We attended a mock assessment centre set up by the university to prepare us for some of the most common screening techniques used by employers, including group interview roleplay and psychometric testing.
To begin with, we were given the task of aligning ourselves in alphabetical order by last name with as little talking as possible, after which we were sectioned off into groups of five.
These groups of five would make up our peer interviews, which were made up of one interviewee and four panellists; manager, scribe, general worker and human resources.
We were given a set of questions to ask the interviewee, as well as a make your own question. The scribe was in charge of writing important points and in our group the manager asked the questions.
At the end of the questions, the interviewee left the room and the panellists scored their performance and discussed good and bad points of the interview. After this, the interviewee was invited back to the table and human resources gave the feedback.
The panel then all rotated jobs until all five of us had had a turn at each role.
We then moved on from the interviews and completed a Belbin self-perception test, where we were given several statements and asked to assign them with a numerical value each, totalling a value of ten.
All ten marks could be distributed as we liked across the statements, allowing us to show more support for those statements we most agreed with. These scores were then transferred to a separate table which segregated the statements into what position in the workforce this supported.
The scores were totalled and the highest score showed the most appropriate position within the workforce. My results were a completer/finisher, and after reading the description I could not argue with any points given in the description.
My opinion and how this will affect my future
I felt the assessment was very short, due to the rescheduling, and hence I didn’t get the full experience of an assessment centre. I would have liked a larger range of tasks, and I am unsure that the feedback from the interviews was as helpful as it could have been as nobody wanted to be “mean”. I found the psychometric test very revealing about my nature.
The psychometric test highlighted several areas I can work on. These will allow me to work more effectively both on my own and in a group. It made me aware that my attention to detail from the start in my own work, may not always work so well in a group dynamic, and could scare some members of the group. The interviews gave me a chance to see how it feels to be on both sides of the panel which I believe may calm me down in future interview situations, as at the end of the day we are both human.
Since this experience, I have had several group assessments which I have actively tried to focus on the larger picture first, then include details once everyone is ready to, rather than worrying other group members from the start. I have also used this in my own work, as I found I was putting off starting work because I wanted to include all the detail from the beginning and was, therefore, overwhelming myself.