Mechanical engineering careers guide

How to do well at an assessment day

Some companies run an assessment day to choose the right candidate. This is standard practice in engineering industries and often takes place at a recruitment event or assessment centre. Read our advice on how to make the best impression.

Assessment days give the company the chance to see how you perform in simulated day-to-day working activities. They usually last a day or two and could be held before or after the first round of interviews.

Read our guidance below on how to sail through the day. You may also find our job hunting help page useful.

Assessment day advice:

• Find out as much about the company as possible, as you may be given a brief and asked to prepare an exercise
• Practice speaking confidently to improve your presentations skills
• Get a good night’s sleep
• Build plenty of time into your journey for unexpected delays
• Wear business attire unless otherwise instructed
• Make sure you have all the contact details for your destination
• Bring along anything you’ve been asked to

You may spend a full day or longer at an assessment centre, so immerse yourself in every activity, displaying all the attributes that will help you to secure the role.

On the day:

• Try to relax and enjoy the experience
• Be enthusiastic
• Listen carefully to instructions and ask if you don’t understand
• Be confident – you’re already being viewed as a potential employee
• Contribute to group discussions, but listen to others too
• Make sure everyone is given the opportunity to voice their opinion
• Recognise other people’s contributions
• Make sure that any criticism you give is constructive
• Remember to thank the assessors for their time before you leave

You may be asked to participate in a number of tasks, like:

• Role play
• Group discussion
• Presentation exercise
• Practical team task
• Psychometric tests

They’ll help your potential employer to identify characteristics like:

• Problem-solving
• Commercial awareness
• Leadership
• Communication
• Teamwork
• Public speaking
• Time management
• Decision making
• Creativity
• Initiative

Links to psychometric tests

Practice on these free psychometric tests to fully prepare yourself for an assessment day:

• CEB SHL Talent Measurement
• Assessment Day
• Job Test Prep