How to pass an assessment center with benefit, and most importantly - with pleasure?

When do you face an assessment, and what do you need to know in each of them?

The assessment center (hereinafter - AU) came to our latitudes, like all western-progressive, about 20 years ago. What is characteristic - with a lag of 40 years. The legend says that the technology was born in the depths of the British Ministry of Defense, was used to evaluate military pilots and flowed into a specially equipped brick booth, which was also called the "assessment center". Well, okay, this is the lyrics! What is more important for us is that the AU, despite its high cost and monstrous bulkiness, is often used by the most advanced companies for the selection and internal evaluation of employees. And that means - they can come for you. So let us be fully armed.

To begin with, let's define - and what is it? An assessment is a large, complex and comprehensive procedure for evaluating an employee (or candidate), consisting of several diverse tasks: case studies, exercises, role-playing games. Interview can be part of the assessment - more precisely, an interview on competencies. Why so hard? First, for greater certainty (validity). Secondly, during the assessment you are assessed immediately by many parameters. That's why a lot of tasks. For the same reason, the AU can last 6-8 hours in a row.

The AU in the mass consciousness is associated with some ominous and unpleasant procedure, where you get exhausted with nerves, where it is not clear how to behave and where you feel like the last idiot. Moreover, as a result of all this balancing act, you can fly out of work. I, as I can, will try to dissuade you, showing the internal logic of the AU - and it is, and it is really iron.

Most importantly: do not take the speakers as a problem. Take it as an adventure, an opportunity to prove yourself, to get a new experience. Relax and have fun! After all, there is no place to go anyway, right?

It is unlikely that you will be subjected to the AU, if you are applying for a cashier position in Dixie, a courier, a tanning bed administrator, etc. (Incidentally, for such cases, there are also technologies related to speakers, but much easier). It is also doubtful that the employer will arrange the AU for workers. But if you:

  • want to be an intern at a global corporation;
  • middle manager and are going to become a top (or get into the reserve);
  • while an advanced specialist, and are going to become a middle manager;
  • in the near future, expect a transition from a branch office to the corporate center of your company;
  • a job seeker who works for a decent company, most likely for a managerial position;
  • the speaker may well touch you. Of course, in each of the cases it will be arranged differently, but the essence of the technology will be the same.

In all cases, you need to know one thing: during the AU as such, no one will assess your professional knowledge. Agree, even advanced HR is not strong in specifics, for example, horizontal directional drilling. But he is strong in assessing your working behavior - and this is the essence of the AU. There is not something that evaluates what you know how, but how you use your skills, and whether this will be useful for the company.

A little entertaining matan. How is everything arranged from the inside?

So, disassemble the screws and gears AU!

The core of technology is the so-called competency system. For each company it is different, because it is written for a specific company. One competence is like one of the bricks, which together form the so-called profile (or model) of competencies for a particular position. A profile cannot be the same for everyone either - otherwise it loses its meaning - although the individual competencies in the profiles are repeated. Profiles for sales manager and sales director will be different, because the requirements for them are also different.

Of course, anything happens in nature. And it so happens that a company is limited to one set of competencies both for the DG and for the ordinary manager. My personal opinion is not good, but oh well, just remember that this can also be.

And it may also be that the company is quite large, and the positions in the company are endlessly diverse. Then, as a rule, the profile is tied to the grade. And then the positions of a grade begin to automatically correspond to a certain profile of competencies.

Competences themselves can be very different, for example: "Customer focus", "Effective communication", "Information search and analysis", "Stress resistance", "Strategic thinking", "Planning and control of activities", etc. In short, each of them describes your ability to solve a specific group of tasks due to the appropriate working behavior. Competences usually reflect your abilities

  • work with information;
  • or chat with people;
  • or set goals and solve problems.
Once again: a separate competence = brick. Competences compiled in a certain way for a specific position or grade = a separate building made of bricks - you can mentally fasten a sign with the name of your position on it. The whole set (system) of competencies = a warehouse of bricks from which you can build any kind of building).

Further. So-called indicators, positive and negative, are bolted to each competence. It is for him that HR is oriented in the actual assessment process. For example, for the “Effective Communication” competence, the indicator “Confusing speech, weak voice, pauses in speech” will be negative. And the indicator “Sure speech, strong voice, absence of unmotivated dips in speech” is, respectively, positive. Etc.

What does all this have to do with it? But with it: starting preparation for the AU, Eyuchar makes a list of the assessed competencies. If, for example, you are a marketing manager and are applying for the position of marketing director, then you will be assessed according to director competencies. If you are a job seeker from the market and are applying for the position of marketing manager, then you will be judged by the managerial profile. They can choose all competencies for evaluation, only those that recognize as the most important.

What could be there? Anything. If you are a sales person, then, for example, “Skills of influence”, “Stress resistance”, “Results orientation”, “Effective communication”. If you are a marketer - add something like "Analytical Abilities" and "Innovation." If you are applying for a top position - in the profile will be competencies that describe the ability to strategic thinking and decision making.

Now the fun part. HR takes your set of competencies and thinks about how to evaluate all this with the help of tasks in the AU. In one task, for example, he will evaluate your "Result Orientation" and "Stress Resistance", in the other - "Analytical Abilities". The fit HR writes them himself, in consultation with the leaders of other functions, and the HR-loser writes off from the Internet.

It is the unpredictability of tasks in conjunction with strict adherence to the rules and it catches horror on the one being assessed. Their list, of course, is stored until the beginning of the AU in the safe, in the far corner of the secret bunker.

We conduct reconnaissance! How to understand exactly what will be expected from you at the assessment

So now we at least know what information to extract. Of course, the list of tasks with the competency assessment scheme will not be given to you from the secret bureau mentioned above. But you can well find out about the system of competencies in your company. If you have a corporate document called “Competency Assessment Procedure”, then look into it - everything is there. If there is no such thing, do not hesitate to ask Eychara in the forehead - and what competencies are generally registered in our company? And for my post? And where to see them?

Not the fact that they will answer. But you have to try it!

Of course, if you are an external candidate, this number will not work. In this case, you can use plan B: see the list of company values ​​on the website. Now everyone is very fond of describing values. It is believed that the assessment of values ​​- the most aerobatics assessment. (True, I still do not know of a single living person who could clearly describe the technology of this assessment). Well, values ​​are usually tied to the company's competence system. It is as if this is their quintessence, although it is intended entirely for the other.

Thus: we look at the list of values ​​and try to understand - to what kind of competencies they are tied. Of course, you can get a finger in the sky, I do not argue! But then again - this is better than doing nothing at all.

So it began. Who are all these people in the office? Why do they look at me like that?

The very day came, and you were among the other subjects. What will happen to you now? You will be assessed through individual exercises and group discussions.

No matter how trite this idea may seem, the main thing in the AU is calm and endurance. Nobody bites you. Above the head you will not jump. Do not be afraid of colleagues - they are now afraid of you themselves. And the AU technology, like an x-ray, will reveal your "development zones", even if you carefully hide them. However, this also applies to your strengths.

Of course, all of the above is true if this technology is respected. In an amicable way, whoever the AU cannot conduct, but only specially trained (for big money) people with certificates, such as SHL, can do it. Or other competent providers. If the speaker is real and large-scale, several cabinets occupy it at once. So the organizers will parallel the execution of different tasks. And if everything is organized at a good level, then before starting the procedure you will honestly tell you what exercises to perform, what time the beginning and end of each of them should be, when lunch, where there are toilets, etc.

Coming to the right speaker, you will immediately notice that there are more appraisers than estimated ones. And that's fine. According to the classical technology, each participant of the NPP should be assigned 2 observers (of course, this does not apply to individual tasks for information analysis). Although in practice it is not less often to do the opposite - one appraiser is assigned to the two evaluated ones (the qualifier of the appraiser should be rather high). What do they do, you ask?

They write down EVERY word of yours, that's what. As a rule, “your” appraisers are sitting so that they can clearly see you - on the contrary or slightly to the side. The more they write, the easier it will be for them to process the results later. The essence of their work consists in the so-called NGOA ("observation, description, classification, evaluation"). That is - when they stare at you and write up mountains of paper - they still do not appreciate. They will evaluate later, measuredly and slowly, after they classify all your statements, checking them with indicators.

For example, we evaluate the competence of Vasi Ivanov "Effective communication". Yeah, Vasya Ivanov tried to bleed something 10 times in a row, but no one from the group heard it (fact). This draws on the manifestation of the indicator "Unable to capture and hold the attention of the group" (classification). We put a fat minus (element of assessment). Then Vasya Ivanov suddenly made a bright, meaningful, fiery speech, but no one in the group reacted to this again (fact). We put one more fat minus on the same indicator (element of assessment). But at the same time - plus on the indicator "Convincingly expresses his thoughts, uses a variety of speech techniques" (element of assessment). Then, by successively classifying all Vasino's behavior in this exercise, we specifically consider the pros and cons (assessment). And we get, for example, according to the competence of "Effective Communication", an estimate of "3". Moving on to the next competence ... etc.

Occupation is methodical, long and painstaking, and ideally requires the replacement of live assessors with biorobots. The fact is that for an appraiser it is extremely important to move away from emotions and value judgments (“Vasya Ivanov is an unbalanced psycho”), and be guided only by facts (“Vasya Ivanov 4 times stamped his foot, 15 times mentioned someone’s mother, 2 times climbed on table"). Otherwise, no assessment will work simply for technical reasons.

Also - in addition to assessors - in each office there may be a special administrator who oversees the regulations. If an exercise is allotted 20 minutes, then exactly 20 minutes later, he will take away all the materials from you and interrupt all your discussions in mid-sentence. In the AU, as nowhere else, the purity of the experiment is important.

The supervisor may also be present during the procedure, monitoring the correctness of the procedures as a whole. He is usually the most important there (project manager).

What can you expect at the AU:

  • "Individual Analytical Exercise" - a task where you will virtually solve a problem. For example, "you are the director of a PR agency, and a disgruntled customer has come to you, and the roof has flowed in and has turned off the water". You get a sealed bag with a bunch of paper. Papers are laid out in a certain order and imitate incoming input: letters, calls, etc. The goal is to work out an adequate program of action in the strictly time allocated.
  • "Analytical presentation" - you get the task to justify the choice of something as opposed to something, using the data available in the conditions (for example, developing or selling a business, renting or buying buildings, promoting product A or promoting product B ...). And then, accordingly, make a short presentation and show to appraisers. One of the most stressful tasks for the assessed and one of the most informative for HR :)
  • "Fact finding" - the essence is clear from the title. Appraisers will read you a description of the problem, and then you can ask them any questions related to this problem. But the appraiser will not tell you everything - he has an instruction! Your goal: 1) get to the bottom of the causes of the situation, 2) propose a plan for correcting it.
Separately, of course, are role-playing games and group discussions, which assess not only the ability to extract and analyze the Old, but also the skills of influence, persuasion, etc. "interpersonal skills":
  • "Role-playing game". You reincarnate, well, let's say, in the sales director. Your counterpart (one of the appraisers) - reincarnates in your subordinate, who came with some kind of problem, or, on the contrary - whom you want to puzzle some kind of problem. Or depicts a client, for example. The meaning is to find a solution within a limited time period of the problem: to convince the interlocutor of something or to obtain certain information. By the way: if you are a leader, your real management style will definitely come out in a role-playing game. You can’t be a dictator and a tyrant in your life, and in a role-playing game you can seem like a turquoise-adzhaylovym master of scram.
  • "A group exercise with distributed non-distributed roles", it is also a "group discussion". The subjects gather in a group, sit down at the table and discuss the next modeled situation. In this case, each person receives a sheet with a description of his role in the discussion (distributed roles), or everyone receives the same instructions (unallocated roles). The most spectacular and long-lasting part of the AU - it lasts, as a rule, about an hour. The funny thing is that after 7-8 minutes after the beginning of the discussion, the participants completely mutate in their "playing characters", and completely forget that they are, in fact, being watched. The meaning is the same - to advance your decision in a group, come to a collective decision, etc. - depending on the conditions of the exercise.

It is very difficult to give some kind of universal advice from the category of "how to behave properly at the AU" - this technology is too flexible. But in any case it will be true that:

  • In analytic exercises, strive for maximum objectivity in searches and actions. Twist the situation from all sides: from the perspective of the client, your boss, your subordinates. Where does this situation lead to, where does it grow from? What actions will be prioritized, which less? What actions will bring profit, what will require investments ...?
  • In the group discussions do not be silent. Otherwise, the assessor will guide you in the evaluation sheet of the letters "n d". This is not bad, but not good either - it’s just that you didn’t show your worth, and there is no data on your competencies. But you will lose immediately against those who showed themselves well. Favorable tactics - after the start of the exercise, speak first and take on the role of moderator of the discussion. This always adds 100,500 points to karma, but only if you were able to hold the moderator position until the end of the exercise. On the other hand, it is not at all necessary to shout the loudest and draw attention to oneself in every possible way - and why, read below. Look at the group and think in advance - with whom you could create a tactical alliance in this exercise, with whom you are ready to butt? Or is it more comfortable for you to defend your position alone?
  • in role-playing games all individually. Просто постарайтесь выглядеть адекватным руководителем, клиентом или подчиненным :) По возможности косите под бизнес-ориентированного прозападного сотрудника.
  • Для полной ясности набор упражнений может быть дополнен интервью по компетенциям. Ассессор будет вам задавать вопросы, связанные с конкретными ситуациями, а потом точно так же классифицировать и оценивать ваши ответы. For example, he will ask you to tell how you saved a hopeless project, or achieved outstanding results in something, or resolved a working conflict - depending on what competencies he will evaluate. Therefore, prepare in advance a set kulstori with a good end. Be very specific in the answers: you are not asked how you "generally" solve conflicts, you are asked how you acted in any one, separately taken situation.
Do not generalize - the assessor will mark this as a "false behavioral example." Avoid passive vocabulary: not "the task was completed," but "I completed the task," not "the budget was formed," but "I formed the budget."

How not to behave, even if you really want

First, it is not necessary, as was said above, to go to extremes - to be silent or, on the contrary, to put pressure on everyone around you with its verbosity. In any case, this will affect the final (integral) assessment not in the best way.

Secondly. Do not show fear, caution, neglect in relation to the assessors. I can understand you humanly, if, for example, you are a stern engineer from Yamal and you know everything about distillation of fuel oil, and glamorous girls-boys who have not seen their lives sit in front of you and are trying to somehow evaluate you. I understand your irony, yes. But girls-boys act according to a specific instruction, and your irony can create an unfavorable background for you. Equally, you should not fawn on them.

Thirdly. This, in principle, is about the same as the second, but I’ll say, because practice makes it say so. Do not ship you, for God's sake, assessors, the details of his personal life. Do not try to attach your purely formal communication "human face". If you tell during the exercises, how many buckets of cloudberries you gathered in the summer at the cottage, how your senior went to school, how you built a cool bathhouse - this will not help, but rather the opposite.

And finally. 90% of assessors are women. (The author of the article is a rare exception). Accordingly, categorically you should not have a crumpled look, abuse the day before, allow discriminatory and sexist remarks ... In general, there is no need for extra provocations!

6. 3 signs that the AU in the company conduct dropouts

Unfortunately, not everyone has funds for training internal assessors or attracting normal consulting companies. Pleasure is not the cheapest. This means that you can participate in a crookedly organized procedure, and even feel all its consequences. So, signs of sabotage activities of incompetent appraisers:

  • AU results are kept strictly confidential. As a result of any normal assessment, you should get feedback. Although unfolded, with a multipage beautiful report, although conditionally symbolic - but it should be. No feedback = no confidence in the procedure from the side of the evaluated.
  • there are too few observers, and many estimated. One person cannot carry out a full-fledged speaker even for 6-7 people in one day. And to keep track of all will not, and he will not have enough time.
  • employees of different ranks are namixed into one group of speakers: subordinates, managers, and managers of managers. It’s not even bad that everyone will be shy. The bad thing is that in this case it is impossible to find exercises that allow you to adequately evaluate all the participants.

In general, if you see one or all of the listed signs at once, at least think about it. After all, the AU are not being held just like that - on the basis of their results, important decisions are made for people. Therefore, maybe you do not need a company where such decisions will be made by losers?

Five minutes of legal tediousness. What can and what your assessment guide cannot do

Suppose it's over. The assessment has passed, and you even received a follow-up of his feedback. And somehow it turned out that the results are not very good - you are in the so-called “red zone”, and now you appear in the internal documents of the HR-department as a candidate for departure. The chief confidentially informs you that alas and ah, the results are bad and therefore we have to part. What to do?

First of all. Whatever internal regulations and standards of the company are not referred to by the chief, you should know that there are no formal grounds for dismissal. Another thing is whether you yourself can continue to work in this company, and if you will not strain your boss’s look every day. You can be forced to quit on your own will or by agreement of the parties, of course. But there is no legally justified, legal and inexorable mechanism that allows you to systematically lead you to dismiss based on the results of the AU.

Secondly. The only reason for dismissal in connection with the results of the "comprehensive verification of the level of business, personal and moral qualities of an employee under the relevant position" of an employee is paragraph 3 part 1 of article. 81 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. But there it is not at all about the assessment, but about the old condo certification procedure. Note - the word "assessment" in the text of the TC is absent. Normal HR try not to dismiss anyone for this article, even if there is, for what - the employee has too many chances to challenge such a dismissal in court. And if you are dismissed in connection with the passage of the AU, inscribing this article in the workbook - just know that your HR is not in itself and write a statement to the court.

If you are a job seeker and are denied employment after the assessment, you can have fun in this way: request a written justification in writing, and then duplicate each letter to the GIT and the prosecutor’s office to endlessly demand clarification of the evaluation criteria. Low competency indicators? Why are these competencies so important for this position? And why are there such indicators? Are the indicators related to the functions of the position being assessed, and if so, how? In a word, you can beat the nerves of an employer. Perhaps even challenge the refusal of employment, and you will be hired. But do you need it? I do not think.

How to monetize the results of the AU - of course, in their favor

The results of the AU can bear the benefits for the candidate. In addition to the obvious things (hiring, promotion), you can also get side benefits. The main one is training at the expense of the company. If any of the competencies "sagged" - this is an excuse to go to the chief and HRD with the idea to tighten this competence. Bad with "Effective Communication" - ask for courses of public speaking. Bad with "Strategic Thinking Skills" - ask for an MBA. It will be difficult to argue with you. You did not come with your vague guesses, but with a report in your hands (signed, perhaps by the same HRD). And your intention to learn is dictated not by concern for personal capitalization, but solely by the intention to be more useful for business. In addition: HR, like anyone else, is interested in a positive response from the AU. Your training will be a confirmation that the AU was not an assessment for the sake of an assessment, but a logical and necessary part of a holistic business process!

You can make it even cooler. You go to the chef and HRD and say that in order to pump sagging competences you would like to take on some development project. It is better to think of which one in advance so that it: a) is exactly fulfilled for you, and b) could subsequently serve as a beautiful weighty line in the summary. (It is unlikely that you will be refused, because, in addition to the above arguments, this development project also does not require extra money). So you will strengthen your corporate reputation and increase the value in the market. And you still need to think about the latter - not until retirement, will you work at your current place?

In general, if you are going for an assessment - smile and enjoy the adventure! Do not doubt that everything will work out for you! Despite the complexity and unpredictability of the procedure, you always have a chance to influence its result, and make this result your next career elevator.

Watch the video: Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres and the Role of Stress Biology in Cellular Aging (April 2020).


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