The Task

Task Over to you

The first two sections of this task will help you to think beyond the assessment centre, to analyse yourself and to think about your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Would your worst nightmare be to live in the Big Brother House? Or would you really enjoy it?
    Spending time in an assessment centre working with other people, sometimes very different to you, and having your every move observed can be a bit like living in the Big Brother House. But don’t let that put you off! This task will help you develop strategies for succeeding at an assessment centre, and possibly even enjoy it. And don’t forget – you don’t have millions of people watching you on tele!
    So, relax, take time, and imagine yourself in the Big Brother House… What would your strategy be to win in this situation? How would you relate to the other people in the house? What positive contribution would you make? What would fill you with fear? How would you cope with that?
    Make some notes or sketches based on the question: The Big Brother House – What would it be like for me?
  • Now look at more formal teamwork.
    Belbin (1981) developed a theory about how people work in teams. He suggests that people fit into certain roles within a team, having particular personal characteristics, and contributing to a team in specific ways.
    Look at some of the following websites and books. Read through the introduction to Belbin’s ideas about teams and consider why teamwork is important and what kind of a team player you are.
    Belbin R M, Management Teams: Why do they succeed or fail? (1996) Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford
    Cottrell S Skills for Success (2003) Palgrave MacMillan
    Hardingham A Working in Teams (2000) CIPD
    Do you agree with the characteristics Belbin describes? Make some notes or sketches in the box below, summarising how you see yourself as a team player. What are your strengths? How can you build on them? What areas do you want to develop? Answer the question: Teams – what kind of a team player am I?

  • Keep in mind the thoughts you have from the previous 2 sections, and apply them to assessment centres.
  • Group work activity
    Build on your ideas from the Big Brother and Belbin exercises and apply them to an assessment centre.
    Read through the introduction again to refresh your mind about the purpose of assessment centres and what activities you may be asked to perform.
    Now try the task:
    • Working individually.
    • Working in a group.