The assessment centre and for being extremely co-operative and supporting during the mentoring process

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Dear Phillipa,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking part in the assessment centre and for being extremely co-operative and supporting during the mentoring process which made it possible to develop an effective mentoring relationship. As you are aware the mentoring scheme was a part of our managing people module and it was established in order to provide the first year business students with an insight into the recruitment and selection process, and to allow the third year students to develop their capacity to influence, motivate and evaluate people.

The managing people module required the mentors to design and run an assessment centre that assessed the core competencies required for the job which you applied for.

This report aims to provide you with the following:

  • An insight into the recruitment and selection process
  • Job description

  • Person specification

  • Application form

  • A review of your application form (NHS - finance skills development)
  • A review of your performance at the assessment centre in regards to the competencies in which you were being tested against.
  • A person development plan (PDP) designed to allow you to improve on areas which require some improvement which you can concentrate on to further develop you skills.

I hope that this report will help you to build your strengths and improve areas for which there are needs for further development. This report seeks to provide you with information which you may find useful; when you are applying for a placement or graduate employment.

It has been a pleasure to be your mentor and I hope that you have enjoyed taking part in the mentoring process and it has been a knowledgeable and a valuable experience for you. I wish you good luck in your studies and from the time I have spent getting to know you I am certain that once you graduate University you will be in an excellent position to pursue your ambitions of embarking on your desired career.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information regarding any issue which you require assistance or for any general advice regarding university concerns.

Thank you



This section of the report aims to provide you with information regarding the types of documentation which you are likely to come across during a job search process.

  • A job description
  • A person specification

The above listed documentation require much understanding as it will support you during the process of preparing your application documents for example your cover letter, CV and your application form.

Companies require candidates to be well aware of the job role and what it entails therefore they use the job description and a person specification to highlight the job role and the type of candidate that the company wish to hire. You can also use information from the above mentioned in order to be successful at an assessment centre or an interview.

Information of the job description and the person specification are included in this report as it provided the foundation for the assessment centre. The two elements are discussed in detail below.

2.1 Job description

Job descriptions are an essential part of the recruitment and selection process of a company. It is used to allow the applicants to understand the job role and its accountability. The overall content of the job description includes a list of the general tasks, functions and responsibilities of a position. Think of the job description as a snapshot of the job. The job description for the NHS finance skills development programme was as follows:

NHS Finance Skills Development Programme Job Description

Title of Position

Assistant Financial Analyst


Finance Division

Reports to

Finance Manager

  • verall responsibility

  • Representing the Finance function within the NHS primary care trust in London. You must ensure that accounting processes and systems are designed and specified to meet business requirements. Supporting the business users and working with them to identify process improvements. Daily and weekly reporting to ensure appropriate business controls are maintained

    Key areas of responsibility

    Variance analysis on advertising and promotional campaign budgets

    Control and reporting of selling price changes

    Reporting of sales and gross margin performance, investigation and resolution of anomalies

    Recharging of free of charge products to appropriate promotional budgets

    Raising and reporting on inter-company support for advertising activity

    Maintaining financial process documentation and training of business users

    · Investigation of general accounting queries from sales and marketing staff

    · Identification of financial risk and escalate appropriately


    12 Months





    Start date

    June / July 2010


    24 days

    Table 1: Job Description for NHS finance skills development

    It is important to pay attention to the job description as it allows you to complete your CV, cover letter and application form according to the job responsibilities, giving you a better chance of being a successful candidate.

    2.2 Person specification

    A person specification describes the person needed to do the job, and therefore, forms the basis for the selection of the most suitable person to fill the job position. The person specification is designed using competencies and then analysed to determine which are the most important. The person specification for the NHS finance skills development programme is set out below.

    NHS Finance Skills Development Programme Person Specification

    Physical makeup

    No specific physical requirement

    Acquired qualifications

    28 UCAS points; Minimum 2:1 expected degree from a business studies/ management/ finance

    Special aptitudes

    Good communication skills, can work as part of a team, good at planning and organising


    Demonstrate an interest with figures, can work as part of a team, good at planning and organising

    Innate abilities

    Can assimilate complex information


    Have ambition and are highly motivated

    Table 2: NHS finance skills development programme person specification

    The specification is very important as it lists the competencies in which you will be assessed during the selection process, testing, and interview stages and from the person specification you will be able to understand whether you have the right qualifications and experience for a job.

    2.3 Application form

    This section aims to give you some details of the importance of completing an application form accurately. After reading the Job Description and Person Specification you should consider to what extent you are applicable for the job, after thinking about the skills you have gained and experience you posses.

    Experience gained can be through paid employment and can even be through your special interests which are relevant to the post.

    Application forms should be completed accurately and you must give as many specific details as possible of your skills, experience and education which relates to the job. Your suitability for the position will be assessed by the company based on the information gathered from your application form, CV and cover letter, injunction with the person specification.

    I will give you feedback on your application form based on the following criteria:

    • Presentation
    • Content
  • Competency based questions

    • Syntax and Spelling

    2.4 The assessment centre

    An assessment centre (AC) is an extended recruitment selection procedure run by companies, as it is considered to be one of the most accurate methods of selecting candidates for a job. The AC aims to reflect the reality of the job and the organisation. The activities of the AC are designed to be in conjunction with the job description and the person specification and allow the candidates to demonstrate different aspects of their abilities.

    If you are invited to an AC it means that you are one step closer to getting the job you desire. They are extremely expensive and time consuming to be conducted by employers; therefore it shows that you have great potential. As you are aware, if you are invited to an AC, you will attend with a small group of other potential candidates.

    During an AC you will be required to participate in various activities, in order for the employers to assess you based on their set list of competencies, skills, knowledge and attitudes. Based on your performance you will be assessed and given an overall score depending on the companies' rating system. The rating system used by some organisations is called BARS (Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale). I will explain the use of the BARS system later in the report. Below you will find some important information regarding how to prepare for an AC and what to expect on the day:

    • Prepare well before hand
    • Conduct research about the company and the industry it operates in.
    • Look at websites and other sources to find out information about the company's products and services
    • Think about your answers to interview questions
    • Practice giving presentation
    • Try some example psychometric tests - you can find examples on the web
    • Get a good night sleep
    • Typical assessment centre day
    • Presentation about the company
    • Group activities
    • Individual exercises
    • Written tests
    • Aptitude tests
    • In-tray exercises
    • A one-to-one interview
    • Giving presentation

    2.5 Competencies

    Job competencies can be identified as the skills, attributes, abilities and personal characteristics that a candidate should possess for successful job performance. A competency framework is used by an organisation to allow a candidate to get a clear understanding of the behaviours that will be considered for a job position. It is important to understand how you meet the competencies by giving examples from your experience. If you pay attention and identify the key competencies asked for the organisation you will be able to tailor your CV, cover letter and even your application form accordingly thus making sure the employers notice you.

    The key competencies which you were being assessed for during the assessment centre are set out below. These were designed after paying much attention to the job description and person specification. Then competencies were allocated to each exercise (Refer to Appendix 1)

    2.6 Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)

    In order to assess your performance at the AC, I used a rating system called BARS. This system was used to assess your performance because it focused on behaviours that are important for completing a job task rather than looking at more general personal characteristics. The first step towards designing the BARS system was to draw up the competencies (Refer to Figure 1), then to develop the competency descriptors (Refer to Appendix 2). The next step was to design the BARS framework, which was adapted using Charles Woodruffe's rating system, which is as follows:

    Behaviourally Anchored Rating System

    5 - Outstanding

    Showed multiple evidence of a high level of competence on dimension and no substantial negative evidence.

    4 - Good

    Showed clear evidence of competence on the dimension and little negative evidence.

    3 - Acceptable

    Showed more positive evidence of competence on the dimension then negative evidence.

    2 - Requires development

    Showed sufficient negative evidence to be judged lacking in the competence on the dimension.

    1 - Definite weakness

    Showed multiple evidence of lack of competence on the dimension and no substantial positive evidence.

    Table 3: Behaviourally Anchored Rating System

    You were given a mark for each exercise using the above table then the scores were added up to give an overall mark, which will be illustrated later in the report.


    In this section I will give you feedback and recommendations for the application form you provided for the NHS finance skills development programme. The job description for this job can be seen in Appendix 3.

    3.1 Draft one

    The first draft of your application form can be seen in Appendix 4.

    3.1.1 Presentation

    The overall presentation of your application form was very clear and laid out in a professional manner. It was easy to read as it was word processed and you used a consistent font size and style throughout the application form, which shows that you pay attention to detail.

    Every sentence was started with upper case and then continued using lower case which is excellent, and that is an advantage of word processing a document. You clearly formatted each section using left alignment which allowed your application form to look very proficient.

    After I printed out both the draft 1 and draft 2 of your application form I found it a bit difficult to read as the font size was small. Therefore, one recommendation I could make would be to use a larger font size, you used to font size 10, next time if there is space you could use font size 12, because employers may print the application form if they receive it by email, even if it was readable on the computer it might be quite difficult for them to read it in font size 10, on a hard copy.

    3.1.2 Content

    The content of you application form was clear, precise and convincing therefore the employer will not miss out any important points.

    Question 2 of the application form asked you to provide details of your educational experience. You were very consistent and clear in this section with the grades you gained. As I suggested in our meeting, always try to put the highest grades first then the lower ones, thus the employer will notice the higher grades first.

    Question 3 asked you to provide details of your University achievements. For the name of your degree you could write BA (Hons) Business studies with finance and for the name of the university write down University of Brighton. Also for this section, as you have not yet receive your results, you could write the names of the modules in alphabetical order. These are little suggestions that I made in order for your application form to look more professional. Employers prefer when you pay attention to detail and this shows that you have regards for even the smallest aspects.

    Question 4, asked for your previous employment experience, and as I recommended during our meetings, always give examples of specific duties which you had to carry out for your job, as this could relate to the job you are applying for. Also give the name of the company rather than your manager's name.

    In question 5 you gave good reasons as to why you enjoy finance. The question asked you to give reasons as to why you would like to undertake a placement at the NHS. In these types of questions give specific examples and reasons as to why you would like to work for this organisation. Competency based questions

    Question 6 to Question 8 required you to discuss your competencies using your past experiences. You were very informative and gave specific examples of your experiences which relates to the questions.

    A good method to follow when answering competency based questions is via the STAR approach:

    • Situation
  • How, when, where, with whom

    • Task,
  • Describe the situation or the task you were faced with.

    • Action
  • What action did YOU take

    • Result
  • What results did you achieve/conclusions did you reach/what did you learn from the experience?

    These questions should be approached as if you were writing a small essay. For example the Situation and the Task are usually combined and form the introduction, the action you took, should form the main body of your answer, and the result should be your conclusion - remember to be specific. If you failed to achieve your objective state what you learned and what you would do differently next time

    Question 6 required you to give an example where you worked as part of a team and also to describe your personal contribution, how the group functioned and what was accomplished. You started by stating “During my time at Consort Frozen Foods”, which was very good, but then also state what your position at the company was, for example, “during my time at Consort Frozen Foods, where I worked as a telesales communicator”. The overall content of this question was good. However the question asks you to state what your personal contribution was and what the group accomplished was, therefore give specific examples as you what you did and what the overall achievement was.

    Question 7 asked you to describe a situation where you displayed excellent organisational skills. Your response to this question was very interesting. It was clearly written and easy to understand. The content was excellent and a small recommendation I would like to make is that at the end of your response you could write a sentence or two regarding what the outcome was and if your actions helped.

    Question 8 asked you to describe a problem that you had to face and the solution you implemented. The response to this question was excellent. It was relevant to the question and clearly laid out. Your response was structured well and gave a clear indication that you are intelligent and that you have the ability to take appropriate solutions to problems.

    Your responses to the competency based questions show that you have gained some excellent experience during employment and also at University. It also allows the reader to get a clear idea of what your competencies are and that you are a potential candidate for the job. When writing your application form, keep a clear idea of what your responses were, therefore if you were asked these questions at an interview you can give great answers to the questions that are being asked.

    3.1.3 Syntax and Spelling

    • verall, your grammar and spelling in the application form was very good. It was written in a concise and manner and was easy to understand. It is perfectly acceptable to complete an application form by hand, but it was good of you to word process it, as it allows for grammatical and spelling error to be identified. As there was limited space (Question 5 - Question 8 only 200 words), you were able to convey the message clearly using relevant examples and good language.

    In your application form you used “I” too often. Also try not to start a sentence with “I” as it sounds like you are constantly referring to yourself i.e. it sounds subjective. Sometimes, of course, using “I” or “we” is unavoidable because at times, you ARE an essential part of the story (see figure 2). But there are words and phrases that can be used in order lessen the use of “I”. Also try to avoid saying “your company” (Question 5), as it sounds a bit informal and not specific, rather state the name of the company you wish to work for.

    For example:

    Your answer to question 5: “During my course, I realised that it was the finance modules such as accounting that I enjoyed most and was most successful. This is why I believe that I would very much enjoy a job within a finance section of your company. I also very much enjoy working with figures and calculations”

    Always be positive when writing in the first person. Try to avoid saying ‘I feel I contributed well to the team's final success' (Question 6), rather say, ‘I contributed to the team's final success'. Structure you sentences in way that the employer will not be able to question your skills.

    Also when completing an application form, if there is a section that does not apply to you, you can write N/A.

    3.2 Draft two

    Draft two of your application form can be seen in Appendix 5.

    3.2.1 Presentation

    The overall presentation of draft two was excellent and you should consider the recommendations that I made in the previous section regarding the font size.

    3.2.2 Content

    You made the necessary changes that I recommended for example putting modules according to the grades you achieved. Also for question 5 you made changes that I requested by stating what you will bring for the company by stating “Because of this I think I would bring great enthusiasm to the team”. But you should include some information regarding why you would like to work for the NHS and what your competencies will bring to the company.

    For question 6, I requested that you state your role in the company, and to state a sentence or two regarding your role in the team, what you did and how it helped to achieve the goals. You made the changes I requested by writing “During my time at Consort Frozen Foods, where I worked as a telesales communicator” and for the second request you made the changes accordingly by saying “. “For this reason, I feel I contributed well to the teams' final success”. As I stated in section 3.1.3 Syntax and Spelling, try not to overuse the term “I” and try to structure your sentences in a different format.

    For question 7, I requested that you should write a sentence or two about what the outcome was and if your actions helped. You made the necessary changes by adding the following “The result was that all the information was sent out on time and therefore no-one was phoning up to complain about not receiving their information during the week”. I am glad to see that you made that change, as now your response is more relevant to the question.

    3.2.3 Syntax and spelling

    Grammar and spelling for the draft two of your application form was very good as stated previously. Have a look at the recommendations that I made in section 3.1.3 in order to further improve your application form.

    3.3 Conclusion

    Both drafts of your application form give a very positive and a professional impression of you. You write very clearly and concisely which made your application form very easy to understand. It can be said that you pay attention to detail and you are able to convey messages clearly without jargon and too much information which can confuse the reader.

    During our meetings I gave you some recommendations and pointers which I thought may improve your application form further. And you paid attention to these and made the changes accordingly. I hope that this information has helped you for the future and you gained some valuable knowledge into completing an application from accurately and effectively, to allow you to become a successful candidate for the job you wish for.


    This section of the report aims to provide you feedback on your performance during the assessment centre which took place on the 3rd of March 2010. As mentioned earlier I will be using the BARS system to give you an overall score on your performance. There will also be some recommendations for you to take into consideration, so that you can further build on your skills.

    4.1 Group work (Jigsaw puzzle)

    In this exercise you were asked to complete a jigsaw puzzle in a group 4 within 30 minutes. Even though there were only 3 people in your group, overall the jigsaw was completed 11 minutes early. These are the competencies that were being tested for this exercise. The score for each competency is rated in conjunction with Table 3.


    Oral communication

    Time management

    Creative thinking

    Team working






    Table 4: Competency rating for the group exercise

    4.1.1. Leadership

    You demonstrated positive leadership skills in this exercise. From the beginning of the exercise you were able to identify a clear problem and responded immediately to the task in hand. You looked at a picture of the puzzle then you were able to identify pieces that would complete a certain section of the puzzle, this showed that you were able to show a strategic plan to move the team forward. You were able to think positively and act decisively, by helping others to complete their puzzle. You were confident throughout the exercise and showed much enthusiasm. It was noted that there was no overall leader in your group rather everybody discussed what they were going to do in the task, and concentrated on their job, for example I saw that you were able to do your bit for the group without any supervision from others or any feedback.

    4.1.2 Oral communication

    Throughout the exercise it was apparent that there was clear communication between the group members. You were able to convey your ideas clearly to the group and you let the members know what you were doing, and you only spoke when you needed to thus, there was no jargon. You communicated enthusiastically throughout the exercise seemed friendly and relaxed. Also you asked relevant questions and clearly conveyed any ideas and information so others understood them. But I noted that there was not enough communication within the group as a whole, as the team did not convey ideas to others throughout the exercise. You and the team members approached the exercise as an individual task, which was perfectly acceptable but as a team there was not much communication and interaction. If there was a problem you handled it individually then, after tackling the problem you approached the group for advice.

    4.1.3 Time management

    I noted that you completed the puzzle a section at a time, instead of jumping in to the task you were able to analyse the situation you were able to look at the puzzle and figure a way to solve it. You were able to manage your time by assigning priorities; you looked at the puzzle then decided to choose sections of the puzzle that you were going to complete. You knew the status of your work at all times and you were able to make decisions promptly thus making sure the team were able to complete the puzzle on time.

    4.1.4 Creative thinking

    You approached the task with a unique perspective and demonstrated a creative approach to solving problems. As mentioned previously you completed the puzzle section by section which allowed you to complete the puzzle on time.

    4.1.5 Team working

    You were able to understand the purpose of the task in hand and contributed to the team work positively. I liked how you approached the task individually in order to complete the puzzle. As each member completed a section of the puzzle individually and after each part of completed you arranged each section together to form the final puzzle. Also you were able to respond to the external and internal factors affecting the task such as time noise and other distraction. You were able to share the work with others in a positive manner and did not have a negative impact on the team.

    4.1.6 Overview

    I have given you an overall score of 4 for your performance in the group activity. There was much positive evidence of each competency and there was little negative evidence overall.

    4.2 Presentation (Role Play)

    In this exercise you had to prepare a short presentation depending on the role you were given. This is what you had to do:

    The competencies that were being tested for this exercise and the score you were given can be seen below.

    Creative thinking

    Oral communication

    Time management




    Table 5: Competency rating for the role play

    4.2.1 Creative thinking

    After looking at your preparation notes for this exercise, I noticed that you made some interesting comments regarding your role. For example you said your character has a Doctorate in Science, you were taught at Oxford University and done a course in Mechanics, therefore if the rescue boat breaks down, with your scientific knowledge you will be able to find a way to get the boat going again. Also you said “My cures will not just benefit the people of today but also the people of the future”. This shows that you have great creative ability, and that you look at problems and opportunities from a unique perspective.

    4.2.2 Oral communication

    Whilst you were doing your presentation you were able to convey ideas in a professional manner to others, by speaking clearly and directly. You had some interesting points to say as I mentioned earlier, and you said these using vivid language and good facial expressions. You were able to express your ideas, opinions and information so others understood them and you spoke enthusiastically and confidently.

    4.2.3 Time management

    You were able to prepare the presentation in the given time and your preparation notes show that you spent some time thinking of ideas. You were able to control interruptions and pay attention to the task in hand. The presentation was supposed to last for two minutes but you only spent about 45 seconds presenting. If you feel like there is spare time in a presentation you can always say “any questions?” at the end. This will make sure the time you have left is occupied.

    4.2.4 Overview

    The overall score for this exercise I gave for you is 4. During your presentation you looked very confident and competent in what you were saying. You were clear and concise in your communication therefore made sure that your audience understood what you were saying.

    4.3 Aptitude and In-tray exercises

    For this exercise you were asked to complete some written exercises that aimed to test for your analytical skills. These included numerical, verbal, abstract reasoning and In-tray exercises. The competencies for this exercise as well as your score are given below (Aptitude and In-tray exercises and their answers refer to appendix 6)

    Problem Solving

    Time management



    Table 6: Competency table for Aptitude and In-tray exercise

    4.3.1 Problem solving

    Your problem solving skills were demonstrated in the aptitude tests. You scored 4out of 5 for the verbal reasoning tests, 4 out of 5 for the Abstract reasoning and 5 out of 5 for the numerical test. These results confirms that your have strong problem solving skills. A high score for verbal reasoning shows that you have a high ability to identify concepts within words as well as your ability to identify common patterns amongst a variety of elements. For the numerical reasoning test you achieved a great score of 5 out of 5. This shows that you have a high level of reasoning ability in mathematics.

    For the In-tray exercise you achieved 5 out of 7, which is a fantastic score. A high score in an In-tray exercise shows that you are able to assess and prioritise information and tasks under-pressure in a limited amount of time also that you are able to make quick decisions within a given time frame. A high score also demonstrate your exceptional analytical skills and communication skills.

    4.3.2 Time management

    You finished the aptitude test 12 minutes early, which was before everybody else also the in-tray tests you were first to finish. Given your scores, it can be said that you have great time management skills as well as the ability to plan each task efficiently and effectively.

    4.4.4 Overview

    Your overall score for this exercise is 5. This shows that you show significant evidence of problem solving skills as well as your ability to effectively manage your time.

    4.4 Panel interview

    The panel interview was carried out in order to assess your skill level for the job based on the following competencies.


    Oral communication

    Time management

    Creative thinking





    Table 7: Competency table for panel interview

    4.4.1 Leadership

    You showed positive leadership skills in the interview. You were able to positively influence the interviewer and the observer by the answers you gave.

    4.4.2 Oral communication

    During the interview you were able to somewhat clearly convey ideas to the interviewer. You showed some consideration of the needs of the audience and how they are likely to react. In your responses there were not enough facts and detail, as you seemed quite hesitant. For the first question you were asked to describe your self. You only spoke about where you were from and mention your University studies. You seemed slightly intimidated by the situation and this is perfectly acceptable.

    You showed good body language during the interview with plenty of eye contact however you were somewhat “fidgety” during the interview as you were slightly nervous. You were also slightly introverted and shy, but this was acceptable as you were new to the situation. Some of the responses you were provided were not specific enough for the questions that were asked. For example one of the questions was “How much do you know about the NHS”, you did not provide enough detail as to what the NHS did and its background. You gave information regarding your family members being recruited by the NHS, even though this is a good point, it's not relevant to the question asked.

    The third question that was asked was what competencies you had to offer for the job, you mentioned team work, communication skills, enthusiasm and that you are lively, these are perfectly good examples, but be careful, as the question asks you to give examples of competencies and not personal characteristics.

  • ne of the questions was to describe your main weakness, and your response was leadership as you were more of the follower than a leader. I liked how you said that you wish to improve on this weakness by having enough practice to improve your confidence. It's always good at an interview, to state characteristics about you which you wish to improve upon.

    For the competency based questions you were too broad and did not give specific examples of any situations which might relate to the questions. One of the questions were “Tell me about a time when you worked effectively in a team”, your answer to this question was clear but was not specific. You did not give any details of what your role in the team was. Another question was “If you were an animal what animal would you be and why”, your answer was a cat. Which I thought was very interesting, but you did not give any reason as to why want to be a cat. You seemed quite hesitant and this may show the employer that you may not able to think on the spot.

    However from the start of the interview you seemed friendly, professional and enthusiastic and this gave a very positive impression of you.

    4.4.3 Time management

    The interview was designed to last for 20 minutes but your interview lasted approximately 10 minutes. The responses you provided were quite short and with preparation you will be able to be much more successful at an interview.

    4.4.4 Creative thinking

    The responses you gave had some detail however they were not specific enough for the question. Creativity was tested with the following question “Why is a manhole cover round?” Your answer was because of safety. This was a good answer but you did not seem too confident of your self. Overall you were rather creative in your responses but once again, with enough preparation you will be able to confident and give good answers in an interview.

    4.4.5 Recommendations

    You must always keep a professional and competent posture during interviews, with eye contact and you can make use of clear language, gestures and non verbal communication. “It's not just what you say in an interview, it's also how you say it”.

    When giving responses to questions at an interview you can always refer to the job description and person specification, especially when giving examples of your competencies.

    Make sure that you have done plenty of background research of the company before you attend an interview as this shows that you have used your own initiative, which will impress the employer. Remember to give specific examples of your experience when answering competency based questions, you can always refer to your application form for this.

    At the end of an interview you should have a list of questions for the employer, this shows that you are interested in the position as well as working for the company. These can include questions about the company, your responsibilities and your training.


    After carefully observing your performance I have designed this table to illustrate the overall mark you have achieved for each competency. As you can see you have performed very well in the assessment centre. Please refer to table 3 for further details on the scores. You have strong problem solving skills, creative and team working skills. There are some areas for improvement for example your communication skills especially in the interview, but you can overcome these easily if you prepare well before hand.


    Group work


    Role play

    Aptitude & In tray tests

    Panel interview

    Total mark





  • ral communication

  • 3




    Problem solving



    Time management






    Creative thinking





    Team work



    Table 8: Overall performance at the assessment centre

    As you mentioned in your interview you would like to improve on your leadership skills. As I mentioned in sections 4.1.1 and 4.1.5 you demonstrated good team working skills by being able to complete your part of the task successfully. But to become a good leader you should be confident and be able to positively influence people. These types of skills can easily be improved during your studies at university, for example during your 2nd year and your third year at university you will have to participate in group activities where you will be required to complete pieces coursework together. In these types of situations you can easily improve on leadership skills. But you should always be positive and be competent within yourself. In these types of situations instead of working with friends, you can meet new people and ask to join their group. This will unable you to become more confident and also allow you to meet new people.

    Your oral communication skills were regarded as satisfactory. Even though you are able to communicate clearly, you still seem to lack confidence, especially in an interview situation. The mentors were able to understand that for the assessment centre, their mentee did not come prepared, especially to the interview. But when you are applying for placement opportunities you should always be prepared as you are likely to be participating in an assessment centre. The interview can be one of the easiest ways to impress an employer during an assessment centre. Always prepare some competency based questions which are likely to be asked at an interview. Most of these questions can be found on the internet. If you study the job description and person specification you can identify the competencies therefore understand the types of questions that will be asked.

    From you performance at the assessment centre you demonstrated excellent time management skills. And in order to continue to excel at this competency especially later in your course at University you should always divide your time between studying and recreational activities. As the work load gets intense it's always important make a schedule and be able to prioritise your work load. And this is true of your University studies and at the work place.

    In conclusion I can say that you remained positive throughout the day and you approached each exercise with a professional manner. The ratings show that you are a worthy candidate for the job position, with strong problem solving and numerical skills.


    Below (Table 9) you will find a personal development (PDP), which I designed in order to help you to identify areas for further development. The PDP was designed to help you to identify your goals and allow you to plan steps so you can achieve them.

    The plan I created for you is flexible and realistic, as I have given you a time frame in which you should be able to achieve the goals. These can be long term or short depending on your requirements. But I made sure that the goals I have set for you can be achieved within a short period of time, as soon, you will be applying for placements.


    After reviewing your performance I can confidently say that you are a talented individual who has strong capabilities which should allow you to become an excellent candidate for the career which you wish to undertake.

    Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Pippa, for being so co-operative and for taking a professional approach to the mentoring process as well a positive attitude towards the assessment centre.

    I wish you the best of luck with your studies as well as for the process of applying a placement job.


    What do you want to learn / achieve?


    What will you do to achieve this?


    What resources or support will you need?


    What will your success criteria be?

    Review & Time Scale

    Date and method of review

    Improve your oral communication skills by developing the way you convey your ideas in a clear and concise manner.

    Identify your communication style by obtaining feedback from your peers and lecturers

    Actively participate in group discussions during seminars.

    Become a student Representative

    Join a student society

    · Your peers

    · Lecturers

    · BrightonUniversity Student Central

    BrightonUniversity Student Union

    Conduct a face to face interview with your peers and obtain positive feedback, this should include some interview type questions that will allow you to become more confident. I will attach a copy of the interview questions (Appendix 7) that were asked at the assessment centre in this report to help you.

    During Easter Holidays you should review this,as you are going to undertake a placement you should try interview questions before hand to prepare.

    Improve marks on In-tray exercises

    Practice online In-tray tests.

    Do some research on the nature, format and structure of in-tray exercises.

    You can use this website for example to practice on In-tray exercises

    You can also read this book on assessment centres in order to gain an idea of In-tray exercises.

    How to succeed at an assessment centre by Harry Tolley, Robert Wood

    To successfully answer a number of In-tray exercises online and gain a full understanding of In-tray exercises.

    Before the beginning of your 2nd year at University, as you will be starting to apply for placement jobs during 2010, Christmas holidays.

    Improve written English, especially in Application forms, by being specific and accurate in the responses

    You can get some else to read your essays and coursework also you can read other people's work in order to further improve your grammar.

    Practice writing competency based questions on application form.

    · Your peers

    · Lecturers

    · Academic literature

    · Books

    Positive feedback from peers and lecturers.

    Complete a set of competency based questions

    Before the beginning of your 2nd year at University.

    Table 9: Personal development plan for Phillipa Rigby Smith

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