Archives for category: Personality Profiing

So you’ve applied for a job and been invited to attend an assessment centre – your first thought may be “great they liked my CV” and your second thought might very well be “oh no an assessment centre – scary!”  I must confess despite having being involved in designing and running assessment centres for years I would still feel exactly the same.  Regardless of whether you are a new graduate or someone who has been working for years I think this is a natural reaction.

So how should you prepare for an assessment centre in order to ensure you give your best performance? First consider the obvious things – travel arrangements, dress code, start time and make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.  Then think about the tasks you are likely to be asked to complete and how you can prepare for each of these.  You can certainly practice ability tests online and you will more than likely have an interview during the day so prepare for this as you would for any other interview  There are plenty of books on the subject as well as internet articles and there are even some companies out there who offer assessment centre practice or coaching but this can be quite an expensive option.

Bear in mind that the assessment centre will be designed around a set of competencies so you should try to think about examples from your past experience where you have been able to demonstrate that you hold these competencies.  These examples do not all have to come from the workplace sometimes personal examples can be just as effective.

I have encountered a small number of people who have decided to withdraw their application rather than attend an assessment centre and I think that’s a real shame.  Only by stepping out of our comfort zone occasionally can we really find out what we are capable of.  If an assessment centre is well designed and managed you should find that you are undertaking tasks which are challenging but not impossible and these should be delivered in an environment designed to get the best out of you.  You should also receive some feedback after the event which will be useful for you whatever the eventual outcome of the assessment centre.

Finally it is worth remembering that the assessment centre is a two-way process and it is an opportunity for you to learn more about the company, its people, culture and so on so think about the questions that you would like to ask the company.  After an assessment centre you will certainly be tired but if you get the preparation right you should have learned quite a lot about yourself and the company and you can feel satisfied that you rose to the challenge despite your initial fears.  Be yourself but be your best self!


A number of years ago I had my first introduction to Belbin team roles theory.  I had completed previous personality profiling tools and had found them to be useful so was happy to complete my Self Perception Inventory.  As I was quite new to the company it was felt that the other team members did not know me well enough to complete observer profiles so this would be done later.

My profile came out as I expected (not surprising perhaps since it was me who filled it out!)  From the nine team roles I was a high Teamworker, Coordinator but low Shaper.  That’s right, I thought,  I am someone who gets on well with everyone, takes others opinions into account and doesn’t push anyone around!

Some months later I had my observers add their thoughts into the mix and I was surprised to discover that my top team role had now become Monitor Evaluator.  No, I thought, they’ve got that wrong I don’t know where they are getting that from.

However over time I became aware of myself analysing information that was put in front of me, questioning the team’s approach to certain situations and providing constructive criticism when new ideas were being considered.  I realised that my colleagues had been right but the Monitor Evaluator was a trait I had not previously recognised in myself.

I later had the opportunity to become Belbin accredited and learn much more about the team roles their contributions and allowable weaknesses which has allowed me to be aware of when and how to use my own preferences and how to recognise the contributions that other team members can offer.  Further I think it provides a common language to recognise and discuss these traits.

Scroll forwards a few years and I am in a new role with a new business which requires me to work in different ways and not surprisingly my self perception report has changed again.  I am still high in Monitor Evaluator and Coordinator but Teamworker is now much lower down my profile and Shaper somewhat higher.  I think that as I have got older I have learned that I don’t have to try to please all of the people all of the time and can be successful in what I am doing in other ways.  I will ask my new colleagues to complete observer profiles for me once I have been in the company for more than 6 months and I wonder if there will be further learning for me then.  As Robert Burns said “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursel’s as others see us!”

To download a sample Belbin report please visit the client section on our website or to discuss using Belbin Team Roles with your team call us on 01224 577070.