Panel Interviews at the Promotional Assessment centre

This may be either a panel or with one interviewer, or sometimes a series of interviews with different assessors. Interviews at this stage are likely to be more in-depth than those you experienced during the first stages of selection and could be with someone from the department to which you are applying or even with a potential future colleague. Questions may refer back to your first interview, to assessment centre activities or to aptitude or personality test results.

Panel interviews are regarded as a more objective means of assessing your suitability as you will be interviewed by between three and five people and therefore the decision is not reliant on just one person's opinion. In addition, they are usually more structured than a one-to-one interview as the panel need to assess all of the candidates against the same criteria. You should prepare for a panel interview in the same way that you would prepare for a one-to-one interview, but remember to greet each panel member with a firm handshake at the beginning of the interview. You should also look at all of the panel members when answering a question, whilst making the majority of the eye contact with the person who asked it.

Role Play Exercises at the Promotional Assessment Centre
You will usually be asked to assume a fictitious role and handle a particular work situation. Role Plays usually use professional actors who are clearly briefed about their role and how to respond when you take a particular approach.

A role play exercise allows the assessors to see if you can play the role that is necessary to address the situation they have created. You may need to make a conscious effort to overcome your natural responses in these exercises. For example, the assessors are looking to see whether you can exhibit sensitivity or toughness in those situations that require it, not whether you are a naturally sensitive or tough person.

Most role play exercises will involve you interacting with another person or group of people to resolve some issue. The role play scenario should reflect the needs and concerns of the organization. If the organization needs a change agent, then the exercise may require you to convince reluctant subordinates to accept a new idea.

Conflict resolution, problem solving, and interpersonal skills are at the top of the list of things that are usually measured. Composure, decision making, organizational skills, job knowledge, leadership, sensitivity, and supervisory skills may also be assessed.

There are many ways to succeed at role play exercises but there are two vital points that you must keep in mind.

  1. Identify the ‘problem’ as soon as possible
  2. Use an approach that you are comfortable with


In many cases, you will be presented with one or more ‘symptoms’. This could be a customer complaint or an under-performing subordinate. You need to identify the underlying problem straightaway. Why is the customer complaining? Why is the member of staff under performing? Identifying the underlying problem is the essential first step to taking the necessary remedial action.

It is also important to use an approach that you are comfortable with and that you feel will best accomplish the goals appropriate for that situation. Role play situations may call for a wide variety of approaches. The approach that you might use in dealing one-on-one with a poor performing subordinate may be wholly inappropriate for addressing a large group of upset customers. The important point is that you need to stay in control for the duration of the exercise – so don’t start something that you can’t finish. 

You may also be interested in:

What is an Assessment Centre?
Who uses the Assessment Centre?
What are the Different Types of Assessment Centre?
What Format Does an Assessment Centre Take?
Who are the Assessors?
What are Assessment Centre Exercises?
What is an In-Tray Exercise?
What is a Presentation Exercise?
What are Group Exercises?
What are Role Play Exercises?

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