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starch_johannes_2016_kHere writes for you: Johannes Stark is an assessment center expert, career coach and book author. Since 2001, he has prepared over 6.000 candidates for assessment centers and personnel selection processes. At the same time, he acts as an AC developer, moderator and observer for companies and is therefore very familiar with the employer and assessor perspective. His book “Assessment Center Successfully” is one of the most widely read career guides. All texts by Johannes Stark.

Successfully passing the assessment center: the 5 most common test tasks

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Post basket, group discussion, role play, case study and Co. cause many applicants headaches. If you know and practice the right strategies, you have clear advantages in the Assessment Center. In this selection process, only a master rarely falls from the sky.

assessment-center_group discussion_k

Demand-driven task path in the assessment center

Anyone who has made it to the Assessment Center is one of the closest circle of serious applicants. The typical Assessment Center lasts one day and consists of various individual and group assignments, which must be solved by the applicants under time pressure.

Candidates who have never done this experience are hard at the first attempt, and usually stay under their own means. Assessment center participants should therefore discuss the methods for solving the typical assessment center modules at an early stage and practice practically as many tasks as possible. Here are the essential facts and the most important tips on the typical tasks:

1. mailbag

The most important facts:

You will receive extensive documents that represent the incoming inbox of your area of ​​responsibility. Communications from supervisors, employees, other departments and business partners alternate. Their task is to coordinate appointments on the basis of this inbox, to organize procedures and to make the right decisions.

The most important tips:

Work quickly into the initial situation. What is your function in Aboutwho are your superiors, colleagues and employees and what is the starting date today? Lay out the meta information contained in it, such as an overview of appointments or an organization chart, so that you can keep an eye on it during the entire process. Get a rough overview of all documents before you start processing them. Because at the end of the pile there could be a message of great significance, such as an employee's sick note, which has an influence on other processes.

2. group discussion

The most important facts:

In the classic group discussion, you have to work on an order together with three to seven other participants. For example, it can be a group Concept to develop or to agree on a suggestion for improvement to be presented to the board of directors. In order to increase the level of difficulty, candidates are given competing positions in some assessment centers that they are supposed to hold.

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The most important tips:

Instead of entering the discussion topic immediately, it is more effective to first coordinate the approach and ensure that everyone has the same understanding of the work assignment. Be present in a group discussion and participate continuously. Engage yourself for your own position, but show yourself also compromise-ready, because otherwise a common goal can hardly be achieved. Alpha animals, who want to go through their own thing at the expense of others, are not in demand.

3. Case Study / Case Study

The most important facts:

Similar to the mailbox, you will receive extensive documentation, have to penetrate it and work out a solution. The difference, however, is that it is not about day-to-day operations with many individual decisions and deadlines, but the development of a strategy or a holistic solution. So it could be that the fictitious company has been in difficulties, and you should propose to the Board a concept to increase sales. Usually, the case study is reviewed in a presentation in which the observers slip into a specific role, such as the board.

The most important tips:

A high level of perfection is a hindrance in the accomplishment of this task. Solve the need to present a perfectly refined result. The only correct pattern solution is often not. What counts is plausibility and a comprehensible approach. Please allow enough time to prepare the presentation. This is usually the only way to make the result visible.

4. role playing game

The most important facts:

A role play is the simulation of a one-to-one conversation. Talks with employees and customers are particularly popular. In the performance appraisal you act in the role of Executive. Usually it is about a critical issue with potential for conflict. In a customer meeting you are a company representative and have to deal with a tricky sales or complaint situation. The role of your counterpart is taken on by an observer or role player.

The most important tips:

In the preparation time, define your personal conversation goals in terms of minimum and maximum goals. Start a conversation with the claim, the point of view, needs and objectives Really want to understand your counterpart. This requires asking appropriate questions and listening carefully. This is usually the key to success. Pay attention to a balanced proportion of the speech. For most conversations, fifty-fifty is a good guide. Try to close the conversation with a specific agreement or at least with an interim result.

5. presentation

The most important facts:

The assessment center can meet this task several times, for example in the form of a self-, professional- and results presentation. The latter is about presenting the results of a previously worked task, such as a case study or group discussion. In most assessment centers, only traditional presentation media such as flipcharts and moderation walls are provided instead of PowerPoint and Beamer. The situation is different in the case of presentation orders, which are already given in advance with the invitation to the assessment center and are to be processed at home.

The most important tips:

Get familiar with the presentation medium Flipchart. Because by a good visualization it is most possible to stand out from the crowd. An appealing and fast flipchart design is an exercise. Develop a concept for your self-presentation in advance. If this task comes abruptly at the Assessment Center, it is only in the shortest time that only a few succeeds in presenting a convincing self-presentation. Practice home presentations on different topics. Compared to the other assessment center tasks, this module allows the most rapid training progress to be achieved within a short time.

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