Assessment Centre Groupwork: Evidencing Competencies

The following is a guest post by Lucy Hawkins. It also appears on her blog here.

Last week I was lucky enough to sit in a mock assessment centre. (Kindly delivered by the recruitment team at Rolls Royce).

During the group exercises, it was great to see some hard and fast examples of competencies in action, noted by the observers.  I’ve found these examples useful to cite for those anxious about group exercises.  This kind of behaviour is hard to fake or force; the information below is unlikely to change how an applicant naturally performs.  Hopefully though, it’s useful in building confidence and understanding what is often one of the most daunting bits of an assessment.

Competency: Decision making

Exemplar actions seen to be used:

  • Showing energy and drive towards decision making
  • Positive and appropriate attitude to decision making
  • Decision making without tension or nerves visible
  • Making decisions with sensitivity to others

Competency: Judgement

Exemplar actions seen to be used:

  • Considering implications of a decision
  • Able to act even without having the full picture
  • Use of instinct and intuition
  • Considering the customer/client
  • Showing dedication to a positive outcome

Competency: Receives and encourages new ideas

Exemplar actions seen to be used:

  • Facilitating brainstorming
  • Showing patience in hearing others
  • Showing an alertness to possibilities
  • Bringing in creative ideas from others
  • Recognising the need to influence others
  • Using diplomacy and tact
  • Being flexible, optimistic and open to new suggestions

Competency: Effective communication

Exemplar actions seen to be used:

  • Engaged in a two-way dialogue – not solely initiating or responding
  • Changing and adapting style of communication to different audiences
  • Commanding attention when informing
  • Seeking information from others


About Author – Lucy Hawkins

Lucy HawkinsI’m a Careers Adviser at the University of Oxford. You can read more of  my posts on my blog at careerslucy.wordpress.com. The blog is about  my personal musings and not the official opinion of Oxford University  Careers Service in any way.


Follow Lucy on Twitter – @careerslucy


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