Background information on the subject of "Assessment Centre"

The assessment center, abbreviated AC, is a very good method of personnel selection, which can be used not only for filling positions, but also for personnel development or a review of employee behavior. For companies, the assessment center offers helpful decision-making options in the selection of people. Applicants always perceive an assessment center as a special challenge.

In terms of duration, scope and procedure, assessment centers can be designed very differently; individual ACs are also possible if the aim is to determine management competencies or a non-public personnel selection. Since this form of personnel selection asks for a broad spectrum of behavior and competencies, intensive preparation is advisable for applicants. In addition to group dynamics and communication tasks, specialist knowledge and general knowledge can also be tested. Concentration and memory skills are also tested, as are decision-making processes and problem-solving skills.

A good AC includes feedback to the respective candidates. Weaknesses and strengths can be individually identified, which are relevant for the further professional life. For internal personnel selection, training and further education topics can be identified that promote employee development.

The Management-Institut Dr. A. Kitzmann offers open assessment center seminars as well as corresponding in-house trainings; in addition, the institute designs and organizes complete ACs for its clients.

Author: Management-Institut Dr. A. Kitzmann

Seminars for HR


Conducting interviews and selection of applicants


The Assessment centre in practice

Selecting and developing employees

Analysing potential

Discover your true talents

Assessment center in practice

"There is nothing that does not exist" is a fitting phrase to keep in mind as preparation before an assessment center (AC). Because despite all the intensive research regarding the company, the industry, the products, the customers and the position on the market, something always comes up that you didn't expect.

There is a wealth of literature on assessment centers. It is advisable to get an overview and practice the essential tasks in a dry run:

Answers to difficult questions,
Structure and composition of a subject,
Creating a presentation,
Using digital tools and aids.

One way to practice is to write questions that can be asked. These do not have to be just about subject knowledge, but can be questions such as:

What do you think makes for good teamwork?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
What are your professional goals?
How can professional action be promoted?

Tip: Another person can ask the questions to be answered. For a fairly realistic situation, the person(s) should sit across from you at a table and take notes while answering. What sticks with him/her? Another aid to your own assessment is to stop time. Here, your counterpart can use a clock to write time notes for each question.

Practicing, however, does not mean memorizing what is said. At the assessment center, the authentic charisma of the invited applicant is very important.

TIP: Every person has weaknesses and strengths. Honesty scores plus points. However, make sure that you formulate your strengths and emphasize them in this way.

If you have a good self-perception, you can, for example, summarize your career in the most important stages, which creates a red thread. But he or she also knows how to explain the gaps or breaks that are in each career. This can also be practiced with someone. It is often helpful to have someone fill out a questionnaire about you. Strengths and weaknesses are highlighted once again and perhaps new things open up that are not present for oneself.

observers and
human resources

can be present in the AC. These persons are trained to listen carefully and to read body language, as well as to observe the behavior shown. In most cases, the requirements for applicants are known in the job profile and in the structures of work in teams. For this very reason, the inviters put a lot of emphasis on everything that is said, done and avoided. Since ACs can last longer than just one day, this means that participants need to have a certain amount of stamina.

Tip: Always use your breaks to relax. If you meet other applicants, talk about other things to get rid of your tension and not compare notes.

What am I doing?
What am I saying?
How am I moving?

If you still post your experiences on social networks during the AC, you are breaking the rules. Because at the beginning, it is mostly agreed that everything that happens stays in the room. In addition, the professionals may have already found out when they were invited to the AC whether the
applicants are to be found in networks and what role they play there. That the private is separated from the professional should be a clear statement.

There is no need to be afraid of an assessment center. In summary, curiosity about the challenges is an advantage and also an authentic approach. In the seminar "Assessment-Center in practice" the participants get an assessment of the other participants and the trainer. This is because by simulating the situation, what has been learned is practiced and methods can be applied directly.