Participants in assessments

Have you been invited to an ITB assessment?

Many companies, universities and other organisations use ITB assessments to select applicants or develop employees. By doing so, they want to ensure that uniform, objective and well-founded criteria are used for evaluating individuals and that development measures going forward are tailored to individual needs.
If you have been invited to such an assessment, this is a good sign for now: You will test your skills against other participants in a fair assessment.

Preparation for Assessment Centers and Development Centers

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The focus is on solving practical tasks

Assessment Centers (ACs) enable a meaningful and reliable assessment of the current competencies and potential of participating individuals. Participants work on different tasks, partly by themselves, partly in a team with other participants. In so doing, you will be observed by several trained managers and HR practitioners. This enables a much more comprehensive and objective assessment than can be achieved with other methods.

Our ITB-ACs are developed in line with bindingly defined quality standards. The AC exercises reflect the requirements of everyday working life. As such you can be sure that at no point will you be confronted with nonsensical or embarrassing tasks or those that may be offensive to human dignity. On the contrary: We pay attention to complete transparency and fairness.

As a participant, you receive all the information you need to work on the individual exercises. The times scheduled for the preparation and completion of individual exercises are strictly adhered to. All observers are carefully prepared for their role prior to the Assessment Center. This ensures that all participants have the same chance to successfully complete a task.

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Development Center: Individual support of employees is a goal

The focus of Development Centers (DCs) is on the development and career advancement of employees. Their skills and competencies in relation to a specific task, position or – more generally – a specific management level are identified and precisely described. Both individuals’ particular strengths and their individual learning needs are identified.

As a participant, our ITB Development Centers therefore offer you many opportunities for integrating your own priorities and learning wishes into the final result. Together with observers and/or mentors from your company, specialists from your company’s personnel development department and our ITB consultants, you can work out your own development plan and then agree upon it within the company.

Typical elements of Assessment Centers and Development Centers

  • Case studies
  • In-tray exercises
  • Complex scenarios that provide information about the ability to think in an interlinked way
  • Cognitive ability tests
  • Presentations of data and facts, of projects, of arguments, etc.
  • Role plays that simulate a specific situation, e.g. negotiations, complaints, employee and consultancy meetings.
  • Group exercises in which leadership behaviour as well as team skills are demonstrated

Feedback and reflection

In addition to these exercises, which simulate future requirements and allow an identification of both your strengths and learning areas, Development Centers often also feature the following components:

  • Self-Assessments
  • Peer-Assessments
  • Feedback and reflection discussions
  • small learning and training units
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Tips to prepare for Assessment Centers
and Development Centern as well as tests

Preparation is everything!

Know the company

You should be well-informed about the company in which you see your professional future. Especially if they are already your employer.

Know yourself

It is important that you have thought about yourself as well as your abilities and preferences in advance. What can you offer the company? What are your strengths? Where do you still see learning opportunities?

Know methods

It is helpful to be familiar with simple presentation techniques. For example, being able to use a flipchart, pin board, PowerPoint presentations or presentation cards.

During the Assessment Center or Development Center

  • Behave as you would in everyday life
  • Get actively involved in discussions, express your ideas and suggestions.
  • Do not blindly trust the supposedly clever advice given in guidebooks or by friends/colleagues! Trust your own judgement!
  • Always thoroughly read the instructions: They contain all the information you need. Should anything still be unclear: Ask!
  • In ITB’s assessments, both how a candidate dealt with the task as well as its result are taken into account when assessing their performance.
  • Keep to the time schedule!
  • Following the assessment centre, you will receive feedback on the impressions the observers have gained of you. Use this opportunity to learn more about yourself. Ask specifically if you are unclear about the feedback!

And one last thing: Take the whole thing sportsmanlike! Nobody seeks to hurt you in an Assessment Center or Development Center. Observers would rather give positive feedback than negative feedback following an assessment, and, if the organizers had not been sure that you could be successful, then you would not have been invited!

Helpful techniques for completing test items

Ability tests usually assess those skills which you have acquired and refined in the course of your life and which cannot usually be improved within a short time (e.g. logical thinking, linguistic skills, spatial imagination). Therefore, with such tests it is unlikely that you will improve your result by practising individual test items; instead, proceed with skill during the test:

  1. Organise your completion time well: Although accurate and correct thinking is more important than speed in most tests, it is still important that you schedule your completion time well. Try to work diligently, yet quickly throughout.
  2. Read instructions carefully: Carefully read the general test instructions as well as those for individual items! You can quickly overlook important information by simply skimming through them.
  3. Complete test items in order: It is best to work on the items in the order in which they are given in the test. The first items in an item group are usually easier than any subsequent ones. That said, not everyone perceives the difficulty of items in the same way.
  4. Omit items: Don't spend too much time on items that seem extremely difficult or unfamiliar to you. Just go on to the next item. Every correct solution counts for the same.
  5. Test design: DITB's tests are usually designed in such a way that test-takers will solve about half of the items, on average. Thus the tests also differentiate well in the upper and lower performance ranges.
  6. Work out the solutions yourself: Often it is best with multiple choice items to first work out the solution yourself and only then check whether this solution is among the given answers. Adopting the opposite approach might mean that you are led on the wrong track by plausible, yet incorrect answer options.
  7. Random selection: If time is running out and you are unable to complete all multiple choice items, choose random answer options for the remaining items. No points will be deducted for wrong answers. It is therefore possible to get some points just by guessing.

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