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Assessment Centers

Assessment Centers and Job Simulation Exercises

Dennis A. Joiner and Associates specializes in developing custom assessment centers and custom job simulation exercises tailored specifically to our clients' jobs and organizations. Based on a thorough job analysis, the most important and critical job tasks and most important knowledge, skills, abilities and behavioral characteristics are identified.

Working directly from the results of the job analysis study, supplemented by the information on current local issues, we 1) determine the number and specific types of job simulation exercises to develop, and 2) determine the appropriate content for the simulations.

Exercises are developed that simulate the most essential task areas in the job classification. This allows assessors to observe, record, classify and evaluate job relevant behavior in job relevant situations. Using job simulation exercises tailored specifically to the job classification as used by the client, as opposed to "off the shelf excerises", not only increases candidate acceptance and compliance with legal requirements for content validity, but also allows candidates to "get into" the simulations "as if" they were real life. In this way, candidates are in the best position to minimize the artificial test stress and demonstrate the extent to which they possess job relevant knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors.

Although the specific exercises are not determined until the job analysis study is complete, a typical assessment center is likely to include three or four excerises similar in type or kind to those described below.

ROLE PLAY EXERCISE: In this exercise, the candidate assumes the role of the incumbent of the position and must deal with a subordinate, a citizen, a member of a community organization, etc., about an issues, problem or complaint. Depending on the complexity of the role either a trained role player is used or the assessors are trained to play the role. Also, depending on the problem, there may be an additional interview with the candidates regarding their intent behind the actions taken while dealing with the problem.

WRITTEN REPORT / ANALYSIS EXERCISE: Candidates, in this exercise, are given one or more job relevant documents to analyze or a topic pertinent to the job and are instructed to provide a written report, position statement, outline a new policy, etc. Depending on the specific topic or problem, there may be an additional interview with each of the candidates regarding their handing of the problem.

ORAL PRESENTATION / TRAINING EXERCISE: In this exercise, candidates would be allowed a brief time to plan, organize and prepare a presentation on an assigned topic to a specific audience. They would then make the presentation and respond to questions and/or challenges. The assessors would play the role of the suborginates, press, community members or other appropriate audience and ask the candidate a series of predetermined, standardized questions.

IN BASKET EXERCISE: This exercise consists of a variety of materials of varying importance and priority, which would typically be handled by an incumbent. The candidates must deal with these materials in a limited amount of time. They are later interviewed by assessors who review with the candidates how they handled the material and the reasons behind their decisions.

MULTIPLE SITUATIONS EXERCISE: This exercise consists of multiple situations that are described to the cnadidate through written and oral narrative information. Candidates respond to the situations making the kinds of decisions that are typically required of a job incumbent. The assessors then clarify any ambiguous candidate responses prior to candidate evaluation.

PUBLIC SAFETY EMERGENCY EXERCISE: This exercise usually consists of two or more emergency scene situations that are described to the candidate through narrative information, building diagrams, block plans, photos and/or slides. Candidates respond to the evolving situations, making the decisions that are typically required at the scene of an emergency. Candidates may also be required to write a narrative report regarding the incident following the interactive portion of the exercise.

All assessment processes are custom designed in format and content to identify the most qualified candidates and meet the needs of our clients. Further, we train assessors you obtain or that we obtain to assist with the assessment process.

For more information, please contact Dennis A. Joiner and Associates.


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