January 30, 2015, by Bety Mehide
Five reasons to attend a mock assessment centre workshop
By Bety Mehide, student blogger
Some employers ask their applicants to attend an assessment centre to evaluate their skills as part of the recruitment and selection process. I participated in a mock one and found it very helpful so I figured I would share my thoughts on why you should attend one too.
It’s like walking into an exam knowing what will be asked. You might not know the exact questions but you can get the general overview of what you will do there. Of course a lot can be found online or you can ask other people but the best understanding still comes from your own experience.
Not only will you be able to generate ideas about how to approach the problems, you get to test and adjust them to match your expectations. What’s more, you can ask other participants to see what they did and maybe work out an ultimate master plan that will guarantee you the position applied for. You can also discuss it with one of the coordinators to get a second opinion in case you missed some details.
The more you practise the better you get. The mock assessment centre gives you the chance to make stupid mistakes there and then without anything being at stake (maybe just your reputation!). I know I will feel a lot more confident going into a real assessment in the future, which is definitely vital in order to not let my nerves get the best of me.
4. Feedback and advice
A day or two after the workshop is over you get a personal meeting with one of the coordinators to go over your performance. This is the most valuable part of the whole workshop. It’s one thing to analyse your own actions but it is a whole other thing to know how you seem to an observer as they are the ones assessing you at the real event. You get an overview of everything that employers usually look for, things you did well and things you could do better as well as ask for advice on how to improve your performance next time.
5. Fun and contacts
Believe it or not but some of the tasks were actually interesting and entertaining. You get to meet new people and have a nice chat with them during the coffee breaks. Even if you don’t go through an assessment centre this year, in addition to being prepared, you can get some contacts to advise you on your application process next year.
I strongly recommend attending the workshops arranged by Careers as it helps you understand what is expected of you. If you do decide to attend, take some notes about your performance and the feedback so you will have something to look over before the real assessment centre. It will help you remember what to focus on.
There are two mock assessment centres taking place this term on 4 February and 19 February – register for a place on My Career. There are also workshops on the different activities that take place at an assessment centres eg group exercises and presentations – keep checking the Events webpage for what is coming up.
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