other candidates. Keep those conversations workplace appropriate, though! You are still being observed during break time.

Learn as much as you possibly can, be open to the experience, and build relationships with the hiring team and your fellow candidates. You may end up working with them in the future!

Stacey Gleeson is the founder and job search/interview coach at Primed Interviews. If you have a question about your job search, send her an email at stacey.gleeson@primedinterviews.com.au.

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