Tips for Preparing for the Assessment Center


This awaits you in an Assessment Center.

Most applicants have no idea what to expect in an assessment center. Over time, numerous myths and legends have arisen about the dreaded application process of some employers. With appropriate preparation, however, you don’t have to worry about applying to a company that runs an assessment center.


What is Assessment?

This term sounds much more deterrent than it actually is. Assessment is simply a recording of psychological and other characteristics for a specific practical purpose. In the context of the application, it is therefore merely a question of the employer collecting information about the candidate in order to check whether the employer is interested in employing the applicant. A much more pleasant word, which says almost the same thing, would be recruitment test.


Why do companies run an assessment center?

In recent years, many companies have started to test a potential career starter or trainee in such an application process. Since every exercise in this application process costs the company a lot of money, there must be a good reason why the company wants to do exactly this exercise or test.

The employment of a new employee poses a certain risk to the company. In most professions, stressful situations must be mastered confidently in order to provide the company with added value. Most tasks can only be successfully completed with pronounced social skills and teamwork.

Of course, employers are aware that a comprehensive application, including an impressive CV, says almost nothing about the employee’s qualities. Central core competences such as flexibility, resilience and improvisation skills cannot be described or proven in the application documents.

With the help of an assessment center, the company hopes to find out the actual suitability of the prospective employee for the job and to be able to check whether the personality of the prospective employee suits the company. As a rule, people who are urgently looking for a job succeed in disguising themselves so strongly during the one-hour interview that their chances of finding a job are maximised. Usually hardly anyone can maintain this facade over an eight-hour AC.


What is the best way to prepare?

However, in order to have a high chance of being hired as a career starter or trainee, appropriate preparation is necessary. Usually, your knowledge of the relevant specialist area and the company itself will be asked for. Accordingly, your preparation begins with an Internet search about the company you would like to apply to. Read the entire website as well as the job description thoroughly and take notes. Especially important are the history of the company, the products and services offered as well as the names and faces in the management of the company.

In some companies it is possible to get in touch with employees of the company and ask them about their experiences with the Assessment Center. Existing contacts as well as social media are particularly helpful here. Contrary to the fears of many applicants, contacting the human resources department for the purpose of a survey about the course of the assessment center is not rated negatively, but signals to the human resources departments in most cases a high level of interest in the company.


What is the typical procedure?

Usually, the procedure begins with a short introduction round. This gives you five to ten minutes to introduce yourself. In some cases the applicants will be sent home after these 5 minutes if there is no preparation. So prepare yourself well for a short introduction. The big challenge is to present your entire career and yourself positively without giving the impression of being a self-promoter.

After this round of introductions, the main goal is to put you under pressure and stress in an artificial situation. For this purpose, a list could be issued containing some professional and private tasks that have to be completed within a certain time frame. These tasks need to be prioritised and estimated in terms of their expected duration. Of course, the tasks are calculated in such a way that under no circumstances can you accomplish them all. Besides an investigation