SUCCESS: PREPARING FOR ASSESSMENT CENTERS
Assuming your either a police
officer or firefighter, imagine yourself either driving through the dark
streets, the police radio finally quiet after a night of breaking up fights,
wrestling drunks and mediating family quarrels, or as a firefighter, racing
through the streets, responding to three-alarm fires, lugging hoses and pumping
water until your arms feel like rubber. Finally, you have a moment to think
about your future with the department.
You know the next promotional exam is coming up soon, and you have made up your
mind that you are ready to promote. You feel you have demonstrated to the
department that you are "ready" for a promotion. After all, haven't you
volunteered for all the last minute overtime assignments and "special projects",
just to show your boss that you had what it takes?
Finally, the official announcement is posted. Candidates will also have to
participate in an ASSESSMENT CENTER! You wonder, just what is an assessment
center?? Worried, you ask the old "salts," the veterans, what they know about
this new twist.
One says, "Ah, you can BS your way through them. They just want to see who talks
the most. That's how they get points". Another says, "Oh, those are outdated
now. No one uses them anymore. So don't worry." Still another says, " It's a
group dynamic thing. They want to see who the true leaders are. You just go in
there and take control of the group from the "get-go", and you'll do just fine."
Hopefully, much of what you will find will both help you prepare for an
assessment center and also pass them. The fact is that the use of assessment
center method is a very viable promotional tool. If you are faced with one,
there are some things you should know about them.
From a line officer's/firefighters perspective, they may seem to be used only
for Command Level selections. In fact they are used for a variety of
promotionals, including a variety of civil service and business positions. It is
surprising how many officers, Sergeants/Engineers, Fire Captains, Police
Lieutenants, Battalion Chiefs and Police Captains, have not had the
"opportunity" to participate in assessment centers. Should you learn more about
assessment centers? Can you prepare for them? Of course you can. Just as you
would prepare for any exam. The key to success is always the same: Preparation &
Assessment Center Exercises