We know that upcoming Assessment Centres can be daunting for some, especially those of you who are a little more reserved! We want to assure you that there is nothing here to catch you out and we have provided you with some extra hints and tips to ensure you get the best out of your Assessment Centre experience. (See part 2 for the extroverts guide).
The group exercises are a crucial part of the assessment centre and help us to assess how well you perform in a team environment. Here, we use the tasks to look at your planning, communication, leadership, team-working, problem-solving and time-management skills.
Try to use lots of confident body language and eye contact – this will make others perceive you as confident – even if you’re not! Stand tall with your head high and a balanced posture – that means no slouching or folding your arms! Crossed arms can work as an invisible barrier that makes people perceive you as being closed off – or not part of the group, which is definitely not the impression you want to give off!
Another useful tip is to make lots of eye contact with the other group members. When being spoken to, look people directly in the eye in order to let them know you are listening. If you find eye contact particularly awkward, you can try this small tip… Draw an imaginary inverted triangle on the person’s face around their eyes and mouth. During the conversation, switch your gaze from on point to another every 5 -10 seconds. This can really help to make eye contact feel natural and will also make the other party feel like you are really engaging with them. Another useful tip is to use people’s names when speaking with them – this is another way to be direct and immediately attract the person’s attention. This is particularly useful when speaking in largw groups.
One of the most important things to remember is not to overthink the situation! It’s really not as scary as it may seem! If you find yourself worrying about the assessors or your performance in the task, just breathe for a minute and relax. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about here. It’s simply you and a bunch of other candidates trying to come to conclusion.
Just try to forget the assessors are there and try to deal with the task how you would in a normal working environment. If you’re a little nervous about what to say first, why not try questioning someone else’s comment to get the ball rolling? Try your hardest to engage with the other members of the group!
If you find that other candidates are dominating over the task and you disagree with their opinion, don’t let them easily sway your decision! Your input is as important as theirs. If you truly believe it is the right decision, let them finish and quickly get your point across. Speak clearly and assertively, explaining your reasoning concisely. If the other members still disagree, why not try to reach a compromise or a group consensus?
Don’t think inside your head! Be vocal, we really want to know what your thoughts are, too! Try to maximise the volume of your voice, this can really help to get your points across.
It’s very easy to feel awkward in these situations and group tasks can even be daunting for some! Remember – the most confident people-persons are probably feeling nervous too! They’re just very good at hiding it! And that’s where you go back to Tip no1 – body language and eye contact are key.
The most important tip of them all is to have fun! Our Discovery Days are here to provide you with essential assessment centre experiences. No matter how well (or not) you perform on the day, we always provide feedback to help you improve. So, no matter what happens, you can use our feedback to help you improve for the next assessment centre! Enjoy the group tasks, enjoy the experience and enjoy networking with the other candidates… the experience is invaluable!
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