Six Ways To Stand Out In A Group Assessment Centre

It’s 2018, and the simple interview is no longer going to cut it for most employers, especially when graduate schemes are receiving a higher amount of applications each year.

Amidst all the Myers-Briggs tests, in-tray exercises and virtual interviews, one assessment type remains feared above all others: the group assessment centre.

Although seeing your opponents face-to-face might seem intimidating at first, by following these tips and keeping your head up, you’ll soon find that assessment centres can be one of the best ways to show employers your skills and your personality.

Dress to Impress 

You’ve heard it 100 times before, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” or “dress for success”. For all you tracksuit fans, this one is actually backed by science.

You may assume it’s only important to dress professionally to impress an employer but it can actually improve your abstract thinking skills, a highly valued trait amongst employers.

Turns out wearing properly shined shoes might actually help you put your best foot forward.

Make yourself heard

The most threatening part of the assessment centre is often the group component. The main thing to remember is to speak up in group assessments and make a big impact in any individual aspects as the employer is assessing multiple people at once, so you need to be memorable.

You may feel a desire to blend into the background and not speak up and several academics have noted this exact fear response in workplaces, so don’t worry you aren’t alone.  

Circumventing this fear though can show employers that you’re leadership material and worth considering more closely.  

Don’t compete, collaborate!

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. While it may be tempting to try to outshine or even trip up other candidates, aggression and competition aren’t what employers are looking for.

Employers are focused on how effectively you can work in a team, not your cutthroat tendencies . In effective teamwork,  trust is very important so it’s key you don’t see the other candidates as threats.

It’s important to remember many schemes have multiple openings, so see them instead as your first possible colleagues!

Do your research

There’s nothing more embarrassing than facing the “so what do you know about us?” question with nothing to show. Make sure you’re well-read and enthusiastic about the company, ensuring you know it’s corporate goals, procedures and brand message.

You can always go further, however, as this could be your future career! Therefore, it’s best to practice all kinds of psychometric, verbal and numeric reasoning tests to ensure that when you get there, you’ve seen it all before.

Find some practice tests here.

Take care of yourself

“Sleep. Eat. Relax”. Although it may sound like advice from your mother, the psychological benefits of self care are honestly staggering.

Sleep, food, and even meditation have all been shown to improve focus and cognition.

Not to mention that self care will also make the whole assessment centre seem less daunting. Less obsessing over outcomes and more looking after yourself is always a good idea, so go ahead and watch one more episode (maybe don’t drink though, there have been no studies in support of hangovers!) .

Make it worth your while

It may seem like all you do in job applications is give, give, give. However, there is more to be gained from group assessments than just a job (although that would be nice).

Many employers, for example the civil service, offer full feedback on your assessment centre, which can provide vital information on your strengths and weaknesses.

Many assessment centres, such as PwC, also pay expenses, so travelling down for the experience alone is always worth it.


There you have it. By following these steps, assessment centres should no longer be something that you dread, but an experience you relish and enjoy.

Lucy Burt writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.