Assessment Centre Case Studies Practice & Tips – 2021

Aptitude Written Exams

Case studies are a central part of the exercises making up most assessment centres. Employers use them to provide valuable insight into the applicants. They provide a way to assess a graduate or job-seeker’s capability and their potential performance after selection. To do this, the assessment centre presents the candidate with a simulated situation that might be faced on the actual job and waits to see how the candidate will respond. The information assessors collect proves invaluable to companies as they work through the screening and hiring process with the candidates who are most likely to perform well in the job opening.

 

What Is a Case Study Exercise?

Case studies are simulation exercises that put a candidate into situations they might actually see while on the job. The exercises can be done as a group or individually. Which it is will depend on the employer and the assessment centre. The case studies typically provide information that includes financial reports, market studies, or competition analysis and other information that may relate to any aspect of the profession. It may also provide other company reports, consultant’s reports, new product research results, and more. This makes the exercise similar in some ways to an in-tray exercise though the documents are longer for a case study.

 

Key Features of Case Studies

The exercise can be presented at the end either in written report format or as a presentation, depending on the preference of those running the exam. The assessors then evaluate the candidate’s ability to analyze information with a logical approach to decision making and their aptitude for tackling difficult situations. From there, they score performance.

Case study exercises often are based on a few core topics. Some of these include:

  • Finding the feasibility and profitability for the introduction of a new product or service
  • Merger, acquisition, or joint venture related managerial decisions
  • Annual report evaluation and profitability and loss analysis
  • Task prioritization and problem-solving with a given deadline

Many times, the case study’s theme or scenario provides the stage for other assessment centre exercises, so paying attention to what the scenario is and the information provided about it can prove helpful in further exercises. If this is the case, the problem-solving case study is likely to show up as one of the first few exercises you do after re-taking the necessary psychometric aptitude assessments for score confirmation.

 

Competencies Required for Case Studies

The key competencies that case study exercises usually assess are:

  • Analytical thinking and assimilation of information
  • Commercial awareness and Innovation
  • Organization
  • Decisiveness and Judgment

The goal of the exercise is to review and analyze the given information to come up with solid business decisions. The assessors will look at both the decision reached and the logical justification for the recommendations. Because of this, the test is not designed to have one ‘correct’ answer. Instead, it is concerned with the approach to solving the issue as much as it is with the solution.

This is the point in the assessment and pre-hiring process where candidates should show the recruiters what they can do. Usually, the exercise lasts around forty minutes. Employers may use either fictional examples or, in some cases, even real live projects with the sensitive information replaced for fictional information.

Due to the nature of the exercise, job-seekers and graduates taking this type of assessment should possess several key skills. They must be able to interpret large quantities of data from multiple sources and in varying formats, use analytical and strategic analysis to solve problems, formulate and commit to a decision, demonstrate commercial and entrepreneurial insight on a problem, and use oral communication skills to discuss the decisions made and the reasoning behind them. Without these key abilities, case exercises may prove challenging for individuals.

 

How to Prepare for Case Study Exercises?

With the large amount of information presented on assessment centre case studies and the many things to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start. Particularly for those participating in a graduate assessment centre case studies with no prior experience with assessment centres, the case study may seem daunting.

However, it is possible to prepare with some case study practice and by reviewing assessment case study examples similar to the ones that will be given in your assessment centre. These tips for preparation and practice as well the day of will help those facing a case study assessment to do so with confidence.

 

Case Studies: Tips for Success

Review the advice below as you begin to prepare for the assessment centre:

  • If it is a group exercise, show the recruiters you can work with the team.
  • For a group exercise, determine what roles individuals in the scenario are associated with and how they may interact with your or impact the analysis and decision-making process.
  • Determine what information needs to be kept and what should be discarded as early on as possible.
  • Manage time carefully and plan your approach based on the time available to you.
  • Consider all possible solutions and analyze them carefully before choosing a decision.
  • When finished, ensure that you have a solid foundation for the proposal and a plan of action to implement for your chosen solution.
  • Make sure you communicate that foundation and the logic behind your decision.
  • When presenting as a group, actively participate but avoid dominating the conversation or situation.
  • Gather information on the organization, job profile, and any other data that could be in the case study to be prepared before assessment day if possible.
  • If you do not need to present for a group exercise, consider nominating yourself as someone who can respond to questions.
  • Practice structuring and delivering presentations in a case study format before testing.

 

Conclusion

If you follow the advice above and put in enough time practising and preparing to feel confident, you should be able to ace this portion of your assessment centre. Remember that the solution is not the most important thing about this exercise. How you work with others and the reasoning behind your answer is. So, use the time you have wisely and do not overlook anything as you work to come to a good solution. As you do this, relax and use this as a chance to show the recruiters that you really know what you said you did during the interview stage. That is what this exam is about.