Management Assessment Exercises and Format

Most management assessment centers will involve a variety of activities that last a whole day. Some assessments focus solely on exercises, others include an interview as well. The interview may be one-to-one or in front of a panel.

The exact nature of your management assessment will be detailed in the agenda sent with your invitation letter so you will have some idea of what is in store for you and be able to prepare for it.

Management Assessment Exercises and Format

You now have to show the organization that you are the 'best' person for the role because your competencies offer the best fit to their core and role competencies. You only have this one chance to show the assessors you possess the competencies at the right level for the role. If you don't show a particular competency then an assessor cannot score you for it.

Treat each management exercise as a separate entity and do your best to demonstrate the appropriate competencies, regardless of the fact you may have done the same in a previous exercise. A separate scorecard or sheet will be used for each exercise and in most cases different assessors are used, further emphasizing the need to show all of the relevant competencies if you want to maximize your score.

Aptitude Tests and Personality Questionnaires
Aptitude tests, also known as ability tests, are used to gauge an individual's reasoning abilities. The tests focus on your numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning skills, although certain roles may also be interested in assessing your spatial reasoning ability.

Aptitude Tests and Personality Questionnaires

To attain a high score in these tests it is essential to practice so that you become familiar with the style and format of the questions. This enables you to build up your speed and accuracy as well as your final score. The tests are usually around 30 minutes long and consist of 20-35 multiple choice questions. If you are facing one or more aptitude tests then you can prepare by downloading our free eBook 'Preparing for Management Aptitude Tests.'

Many organizations use personality questionnaires to assess how well a candidate's personality will fit in with their culture and values. The most popular personality questionnaires used in recruitment are the Myers-Briggs indicator (MBTI), DISC, SHL OPQ32r, and MMPI-2-RF. They generally consist of around 50-200 questions using a mixture of 2-scale, 5-scale, and 7-scale point answers.

Many of the questions you will be asked are designed to measure certain desirable qualities organizations require in their managers, for example honesty, integrity, and leadership behaviors. They also aim to quantify an individual's ability to work efficiently in stressful circumstances and to control destructive emotions such as anger and negativity.

Management Personality Questionnaires

Part of your preparation for a personality questionnaire should include defining which of your behaviors make up your workplace persona and how these behaviors fit into the role. You can learn more about this in our free eBook 'Preparing for Management Personality Tests.'

Types of Exercises
The most common management exercises can be grouped under the following four headings as shown in the diagram.

Types of Management Assessment Exercises

These exercises provide the best opportunity for assessors to observe the candidates' behavior, how they react to unforeseen issues, and how they communicate with others.

Whichever exercise you are asked to do, you will be supplied with an exercise brief that contains a description of the situation and any background information, your role in that situation, and the outcome you are expected to achieve in the time allocated. It is important to work within the set time limits and to stay within the parameters set by the exercise brief.

Management Assessment Exercises

Avoid making any assumptions or exceeding the brief because this will not bring you additional marks. Assessors can only mark you according to the exercise scorecard.

Some exercises will be observed, but many are videoed and then watched by the all of the assessors together. Whether you are being observed or videoed you need to act as if you are dealing with a 'real' situation so that you have the opportunity to show your competencies at their best. For a detailed description of each type of exercise and its associated competencies you should download our free eBook 'Interview Exercises.'

Once all the exercises are complete, the assessors will meet to compare notes and finalize a score for each individual. It is not often practical to give candidates feedback on their performance but it is always a good idea to follow up your management assessment with a phone call or email asking for feedback as this can be a big help in future assessments.

You may also be interested in:
Management Assessment | Assessment Exercises and Format | What Assessors are Looking For | Initial Preparation for a Management Assessment | Detailed Preparation for a Management Assessment | Professional Development and Assessment.

Key Points

  • The exact nature of your management assessment will be detailed in the agenda sent with your invitation letter.
  • It could include management simulation exercises, a personality questionnaire, aptitude tests, and/or an interview.
  • Management aptitude tests focus on your numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning skills.
  • Personality questionnaires are used to assess how well your personality will fit in with the organization's culture and values.
  • Commonly used exercises include the in-tray, role play, group discussions, and making a presentation.
  • Always ask for feedback following the assessment center, even if this is via email at a later date.
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