When we are asked to design a full assessment day, we often recommend linking the exercises together into an evolving experience known as a ‘Day in the Life’ assessment centre. Sometimes, a ‘month in the life’, with periodic ‘fast forwards’ in time can be more suitable to simulate a role.
In these formats, participants are presented a file of background information as well as a calendar with each ‘exercise’ clearly marked. It is up to them to plan their time to get work done and make it to meetings, exactly as in the role itself. New information arrives periodically which tests the ability to flex to evolving situations. These types of assessment centre are welcomed by clients and candidates alike because they:
The HR staff HM Prison Service were recruiting were frequently surprised by the reality of working in a prison. Therefore, a ‘day in the life’ assessment centre was designed to simulate the prison atmosphere, which began with confiscation of phones and wallets followed by a video briefing from a Prison Governor about the realities and challenges of the prison environment. Assessors patrolled the rooms with keychains clanking. Security alerts were simulated. The centre stopped short of sniffer dogs, but as a result of this immersive experience, candidates certainly reported feeling much better informed about the role and environment.