What to expect from an Assessment Day

You’re invited to an Assessment Day on your search for a new role; as desperate for the job as you are, you have no idea what to expect or how to prepare for the day.

Assessment days can be quite daunting if you’ve never attended one before. The day takes you way out of your comfort zone into a room with people you’ve never met before. So, it’s important to be as prepared as possible, know what to expect and stand out from the crowd.

In today’s post, we give you the break down on everything you need to know about assessment days to give you the edge for the next time you’re looking for a new role.


What is an assessment day?

Companies typically use assessment days to assess more candidates for roles they receive a high volume of applications for. You should be pleased if you make it onto an Assessment Day! You’ve already done something to make yourself stand out, whether through your CV, application or a screening call, which should give you confidence going into it.

68% of employers in the UK using assessment days. They’re great for assessing multiple candidates over a shorter period of time, allowing more people to showcase their talent throughout the day.


What does the day consist of?

So what are you walking into when you head into a group recruitment day? Whilst each assessment day varies from company to company, most include a combination of some, if not all of the below:

  • Ice-breaker session – This could be to introduce yourself to the rest of the group or consist of a more informal intro with fun facts and the like.
  • Group exercises – From work-related exercises to more generic problem-solving tasks, group exercises come in all manner of shapes and sizes. Some are a little more serious, others verge more on the weird and wonderful.
  • Psychometric analysis – Don’t panic, it’s not like sitting an exam at school! Psychometric or personality tests are shaped to get a better understanding of you as a person. It’s estimated that 18% of companies use psychometric testing in their hiring process, so it isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be asked to complete the process during your assessment day. However, there is an ever-increasing number of companies integrating it into their process, something our team here at MySort know a thing or two about.
  • Presentations – Either individually or as part of a group, you may be asked to present during the day. As frightening as it sounds, don’t panic. Take solace in the fact that you’re more likely to be assessed on how you come across during the presentation rather than the content itself.
  • Interviews – Just when you thought you could avoid a one-on-one interview! Sometimes interviews are left for later in the day when the group has been cut down to the candidates with the most potential for the role. That being said, they can form as part of the assessment itself. Depending on the size of the group, your interview could be with the recruitment team, HR or a direct line manager.


How do you prepare for an assessment day?

I would love to tell you that there’s a winning formula if you want to prepare successfully for an assessment day, but there isn’t. Every business recruits differently – some may be more relaxed and high energy whilst others may be more formal.

Typically though, assessment days between a half a day to a full working day. Whilst each company’s assessment days have their own unique structure, there are things you can prepare for.

First of all, get to know the company. This should be a given for any kind of interview, but even more so during an assessment day. Knowing what the business does, what kind of people it employs and what the business’s ethos is will inevitably help you to prepare for and know what to expect from the day.

You’ll be expected to participate in group tasks during the day, so make sure you’re comfortable working with others.

Don’t be overbearing. The best piece of advice I can offer for assessment days is to support and encourage other candidates. Don’t try and hog the limelight. You’re being assessed against the criteria for the role, not the other candidates. Don’t feel like you’re in competition with everyone else.

‘You have only one chance at making a great first impression’. This means turning up on time, presenting yourself well and bringing an air of positivity from start to finish. These little things go a long way in separating yourself from the crowd.

Most importantly, just be yourself.

If the role isn’t right, it’s important you know. If it’s meant to be and you have prepared well, the rest should fall into place.

Assessment days are an invaluable experience. As well as being a job opportunity, each Assessment day is a great learning opportunity.

And finally, Good luck!