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Assessment centre

This is typically the types of exercise, and companies will do a mix to make up an Assessment Centre. At Graphcore we do an onsite final stage assessment centre , which might be virtual for 2022 intake.

  • Can be face to face or virtual – typically half a day to a whole day
  • Undertake a variety of exercises
  • Different exercises assess different competencies
  • Different tasks designed to ensure you have an opportunity to shine
  • Usually your performance across the day is combined
  • Two way process, an opportunity to meet different people from the company.

What if you have a disability?

Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 if you have declared a disability. The arrangements can range from making sure the venue is accessible and appropriate facilities are available to giving extra time to complete tests.

Group Exercise

  • Common assessment centre exercise, sometimes refereed to as group discussion
  • Is an opportunity for the employer to assess how you perform as part of a wider team
  • There is no right or wrong–behaviour based assessment
  • Often about how you work together to achieve a solution rather than an outcome
  • Assessors can only assess what they physically see
  • Don’t just assign tasks – scribe / time keeper.

Role Play

  • Can be an individual or group task
  • Scenario based task to see how you respond in certain situations
  • Assessors will be looking to compare your approach with the skills required for the role
  • Information provided on the day / before to allow time to prepare for the task

Example Tasks:

  • Convince a customer or a client to purchase a product / service
  • Handle a complaint from a client.


  • You may be asked to give a presentation as part of your assessment centre, either an individual or with the other candidates in the group
  • Might be based on a case study / topic
  • Typically last between 10 – 20 minutes
  • Consider the tools and resources around you – PowerPoint, flip chart, information provided
  • Always be prepared for questions.


  • Different types of interviews – competency, strengths, values, technical
  • May be a one to one interview or with a panel
  • Previous session on interviews.

Written Exercise

  • You may be given data to decipher or be asked to outline a proposal or draft letter
  • Typically presented to on the day so no prior preparation needed
  • Might be referred to as an in-tray exercise
  • Often tests a number of skills including – time management, decision making, ability to interpret information, problem solving and ability to organise tasks.

Group Exercise Demo


Building plans for a new hotel are currently in the development stages. The hotel owners are eager to include a broad selection of on-site facilities that local town people as well as tourist could utilise. A list of onsite facilities that could be included will be provided.


As a group you need to prioritise the top three facilities you would like in the hotel. You have 10 minutes to complete the task.

Virtual Assessment Centres

  • New way of assessing
  • Variety of platforms – Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype
  • Familiarise yourself with the software to avoid any issues
  • Be mindful of your background
  • Complete your exercises in somewhere where you won’t be distracted
  • Provide the recruiter with your contact details and advise of any connections issues you might have.
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