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An assessment center is a series of job related tests designed to simulate aspects of the target job that you are being considered for. The tips offered here won't enable you to succeed when going through an assessment center, but they will give you some idea of what to expect and how best to approach some of the specific exercises you may have to face.


Case study, written exercise (In Tray/In Basket)

Avoid narrow approach - just problem solving.Use team work, show leadership, communicate, etc.Think of all the ways you can demonstrate the full range of competencies in your responses.

Group discussion exercises

Again, avoid narrow approach - just contributing content to solve the problems.Ask questions to involve others.Probe input of others to assess implications, risks, benefits.Help to structure the discussion, keep it on track.Stress agreement to resolve conflict.Summarize occasionally.

Presentations

Structure your presentation by stating your conclusions first and what you are going to cover.Plan to illustrate several competencies.Maintain eye contact, vary your voice, speak with enthusiasm and conviction. Move a bit to show physical energy.Occasionally ask if what you are saying is clear, makes sense.Summarize at the end.Practice several times if presentations make you nervous.

Customer role play

Build a bit of rapport first.Ask what the customer would like to achieve in this meeting and agree an agenda.Ask questions - 2 types - 1. to understand the customer's needs, 2. to involve customer in solution - ''What would you like to see happen?''Strive for win-win solution, actively create a partnership climate.

Performance role play with subordinate

Use appropriate praise early, middle and end to maintain subordinate's self esteem.Ask questions to fully understand subordinate's side of storyAsk how subordinate feels issues might be tackled.Express confidence in subordinate's future and ability to turn performance around.Offer support as appropriate, i.e. coaching, training.Try to get commitment from subordinate rather than demanding it or imposing it.Become more demanding if supportive approach fails.Agree specific improvement targets, set dates and agree follow up meeting.

Career Management Tips