Assessment centres are designed to measure key knowledge, skills and behaviours for the role. These could include your ability to work as part of a team, or your ability to analyse data under pressure.
At the assessment centre, there will be between 6 and 12 candidates, and a number of trained assessors from the business. These assessors will interview and observe you in the various activities, and collate evidence which they'll use to evaluate you. There will also be a facilitator or two, who are there to help you - ensuring everyone is in the right place at the right times and answer any questions you have.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of the day:
- Preparation is everything. Research us and our High Performance Behaviours to show your interest in us.
- Consider the types of questions we might ask you and the answers you could give, to demonstrate that you have the qualities we're looking for.
- Ask questions. If you're unclear about anything that's being asked of you, ask for clarification. Remember, this is your chance to see if we're right for you, so if there's anything else you want to know, just ask.
- Take your time. No matter how well you've prepared, we'll probably still ask you a question that you didn't think of. So don't be afraid to take a moment or two to shape your answers.
- Appearances are important - act and dress professionally.
- Finally, relax and try to enjoy yourself.
During your day spent at the assessment centre, you'll take part in some of these activities:
- A behavioural interview
- A technical interview
- A role play
- A group exercise
- A presentation
- Ability testing (e.g. verbal, numerical and diagrammatical)
Don't worry - the specific exercises you'll be expected to do will be detailed on your invitation. You'll also be given a timetable and an explanation on the day.
Different exercises look at different behaviours, and you'll be assessed by different assessors, so throughout the day we'll gain a well-rounded view of your performance.
Assessors will be looking for evidence to assess you against our High Performance Behaviours Framework. This reflects the behaviours we value in our people, and those which will drive our business forward. Make sure you're familiar with it.
1. Behavioural Interviews
You'll be asked questions based on Jaguar Land Rover's High Performance Behaviours Framework. We'll ask you to describe times when you've displayed these behaviours. For example, "Can you tell me about a time when you had to work hard to complete a difficult task to a high standard?"
It's not enough to just say what you can offer; assessors need convincing. Do this by giving specific evidence. Although it is important, assessors are less interested in what you've done - but more in how you've done it. They need to understand how you may approach similar situations in the future.
The CAR Approach
A good way of dealing with competency based questions is by using our CAR approach - Context, Action, Result:
- The CONTEXT forms an introduction, describing the scenario you faced, when and where
- The ACTION should be the longest part of your answer, and describes what you did and how you did it
- The RESULT is the conclusion/outcome of the situation
"Describe how your personal planning and organisation resulted in the successful achievement of a task."
Describe the situation and the specific task you were faced with: when, where, with whom?
Whilst employed at Acme Company last year, I was given the task of reviewing the stock control system.
How? What action did YOU take? Sometimes people focus on what the group did without mentioning their individual contribution.
I looked at factors such as when the stock was last ordered, what it was used for and how often it was used. I worked out a method of streamlining the paperwork involved in this process and redesigned the relevant forms, which I then submitted to my manager.
What results did you achieve/conclusions did you reach/what did you learn from the experience?
My ideas were accepted and implemented and a 20% reduction in stock levels was achieved.
When answering these types of questions try to give quantifiable results if possible:
- "During my time as chairman, membership rose by 20"
- "We raised £200 for charity"
- "The level of reworks improved from 20% to 10%"
Try to use positive examples. However, if the result was negative, then say what you learned from the experience and what you would do differently next time.
The examples you give can be from work, study or personal life -
but try to give a recent, relevant answer from a variety of
Don't go into too much background detail - keep to the point!
Relevant examples are more important than 'impressive' ones. For example, if you are asked to describe a time when you had to give a presentation in front of others, a presentation which involved research and planning will carry more weight than "I presented a bouquet to the Queen."
2. Technical Interviews
You'll be asked a series of questions focused on your current technical knowledge and skills, and those which you'll be expected to demonstrate in the role you've applied for. Make sure you review the requirements outlined in the Role Description as part of your preparation.
3. Role Play
The role play exercise is designed to assess how you read, digest and disseminate information, not if you're worthy of an Oscar. You'll be given a brief to read on the day. From this, you'll need to prepare your approach for a 'meeting' to be held with a role player. The role player's responsibility is to question you, your approach and rationale. Through this, you'll be observed by the assessor - noting how you've made your decisions and how well you've considered your objectives.
4. Group Exercises
It's important to assess how you work with others to analyse and assimilate information and reach an effective conclusion. In this exercise, you'll be given a set of information, which other members of the group may or may not have received. Interacting with the group, you'll use this information to reach a desired outcome. The exercise will often reflect realistic scenarios that you may encounter in your job.
You may be asked to give a presentation as part of your assessment. We might provide a topic in advance (usually five working days before) or you may be given one on the day, with time to prepare.
It's important that you use the time you have to gather some
relevant and reliable information to present to your assessors.
Naturally, if you've been asked to prepare something on the day,
you'll need to rely more heavily on your existing knowledge and
experiences for the content.
No matter how much time you have, it's vital to consider each of the following:What is the message behind this presentation - does it match the brief?
- Have I included evidence to back up the message?
- Do I have any personal experience of the topic?
- Is the presentation engaging and appropriate given the time, context and audience?
- Have I structured the presentation logically?
6. Ability Tests
Ability tests are structured, systematic ways of evaluating how people perform on tasks or react to different situations. We look at the following areas:
- Verbal Reasoning - your ability to understand, interpret and evaluate written information
- Numerical Reasoning - your ability to understand, interpret and evaluate data
- Diagrammatical Reasoning - your ability to analyse diagrams, sequences and transformations
We use standardised methods of administration and scoring. Your results will be quantified and compared with how others have done on the same tests. These tests are increasingly being administered online as part of the application process, and then retested at assessment centre stage.
We usually administer ability tests under timed, examination conditions. They commonly take the form of multiple choice questions. It's advisable to work through the tests as quickly and accurately as possible. If you're not sure, select your best answer.
Evidence suggests that some practice of similar tests may improve your performance on actual tests. There are a number of practice tests available online. Naturally, they won't be the same as our test, but they'll give you a guide to the style of questions, and help you get used to this type of testing:
You'll be asked questions based on Jaguar Land Rover'scontact us in advance as we may be able to make reasonable adjustments.
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