An assessment center is a test-driven HR selection procedure comprising a series of different behavioral and work tests (e.g. case studies, role plays), often accompanied by additional personality, intelligence and performance tests. The different tasks and exercises are carried out in part alone and in part in a group. The behavior and performance of candidates are systematically analyzed and evaluated by several HR experts and psychologists. A session at an assessment center can last from half a day to several days. The aim of an assessment center is to obtain a well-founded assessment of the characteristics and skills of the candidates, e.g. with regard to social behavior, perceptiveness, concentration, the ability to work under pressure, specialist and general knowledge, problem-solving abilities, etc. Assessment centers can naturally vary according to job profile and employer.
Common elements of an assessment center include:
- Group discussion on a pre-determined or freely selectable topic. Roles may be allocated.
- Role-playing in a characterized, job-related situation (e.g. employee appraisal or customer meeting).
- Assessment center interview, similar to a personal interview.
- Case study. A specific, operational problem situation must be analyzed and solved either alone or in a team (incl. presentation of the solution).
- Inbox exercise. Several tasks and assignments from the e-mail inbox must be prioritized under time pressure.
- Self-presentation as part of a short talk (with an overhead projector, flip-charts, PowerPoint, etc.).
- Various performance, intelligence and personality tests.