What to Expect at an Apprenticeship Assessment Centre

The Institute of Student Employers have reported that 95% of employers used assessment centres as part of their selection process last year!

If you are applying for an apprenticeship or another school leaver scheme, it is highly likely that you’ll be invited to an assessment centre as part of your application and interview.

They are a marvellous opportunity for you to visit the company’s offices, meet the employer, and demonstrate to them all of the skills and competencies you have described in your CV.

If you’re savvy, you can contact the employer or the company’s HR department, and ask them what the day will involve.


What to expect on the day

We've put together an infographic explaining what you should expect on the day of your assessment centre. From group tasks to psychometric tests, an interview to a presentation, this will help you to be super prepared!

apprenticeship assessment centre

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More and more school and college leavers are choosing the apprenticeship path as an alternative to going to university. You can now do apprenticeships in a crazy-range of industries and job roles, and even gain degree-level qualifications! 


Let's break it down

Assessment centres consist of many different elements, designed to test your aptitude, character and fit for a role. You will have to prepare for psychometric test, the interview and the group task slightly differently, so here are some tips to ensure you dazzle.

Ice-breaker Exercise

These are short games that are designed to kick off the assessment centre, let all attendees relax and get to know each other. The ice-breaker is nothing to worry about, employers do not decide who to hire from this exercise. Typical ice-breaker exercises involve a question like, 'If you were a sandwich, what sandwich would you be and why?'

Psychometric Tests

Most assessment centres will involve some form of testing, the most common of which are psychometric tests. They are behavioural and aptitude tests that are designed to analyse your personality traits and skills. You can practice most online for free; you can also read our Guide To Psychometric Testing for a more in-depth overview. 

Group Task

The group exercise will usually involve some form of exercise or debate. Employers are looking out for your communication and problem-solving skills. Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Contribute to the group exercise but do not dominate it. Be assertive and confident when you share your thoughts,  but ensure you are not talking over the group or being aggressive in your responses. 
  • If there is someone in the group that appears shy and is not contributing, help them get involved. Ask them a question, and invite them to contribute. Helping your peers will show your leadership and collaborations skills.
  • Remember to speak slowly and clearly. It sounds obvious, but if you mumble or gibber like a crazy person, you are unlikely to be successful.   

Individual Task

The individual task will vary depending on the type of apprenticeships you're applying for. If it's a written exercise or an online test, you will be given a set amount of time to complete a task so keep an eye on the clock. Also make sure you read all the instructions before you begin. 

Interview

The interview is the most important part of the assessment centre. It's usually a one-on-one with an employer - a chance for you to explain why you are want the apprenticeship, and why you are perfect for the role. The employer is likely to question your CV, so make sure you know it back to front, as well as any documents you have filled out as part of the application. 

Our blog, The Most Common Apprenticeship Interview Questions is great preparation for this part of the assessment centre. 

Individual Presentation

The employer will have asked you to prefer a short presentation prior to the assessment centre. If you are unsure of how long the presentation should be and what to theme it on, contact the employer and ask. 

Presenting can be nerve-wracking - especially when there is a job on the line! The best preparation is to practice, practice and then practice again. You do not need to know your presentation off by heart, copy a few key trends, stats and facts onto a cue card so that you have something to refer to. 


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