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Don’t be a lone wolf

September 18, 2018 by Susan Surgener

Don’t be a lone wolf

It’s assessment centre time for many students who’ve been applying for vacation programs and those later-in-the-year-applications for graduate programs. Which means, wait for it… group work! Now is definitely not the time to be a lone wolf.

By the way, if you’ve been invited to an assessment centre, can we just say “You are officially amazing!” You have to be more than good to have made it over all the hurdles to get to what is often the final, or final-but-one, stage of the application process.

At assessment centres you will find people strategically placed to observe and assess your groups’ interaction, so it’s imperative that you speak up, share your ideas and opinions, and generally pitch in. Sometimes interviews are included as part of the assessment centre. Or, it could be that the final face-to-face interviews will be reserved for assessment centre survivors only.

Reserved versus Outgoing
Of course, you might be a high achieving, albeit quiet and shy, type of person. Don’t worry, that’s okay – as long as you remember to talk at the assessment centre. This doesn’t mean that only the loud and the bold get selected, in fact the truly bombastic are not always highly regarded. It’s just important to keep in mind that if you don’t get involved with the activities, you can’t be assessed!

If the process and purpose of assessment centres seems a bit alien to you, it’s worth asking yourself whether you prefer to work with professional people who are inclusive of others, encourage team members to get involved, can listen to any idea, and are generally all-round good guys. You do? Then this is what employers are looking for too.

Useful Tips
GradConnection, on standing out at assessment centres, observe that there are a few, key things to remember about group assessment. This is a bit of a what-to-do when you’re faced with working in a group or team of strangers to solve a problem:

  1. Be assertive but not dominant – nobody likes a bully
  2. Stay focused – don’t daydream and look out the window
  3. Be supportive of others in the group
  4. Be original – use your initiative to come up with some good solutions

Lastly, think of the invitation to an assessment centre as a great honour – it is. You’ve put in the hard yards and now you just have to enjoy and participate in this next challenge.

If you’re looking for more info on assessment centres, you can access a handy online resource through UniHub. You can also book a mock interview with the Careers, Employment & Leadership team. Just call us on (08) 9266 7802 us or send an email to


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