Top 5 tips; how to prepare for a pharmaceutical assessment centre

So, you’ve been for your first interview and shown the interviewer that you have the knowledge and experience needed for the job. You’ve impressed, and they’ve invited you to the final stage test: an assessment centre.

What’s an assessment centre?

It allows interviewers to assess your skills, knowledge and experience through activities or simulations designed to test competencies required for the job; exercises sometimes replicate the responsibilities of the job.

This process not only allows interviewers to see what you can do, rather than what you say you can do(!), but also observe your behaviour and measure performance against key criteria in an objective way.

Assessment centres are costly and can be time-consuming to run and organise; your potential employers will invest time in ensuring that the process is relevant to the job and company requirements.

Typical assessment centre exercises and activities include:

  • Psychometric tests
  • Roleplay
  • Interviews (competency-based/biographical)
  • Written exercises
  • Presentations
  • Business case studies
  • Group exercises

But how do you prepare for a pharmaceutical assessment centre?

Here are our top 5 tips:

‘Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure’, Confucius.

Pharmaceutical assessment centre: Know your assessment brief

Assessors will evaluate you against a list of skills, attributes and competencies. If it’s appropriate, ask them for this list before your assessment centre so that you know the areas you need to focus on. If you can’t get hold of the list there’ll be some criteria in the job description that you can use to prepare.

Pharmaceutical assessment centre: Practice makes perfect

Like other activities and hobbies, practice helps a lot! Go through some assessment centre exercises with a friend or colleague; it’ll help you feel more prepared on the day.

Pharmaceutical assessment centre: Prioritise your time

Running out of time during exercises is one of the most common mistakes made at assessment centres. It’s important to process the details of an exercise quickly by skim-reading the content. This’ll give you the opportunity to go back and study sections in more detail once you know what’s required and complete the exercise in time.

Pharmaceutical assessment centre: Relax and be yourself

It’s sometimes difficult to let your guard down enough to show people the real you while still remaining professional when you’re being observed. If you’re able to relax and show your personality and individuality, assessors are more likely to warm to you and understand how you really work.

Pharmaceutical assessment centre: Enjoy yourself!

Although it’s a test it’s still important to enjoy and learn from your assessment centre experience. If you are offered the job afterwards, great! If not, don’t be disheartened. Take on any feedback from the assessors to improve your skills at the next assessment centre.