How to prepare for an assessment centre

The secret to assessment centres is remembering the 5 P’s – “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” This really is essential to get the results you want.

finding a new employee

Start at the beginning

You should have been given a brief from the employer. Read all the information carefully taking in to account the date, location and start time. Additionally the brief will also hold information about how the day will be structured. Within the brief it should mention if you’re required to complete any tasks before the day. This could be a presentation, in tray exercise where your assessed on how you work to deadlines and prioritise the work issued to a group exercise on the day.

Whatever the tasks are the brief will explain them. Check the format that you will need to use and how they would like it, USB, Email or online link. Also ensure you have a copy of the task with you on the day.


Firstly, do your research on the employer and read up on the employer’s history. Take a look back at the application form you filled in to remind yourself of what you wrote. Secondly, check out the employer’s social media accounts, see what achievements their shouting about and if there are any new projects mentioned. Thirdly, take a look on their website at their news pages as well as blogs. This can give you a real insight as to what is getting the company excited. Last but not least, reading the companies values and remembering to include them on the day can show a real passion for their business.


You can ask your careers team within the university to help with the prep. They might have some practice assessment centre activities that you could use and prepare from. Without a doubt book a 1-2-1 with the careers advisor to talk through tactics for the day. Brush up on your interview technique. Individual interviews are usually apart of the day. Check out our information on interview prep.


It might sound like the obvious thing to prepare but make sure you take a look and get a plan in place.

Planning your route – think about how long it will take to get to the location. How you’re going to get there – Car/Public Transport? Where will you park/where’s the nearest bus stop? Its good practise to arrive 10-15 mins early on the day.

Planning your outfit – check out our blog on what to wear for the best information on this.  

Plan what to take with you – 100% take x2 paper copy of your CV. You can directly hand it to the employer so they have it to hand and you also have one to hand to refer to. You could take some notes but try not to read from these. Keep them to a minimum to keep you on topic.  Pen, pencil always practical to have to hand for any notes you may want to make along the day.

If you’re out for the whole day I would also take some snacks, a phone charger and a spare pair of tights if you wear them in case of any snags along the way.  Don’t forget your recruiters’ details so you can advise of any feed backs or delays.


You have been invited for the assessment day as your CV/application impressed the employer within the first stage. You just need to impress with your performance on the day and show them the type of person you are. These steps will give you experience and the knowledge to throw yourself into the day wholeheartedly – fingers crossed will lead you to a job offer.

If you would like any help or support with finding a Graduate role, then please do contact us and check out our LinkedIn for up to date job posts.