Zircon Review of Assessment Centres: Reasons Why Candidates (and sometimes good ones) Fail Assessment Centres

April 7th, 2011 by Sarah Green Leave a reply »

Dr Amanda Potter and Julie Lee, two of the key Zircon Occupational Psychologists believe that Assessment Centres can be a valuable but yet daunting experience for candidates. As a candidate researching the role and sector is critical as is the preparation for numerical and verbal reasoning tests. The pre-assessment work is therefore as vital for the candidate as the actual assessment. So…. why do good candidates fail an assessment centre?

    • Generally being unprepared – not reading the pre assessment day briefing materials thoroughly
    • Failing to carry out background research about the sector – Most activities in assessment centres are based on a fictitious organisation similar to the one recruiting
    • Not conducting background research about the types of products or services offered by the company
    • Not doing any research about the company and some of the challenges it may be currently facing
    • Not understanding the role or the types of skills and attributes required for the role
    • They have not considered the types of questions they will be asked and have not prepared thoughts or answers regarding such questions
    • They have not practiced doing a presentation to a group
    • Are unaware of others in group exercises
    • They did not read the instructions of a task properly
    • They did not complete the planning session of the exercise in the time allocated

The flipside of the above is that good candidates will have done each of the items above.

Other factors why candidates may fail assessments are:

    • Not having the skills for the role
    • General nerves or stress on the day
    • Letting one bad performance derail them from the rest of the assessment centre
    Adapted by Sarah Green.
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