Assessments and tests
Where companies expect a large volume of applications, the selection procedure can involve different exercises alongside a conventional application form and interview. Some examples of different activities are given below with links for additional information.
It is relatively common for applicants to be asked to give a short presentation as part of an interview. This is normally a good time to demonstrate your understanding of the company and the job. However, it is also important to remember that your presentation will also be a demonstration of your ability to manage your time (where the presentation is timed), your ability to structure your ideas and your thoughts, your ability to present information in writing or speech, and your ability to engage an audience.
More information about putting together a presentation for your interview is available on the prospects website.
Group exercises are where you are asked to work with a group of other applicants on a task, such as planning a piece of work. Often the interviewers will observe the group exercises and they will be looking at how you perform in a team situation.
Further information about group exercises is available on the prospects website.
In-tray exercises are a kind of work-place simulation exercise. Typically you are presented with a range of emails or documents in your 'in tray' and asked to prioritise them or respond to them as appropriate.
Further information about in tray exercises is available on the prospects website.
Case Study exercises
Case study exercises are a little like an extended 'scenario' question (for more information on these check our interviews advice sheet). In a case study exercise you are given a detailed set of information outlining a particular scenario, and then you are asked how you would respond.
Further information about case study exercises is available on the prospects website.
Psychometric tests are standardised tests that are designed to measure your personality attributes. Normally you will answer a series of questions from which a personality profile is generated to be considered by the selection panel.
More information about psychometric tests including links to some practice tests is available on the prospects website.
Numeracy, Literacy and Critical Reasoning tests
Some selection processes will involve numeracy, literacy or critical reasoning tests.
SHL is a company who provide numeracy, literacy and critical reasoning tests and who is widely used by recruiters. On their website you can find details of different kinds of tests as well as examples of practice questions that you can try for free.
Employers sometimes run a combination of some or all of the activities listed above as part of an assessment day or couple of days.
More information about assessment centres is available on the prospects website.
Students and graduates (within two years) can contact an adviser for further help with preparing for assessments and tests.
There are also a range of useful resources on our Resource Librarypages.