Assessment center method

The assessment center method is often used in selection procedures to test the suitability of the candidates. An assessment consists of several tests and practical simulations that are intended to show whether a person is the right fit for a particular position or still performs optimally.

The assessment often consists of different components including intelligence tests, psychological tests and presentations. Role-playing often is part of an assessment too.

History of the assessment center method

The assessment center method was developed when people started realising that just asking questions and interviews were not enough to prove a person's suitability. After all, almost everyone will claim to be stress resistant, but only practice can show whether that really is the case.

The method originated in military circles. After the First World War, the German army decided to start selecting its officers based on relevant assignments. During the Second World War, the Americans decided to start using this method too and after 1945 assessments were also used by companies. When American companies started establishing in the Netherlands, the assessment center method was introduced over there.

Assessment Techniques

Using the assessment center method, candidates are tested for the qualities required for a certain position. If it is an executive function, candidates will have to show their leadership qualities in the assessment. If it is an organisational function, the assessment will focus more on organisational qualities.

To test these qualities, various techniques and assignments are used in the assessments. Examples of assignments that are used frequently are the mailbox exercise, the interview simulation, the group discussion and fact finding.

The Assessment Report

After the assessment a report is drafted with the results and conclusions from the assessment. The candidate has the chance to inspect this report before it is sent to their (potential) employer. The candidate will always have the option of not agreeing to showing the employer the assessment report.

If you are going to participate in an assessment in the near future, you will want to present yourself well and get a positive result. Here is a top ten of assessment tips that can help you prepare for the assessment.