The assessment center is an option available for use in the selection process. An assessment center places applicants in situations where they role play and participate in other exercises that help demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) required for the job. The benefit of the assessment center is that the selection panel is able to learn more about the management style of the candidate in the role for which he or she is interviewing. Elements of the candidate’s style, demeanor and decision-making skills are exposed. This can allow the selection panel to compare each candidate against a description of the specific competencies desired for the ideal manager.
There are cautions for using assessment centers. Assessment centers use valid and reliable testing methods, but they are expensive, take considerable preparation time, demand extensive time of assessors and candidates, and should be conducted only by trained professionals with solid references and credentials.
Assessment centers attempt to simulate actual job situations and evaluate behavior through a series of job-related exercises. The principle is that behaviors displayed by a candidate during the exercises also can be expected in on-the-job performance.