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Assessment center for application and job search: procedures, methods, exercises, templates

Many applicants who leave the university with excellent impressions fail in the end in the assessment center. But why is that so? And why is the method still so popular among HR professionals?

Assessment Center: Employers want to put applicants to the test

Quite a few applicants feel like this: top documents, a top impression in the interview and the fact that their own qualifications are a perfect match for the job. Actually, the job is as good as in your pocket, right?

Wrong thought, because the gray theory doesn't always work out to get the coveted position. Because many Company want to know exactly who they are hiring and test applicants extensively in the assessment center. This can be eye-catching if you are not properly prepared.

How useful are assessment centers?

Assessment centers are used to put applicants through their paces in order to determine their suitability for the job. The companies do this by exposing the job aspirants to particularly stressful group situations, setting them tasks - and closely monitoring their behavior with trained people.

It is neither about the technical skills nor the level of knowledge: Above all, companies want to find out who fits into the respective corporate culture and who does not. Applicants should demonstrate their social skills, their communication skills, their ability to work in a team and their leadership behavior.

There is no standardized procedure

The assessment center is not a standardized procedure that would run the same in every company, because every company values ​​different aspects. That's why it's so difficult to prepare for it. Nevertheless, it makes sense to know the most important points and to practice some processes in advance - for example in special training seminars that help optimize your own behavior in the group:

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Because an assessment center usually begins with an introduction to the respective company. If you listen carefully here, you can find out what the company attaches great importance to and what functions the observers in the assessment center have. This is usually followed by the round of introductions, in which each applicant only has a few minutes to convey the most important things about themselves.

Communicate briefly and concisely why you are the right person

It is less about revealing your hopes for your own professional future, but about briefly but concisely conveying why you are absolutely suitable for this job. The listener should become curious and one should present oneself positively. Negative formulations and self-criticism are therefore completely inappropriate. Exaggeration and acting too, however.

An important part of an assessment center is the group discussion on a topic. Because the job candidates are in direct competition with each other. Do you sit in silence or do you listen attentively and make meaningful contributions? Or do you keep taking hold of the word and talk the other discussants to the ground? Who has the better, strong arguments? And who can moderate well?

Presentation tasks and role plays

Presentation tasks or role-playing games that are intended to simulate a particularly stressful situation in everyday working life are just as classic as they are feared: The mailbox exercise, in which applicants have to process documents but are repeatedly disturbed, or conversations between bosses and employees are popular here.

At the end of an assessment center there is a feedback interview, which evaluates the impression the applicant has made. If the job does not work out, you should see the feedback in preparation for further assessment centers if you did not understand something. Because if you react offended to the criticism, you lose the chance to do better next time. For my full post and what to do to properly prepare, please visit:

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One answer to "Assessment centers for application and job search: procedures, methods, exercises, templates"

  1. Job interview: tips, weaknesses, preparation | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES says:

    [...] the question of whether assessment centers even make sense as a selection method, since they are by no means undisputed. Especially since a study shows that before [...]

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