This article will provide an overview of the assessment centre process and will explain how you can access further support and guidance.

Assessment centres are selection days used by employers to enable them to assess the skills and competencies you are able to offer. The process is designed to be objective and fair, as all candidates go through exactly the same process.

The Careers and Employability Service is here to help you with all aspects of applying for jobs including advising you on interviews, assessment centres and psychometric tests.

What activities might be included?

Group exercise – designed to assess interpersonal skills such as teamwork and leadership. Types of group exercise include:

  • Case study/scenario – The group is given information to read and is asked to make group decisions or recommend a course of action.
  • Group presentation – This could be an extension of the case study activity, or you may be asked to present on any topic.
  • Group practical task – This could be anything, even something unrelated to the job! For example, you may be asked to work as a team to build a tower or bridge out of paper

In-tray/E-tray exercise – An individual activity designed to assess decision-making skills and the ability to prioritise effectively:

  • You will be given a series of letters or emails and you will be asked to read them and decide how you would respond.

Psychometric tests – These may be part of an assessment centre, although many employers will conduct tests at an earlier stage of the interview process. Some employers will use shortened tests at assessment centres to enable them to validate tests previously taken by candidates. Tests may include aptitude tests, for example verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract reasoning; and personality tests, which provide an insight into your behaviours and the way you operate.

How can I prepare for Assessment Centre?

The Careers and Employability Service have a dedicated team of friendly, experienced advisers on hand to talk to you. You can drop-in to the Careers and Employability Centre at any time during our opening hours or call us on +44 (0) 23 9284 2684. You can also access a wide range of information and advice on our website.


How to Contact us

Visit us at:

Careers and Employability Service

University of Portsmouth

28 Guildhall Walk



Opening hours:

Monday–Thursday: 8.30am–5pm

Friday: 8.30am–4pm


Telephone or Email:

t: +44 (0)23 9284 2684


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