What does an Assessment Center entail?

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After a series of interviews you get invited to an assessment center. You may have heard of it before, but it's difficult to imagine what it's all about. What can you expect?

First of all, it is important to mention that no single assessment center is the same. For this interactive exercise, sometimes an entire day is planned, sometimes only half a day. This will depend on the role you are applying for.

In many cases you will be subjected to a personality test to get a better idea of who you are. At CrossInternational we use the KOAN Personality Indicator. In addition, you can expect that there will be a role-play on the programme. This allows us to check how you behave in an unprecedented situation. You may also be presented with an in-basket exercise or a similar test in order to gain a better insight into your abstract thinking skills, for example.

The assessment center is almost always concluded by an in-depth interview. Here you will be asked for relevant experiences during your career using the STARR technique (Situation, Task, Approach, Result and Reflection). This is also the time to go over all the previous tests. What was the result of the personality test and can you identify with it? How did you experience the role-play and are there any issues that you would have tackled differently in retrospect?

The intention is that not only the assessor learns something about you, but that you also learn new things about yourself, or perhaps see existing presumptions confirmed or negated.

So how do you prepare yourself for this? Make sure that you start the assessment center well-rested so that you can fully focus on the different tasks. You can prepare yourself at home for the in-depth interview by checking which situations in the past are relevant for the role you are applying for now. You will have to let the role plays come over you, but don't worry, you will get sufficient preparation time.

Since every assessment center is different, you may not be able to prepare for everything, but one rule of thumb always applies: keep a cool head, and always remain yourself.