WHAT CAN AN ASSESSMENT CENTRE DO?
Modern human resources departments increasingly feature Assessment Centres (AC) for personnel selection and development. In work and organization psychology the AC represents a systematic approach to the appraisal of more participants by more observers (assessors). These observers must appraise candidates on previously agreed criteria. The situation to be assessed (e.g. case analysis, presentations, intray exercises, organizational tasks) should be as close to praxis as possible and also play a role in everyday work. The participants demonstrate their capabilities in individual interviews, group discussions and roleplay, but also psychological testing methods are used. Only a well thought out and well prepared Assessment Center can measure every attribute and behaviour pattern which is later used as a basis for a decision.
Through the exact analysis of candidates the following competences – or lack thereof – can be identified.:
> Capability of systematic thinking and acting (abstract and analytic thinking, consequent planning and decisions, powers of deduction, work organization, time management etc.)
> Social competence (powers of judgement, contact behaviour, communication abilities, cooperation, discernment, empathy etc.)
> Activity and motivation (work motivation, initiative, creativity leadership behaviour, assertiveness, purposefulness etc.)
> General manner and means of expression (linguistic expression, flexibility, outer appearance, persuasiveness, self confidence etc.).
An AC brings the clear advantage of objectivity, because in the appraisal of candidates the requirements are previously fixed – every participant has the same relative chance. At the same time one can compare oneself with competitors and reassess personal goals and knowledge, and also preview one’s tasks and responsibilities.
My tip: don’t be distressed by an unusual situation, stay as cool and natural as possible- and see the AC as a chance to grow and learn. Self-knowledge is the best way towards self-improvement!