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Assessment Centers and Vestibule Training

Assessment centers

Some companies run a series of prolonged selection procedures (assessment centers) each lasting one or two days, and sometimes longer. Usually these are after the first round of interviews and before making the final selection, but they can be used as an initial selection process. They are usually held either on company premises or in a nearby hotel, and are measured by many employers to be the fairest and most accurate method of selecting staff. This is because they give a number of different selectors a chance to see you over a longer period of time than is possible with a single interview, and the chance to see what you can do, rather than what you say you can do, in a variety of situations.


Assessment Centers typically include a number of elements.

Social/informal events, where you get a chance to meet variety of people, including other candidates, the selectors, recent graduates and senior management. This is an excellent opportunity for you to find out more about the organization and to ask questions in a more informal or social setting.

Information sessions, which provide more details about the organization and the roles available. Listen carefully, as it is likely to be more up-to date than your previous research. If you are unclear about anything, ask. It is often good to have a question prepared for these sessions, but make sure it is a sensible question and not one that has already been covered. Asking inappropriate questions just to get noticed does not impress the selectors.

Tests and exercises designed to exhibit your potential. Selectors at assessment centers measure you against a set of competencies, and each exercise is carefully designed to assess one or more of these areas. Do not worry if you think that you have performed badly at any stage; it is more than likely that you will have the chance to compensate later on. It is also worth remembering that you are being assessed against these competencies and not against the other candidates, so rather than trying to compete against them, make sure that you demonstrate the qualities the organization is looking for.

Remember that assessment centers are extremely expensive to run and that you have already come a long way to be invited – you may have as much as a one in six chance of being selected.

Vestibule Training

Vestibule training creates a miniature of the department for which the training program is carried on. It utilizes machinery similar to that in operation on the production floor. Qualified instructors, usually highly skilled operators or supervisors, are provided to conduct the program in this special section. Here the new employees are given a course of training in the particular machines they will be required to use and on the exact work they will do when they become a part of the regular production force.

{In the early 1800s, factory schools were created, due to the industrial revolution, in which workers were trained in classrooms within the factory walls. The apprentice system was inadequate due to the number of learners that had to be trained as the machines of the Industrial Revolution increased the ability of the factory to produce goods. The factory owners needed trained workers quickly because there was a large demand for the produced goods.

Towards the end of the 1800s, a method that combined the benefits of the classroom with the benefits of on-the-job training, called vestibule training, became a popular form of training. The classroom was located as close as conditions allowed to  the department for which the workers were being trained. It was furnished with the same machines as used in production. There were normally six to ten workers per trainer, who were skilled workers or supervisors from the company.}

There are many advantages of vestibule training. The workers are trained as if on the job, but it did not meddle with the more vital task of production. Transfer of skills and knowledge to the workplace was not required since the classroom was a model of the working environment. Classes were small so that the learners received immediate feedback and could ask questions more easily than in a large classroom.