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Bright advice for acing your assessment centre

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The assessment centre is usually one of the last steps in an application process, but also the most difficult to crack. You've certainly told us it's the part you find most challenging - but also the most enjoyable. If the thought of an assessment centre fills you with worries, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the latest assessment centre advice including how to tackle them, what employers are looking for and how to demonstrate your commercial awareness.

First, lets hear from our Marketing and Client Delivery Director, Ben Triggs, who's going to give you some expert tips on acing your assessment centre.

What is an assessment centre?

An assessment centre is often used as part of the recruitment process for a graduate scheme or programme. The purpose is for employers to examine candidates in terms of suitability for the role and to allow candidates to demonstrate their core skills. Unlike an interview that is usually between two or a panel of recruiters, an assessment centre uses a range of activities to compare a group of candidates - this can be in the form of presentations, simulated scenarios or ice-breaker activities. 

What to expect at an assessment centre

  • Interviews - Not every Assessment Centre has them but you should be prepared for both biographical and technical ones. 
  • Tests - you could be presented with various tests at an assessment centre, from case studies, psychometric or E-tray exercises. Take Bright Network’s free psychometric test for a practice run.
  • Presentations - This can depend on what you’ve applied for, but employers look for your communication and analytical skills.
  • Social / networking events - This could be a lunch, dinner or coffee break, but prepare intelligent questions and get to know people. Discover how to network at events and careers fairs

Learn more about what to expect.

Before the assessment centre

Assessment centres can be daunting, but with the right preparation and understanding of what employers are looking for, you’re setting yourself up for success. Some assessment centres may include an interview at some point in the day, so it’s always best to read advice on the potential questions you may be faced with.

For more interview tips, read our bright advice on how to tackle phone, face-to-face and video interviews

During the assessment centre

As you’ll be assessed against other candidates on the day, you’ve got to make sure you appear in control, confident and calm with whatever comes your way. Try to move the ‘what ifs’ to the back of your mind and focus on the task at hand and what the recruiters are looking for. The idea is not to be unkind or rude to your competition, but the opposite - smile and get to know others, as you never know, they might teach you something.

Networking tips

To be able to thrive in team working activities or to know what to do if you’re faced with a networking event, it’s important your networking skills are up to scratch. Here’s our top tips:

Discover more assessment centre advice with Bright Network Academy

The Bright Network Academy module on ‘how to succeed at Assessment centres’ will prepare you for the big day, specifically the group activity and the presentation/written tasks you're likely to encounter.