Assessment Centre Clinic – Part 11
This post is part of the Trainee Solicitor Surgery Assessment Centre Clinic blog post series. Start at the beginning of the series here >>>
In this post we outline how to practice Assessment Centre exercises.
When it comes to Assessment Centre exercises it can be more difficult to practice these than the tests.
Some of the exercises are necessarily group exercises and therefore hard to replicate at home on your own. Whilst other exercises can take the form of either group or individual exercises.
The exercises that can be practised on your own, and which can also benefit you when you have to tackle a group exercise at the Assessment Centre, are as follows.
Case Study Exercises
These commonly require you to analyse lots of information and documents relating to a ‘real life’ scenario and report your recommendations.
Whilst they are not case study practice exercises from law firms specifically, you can take a look at the exercises on the McKinsey website – see here: Example Case Study Exercises.
McKinsey generally seeks to recruit the best of the best so do not be too disheartened if you find these practice exercises challenging. They represent great practice though.
Intray (or E-tray) Exercises
These are common exercises in law firm Assessment Centres. They try to simulate a real life work situation of having to identify and prioritise a series of work matters into important and urgent matters.
There are also variations of these tests called E-tray Exercises which involve sorting through an email inbox. These may also include drafting a reply to one of the emails.
There is a free practice e-tray test available from the Civil Service which you can try here: E-Tray Exercise.
These usually involve being given a sensitive issue and related facts and being asked to express them in a clear, structured and tactful manner. The key is to select the key facts and arguments and present them clearly, rather than actually arriving at the right answer.
An example of a drafting exercise might be: Draft a letter to a client explaining that you are unable to waive the latest bill you have sent them, and why, in response to their request to do so.
Given that these tests and exercises can be predicted and practised, every opportunity to practice should be taken. Do not let the fact that other candidates have practised them, when you have not, be the reason for being unsuccessful.
As well as the free sample tests set out in this blog post series, there are also paid practice tests produced by professional assessors and available from companies such as JobTestPrep (www.jobtestprep.co.uk).
Whilst we understand that some candidates are reluctant to pay for practice tests and exercises, we consider it a small investment in helping you fully prepare for an Assessment Centre and beat the competition to that lucrative training contract.
Either way, be sure to practice the tests and exercises (whether free or paid) over and over again. This will not only improve your performance on the day but it will also help you enter the Assessment Centre with more confidence. This will be noticed by the assessors and can only work in your favour.