I’d like to start by congratulating the people who will be attending an assessment centre for getting through. It’s a long process and a good achievement to get this far, so congratulations. To the people who haven’t been successful don’t be too downhearted, it’s a good experience to go through an application process, and it’ll make you stronger for the next time.
I wanted to talk a little about the assessment centre because I’m sure that a lot of you will be worried about that at the moment, and I wanted to give you a bit of advice around some ways in which you could prepare. I won’t go into what type of exercises you’ll have to do on the day, because they’ll probably have changed it from when I did it, and I don’t want to mislead you.
Point 1- Prepare your body. This is identical to my interview advice, but it’s still important. Try to get your sleeping pattern right a few days before the assessment centre, as it’ll help you keep sharp. You don’t want any unnecessary stress on the day, so I’d advise planning out your morning a couple of days before, making sure that you know what time you’re getting up, that you’ve definitely got food in for breakfast etc.
Point 2- Know the NHS values. Again, much like the interview, you need to be aware of the values. The assessment centre gives you an insight into some of the types of tasks that you will have to perform if you get onto the scheme, and your actions, as an NHS employee, should be driven above all by the desire to help the patient. It will not harm your chances if you can demonstrate that desire during the assessment centre.
Point 3- Try some exercises. I should say that I didn’t personally do this, but I know other people who did try a few things that they thought helped. I’ve done several assessment centres and most test for quite similar things, such as your ability to absorb and respond to a large set of information, to work in a group, or to think critically. Pretty much everyone at the assessment centre will have these skills, all you have to do is show it on the day. If you want to try a few exercises to get more used to doing it under pressure maybe pick a couple of areas that you’d like to strengthen, like your ability to respond to large pieces of information. There’s loads of different things that you could do to strengthen those areas, you could for instance read a newspaper article and then try to pick out the important pieces of information from it in a timed environment. Exercises such as that should help.
I’ll leave it at three points to give you a bit of guidance, but the point that I’d really like to emphasise is point 1. You will all have all the skills to be successful, you just need to show it on the day. That’s easier said than done I know, which is why it’s really important to prepare your body. It’ll help you to do your best if you’re rested. An assessment centre is a bit like a hyper-pressurised day at work so do your best to prepare your body, it’ll really help you to deal with the pressure if you’re well rested.
Best of luck, and have a nice day,