Candidate s Guide to Assessment

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1 Candidate s Guide to Assessment

2 This guide will help you to understand and prepare for an assessment process at E.ON. Contents 1 What is Assessment? 2 E.ON Competency models 3 Assessment methods Interviews Presentations Analysis exercises/case studies Role-plays/simulations Group exercises Personality questionnaires Ability tests 4 Hint & Tips 5 Ratings guidelines 6 Outcomes 7 Further support 2

3 1. What is Assessment? Personnel assessment is used to select the best person for a role or to identify the development needs of a current population of employees. A variety of assessment methods are available and can be classified as either self-reported measures or observed measures. At E.ON we follow best practice guidelines to advise managers on using the most effective assessment methods. These methods support a fair and consistent approach and provide you as the candidate an opportunity to demonstrate your relevant skills and competencies. The table below shows the methods that might be used as part of an assessment process at E.ON. Please see section 3 for further information on each of these exercises. Self Reported Exercises Observed Exercises Interview Analysis Exercises/Case Personality Questionnaires Presentations Group Exercises Role-Plays Ability Tests Our assessments typically involve a competency based interview plus one or more additional exercise(s) (depending on the role type/level). Performance is measured against our competencies for employees and managers. For development centres and for some talent positions you may also be measured against our potential indicators. These models and indicators are detailed on the next page. You may also be assessed against the technical competencies that are specific to the business area. If you are unsure which you will be assessed against then please ask the manager or contact the Resourcing team. Assessments are typically carried out by a senior manager and a second assessor should also be present to support the assessment. This person will either be a member of a team for that area of the business or a member of HR. The assessors will use rating scales to score your performance. Please see page 10 for more information about these rating scales. 3

4 2. E.ON s competency models Employee competency model Understanding the business E.ON employees create value through aligned performance and take responsibility Demonstrate market and customer orientation Improve own business area Actively collaborate across boundaries Embrace change E.ON employees embrace and support change Support change within the organisation Open for change Enhance Teamwork E.ON employees engage others and value people Build effective relationships Demonstrate empathy and support Personal impact E.ON employees reflect their behaviour and walk the talk Support diversity Act reliable Develop own skills and competencies Leadership competency model Leading the business E.ON Leaders create value through aligned performance and entrepreneurship Demonstrate market and customer orientation Think and act as an entrepreneur Actively collaborate across boundaries Leading change E.ON leaders embrace and shape change Drive change within organisations Individually initiate change Leading people E.ON leaders inspire, engage and value people Enhance people s performance Develop people Personal impact E.ON leaders reflect their leadership and walk the talk Foster diversity Build trust Develop own skills and competencies 4

5 2. E.ON s competency models Potential indicators Commercial analytical capability Analyses complex problems down to a full grasp of their details. Abstracts from detailed issues to a higher, entrepreneurial level. Sees interconnections between different pieces of information, structures, or processes, even if they are seemingly unrelated. Finds the hidden correlations even between seemingly unrelated pieces of information. Emotional stability Will not be discouraged even by setbacks; remains resilient and capable and displays an appropriate and confident attitude. Supports employees by showing a positive attitude. Remains confident and will not be discouraged even by difficult problems or interpersonal conflicts. Copes with ambiguity in complex structures. Focus on values Concentrates on credibility and accepts responsibility. Conveys a strong feeling of integrity; seems positively predictable in their behaviour. Conveys trust and respect for others and seems trustworthy in their attitude towards them. Presents himself as a role model for the other participants in terms of values and behaviour. Self awareness/reflection skills Reflects on actions, personal strengths and development needs. Is aware of their behaviour, personal impact, strengths and development needs; has ideas for improvement. Seems interested in feedback and is open to criticism or recommendations from others. Aptitude for learning and change Translates past experiences or lessons learnt into new behaviours and styles of working. Actively invests energy in developing skills, expanding their expertise, know-how or skills and optimizing personal impact. Performance motivation Shows a lot of personal involvement and commitment. Sets demanding goals and likes to face new tasks or challenges. Enjoys tackling new problems and challenges; is constantly in the pursuit of improved performance. 5

6 3. Assessment Methods Competency-based interviews Competency interviews consist of questions that are designed to target a specific skill or competency. You will need to give examples of situations where you have demonstrated the required skills and behaviours to meet the competency being assessed. Assessors will probe your answers in order to build a picture of your strengths and development areas against the relevant competency framework. Competency interviews are based on the idea that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. Accordingly the interviewers are looking for specific examples of when and how you have shown particular behaviours. Questions will typically begin with: Tell me about a time.... / Describe a time.... / Give me an example of.... E.g. If you were applying for a job which involves customer service, an interview question might be: Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer Technical Questions The interview may include some technical questions. These are designed to assess the specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to the role. These questions will be specified by the hiring manager and will be linked to the role profile. Presentations Presentations look at your ability to organise, structure and present information in a clear and concise way. A presentation topic may be given to you on the day of assessment with time to prepare or may be given out before the day of assessment. The topic will be relevant to the business area or requirements of the role Whilst the content and the quality of the presentation is important, the assessors will also be looking to see how well you can deliver a well-structured, clear presentation and how you respond to follow up questions. You may be allowed to use a powerpoint, or flip chart during your presentation and this will be made clear in the invite to assessment. 6

7 Analysis exercises/case studies An analysis exercise might be used to look at how you analyse a range of information and how you make decisions about future actions and priorities. This information will usually be based on a fictional company and scenario and may include graphs, charts and numerical data as well as written information. The amount and type of detail will depend on the role. This approach allows individuals to demonstrate key competencies and to gain an insight into the types of tasks they may be involved in if they receive a job offer. The specific details about what is being looked for will vary from role to role, but your ability to identify key themes and trends, to link data and to make rational decisions and recommendations are often important. Role plays/simulations A role-play looks at how you behave and perform in a job- related situation. As the candidate you assume a defined role and typically deals with another person in a one-to-one meeting. A role player responds in character to your actions, comments and behaviours. Example role-plays might include: Handling a difficult customer or complaint. Disciplining or appraising a member of staff. Negotiating a contract or project delivery. Meeting to discuss your company s equality record. Group exercises A group-exercise requires you to work with other candidates as part of a team to resolve a presented issue. These exercises are designed to measure interpersonal skills such as group leadership, teamwork, negotiation, and group problem solving skills. Personality questionnaires Personality questionnaires look at personality preferences and are used to look at how you are likely to behave under various conditions. They are often used to further inform the interview process and as a tool for identifying future potential. Ability tests Ability tests look at aspects of general mental ability. They ask multiple choice questions and are timed, usually allowing 30 minutes for 30 or so questions. Common ability tests include verbal (using words), numerical (using numbers), abstract reasoning (using logic). We will only use ability tests that are supported by the regulatory body for Occupational Testing The British Psychological Society (BPS). Qualified practitioners are available for colleagues and Manager to seek information, advice and guidance on the use of ability tests. Please contact the Resourcing team if you require further information. 7

8 4. Hints and tips Interview hints and tips Try to take every opportunity to demonstrate your skills throughout the interview. If you don t share information about your suitability then the assessors will not be able to include it in their assessment. Take time to think before you answer. Try to turn any negative points raised into positive attributes. Use specific examples where you have played an important role, in order to demonstrate your experience of the competencies and use I inside of we Use a framework to help you to respond to questions in a well structured manner: STARR (Situation, Target, Action, Result, Review/Reflection) Try to provide examples from a range of situations to offer breadth and depth Bring in evidence of how you keep up to date professionally, through reading, networking, professional bodies, etc. There will be the opportunity for you to ask questions at the end of the interview. You should stick to questions about the role, the team, the future strategy or direction of the team rather than asking for initial feedback about your performance in the interview. It is good practice to prepare some questions in advance. Case study hints and tips This is an opportunity to demonstrate your planning, decision making and communication skills. Don t panic if there is a large amount of paper involved Try to look through and identify priorities Ensure you understand the purpose of the exercise as this will help you focus on the right elements of the task Ensure you plan your time well - you must leave time to achieve the objective Make use of frameworks, e.g. SWOT, Consultancy cycle to help digest, prioritise information and gather evidence of reasoning in your decision making Think about pros, cons, risks associated with your decisions Look for opportunities to work in partnership with others externally and internally You may need to make some assumptions. You should make this clear and explain what you would do in order to clarify your assumptions Demonstrate a plan of action including how you would proceed and take your recommendations forward through implementation and evaluation Think about metrics and performance measures via key themes: people; customer; financial, etc. 8

9 Role play study hints and tips Build rapport in the role play with the other person Always listen to what is being said Use open rather than closed questions when you want to draw out more information you can always ask if there is anything else the role player can share that they are aware of but has not yet been discussed Think about your body language and tone of voice Make sure your role play has a beginning, middle and end and treat this like a meeting you would run following a degree of structure Don t assume you have all the information to hand, use this as an opportunity to test what you know and consult around the topic Think creatively about options and potential solutions, how can you drive change? Ask their opinion as well as offering your own Consider when it might be appropriate to use different influencing styles (push versus pull) Presentation Hints and Tips Consider using visual aids such as flip charts or power point (if available) Keep to time, otherwise you may be stopped before you have completed the presentation. Give your presentation a structure: tell them what you re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you ve told them There is no right or wrong as such but if you don t have structure the point you are trying to make may be lost. Speak clearly to person/s you are presenting to not to the flipchart or your notes. Make brief notes or write down cue words to help keep you on track but make sure that you do not read talk your notes word for word It is likely that you will be questioned at the end of the presentation so keep this in mind if you make any assertions Be conscious of tone of voice and body language, words themselves only make up a very small percentage of communication. Make eye contact and try to engage the audience If you re asked to present options and a recommendation, think about taking it a step further to implementation plan and evaluation: how will you measure success, ROI and the commercial impact/benefits? Group Discussion Hints and Tips Read any information as quickly as you can and try to absorb the essential points. Don t feel pressured to lead or chair the meeting, or take a role such as scribe, think instead about making a valuable and valid contribution balanced throughout the meeting Ensure that the brief is followed by paying careful attention to the purpose and outcome of the exercise. Make your contributions relevant, positive and well thought out. Be assertive but don t dominate the group. Speak confidently and loudly enough for all to hear. 9

10 Show regard for other group members - encourage others to contribute and listen to the points being made. Ask others in the group for their points of view and feedback. Be aware of any time limits. Be ready to compromise if necessary this is not a sign of weakness! Do not argue dogmatically; be polite and tactful when presenting an opposite view. If you find it difficult to get an opportunity to interject into the discussion, make some brief notes of the key points you want to cover and use body language to make it clear you have something to say lean forward, raise your hand, etc., and be assertive, be confident and say your peace Be yourself! Personality Questionnaire Hints and Tips Read the instructions carefully Give yourself sufficient, uninterrupted time to complete the questionnaire Answer the questions honestly to best represent you, don t try to second guess what the questionnaire is looking for there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to personality! Be mindful of your mood, or anything that might have happened prior to you completing the questionnaire, that might impact how you respond to the questions, e.g. a disagreement, a stressful meeting or travel experience, etc. Give yourself sufficient time for receiving your feedback, and also to read your feedback report and reflect on the additional insight this gives in respect of your ongoing development beyond the immediate selection process Ability Tests Hints and Tips Read the instructions carefully You may wish to complete a practice tests and you can do so via the link Please note that we use SHL and Saville as our main test providers. Therefore, there will be some differences in the layout and format of the tests depending on the provider and the type of test being used. Familiarise yourself with the type of questions and timing of the tests Some tests recommend that you use additional materials/tools e.g. a calculator for numerical tests. Therefore make sure that you have these to hand. Complete the practice questions and only proceed when you are ready Give yourself sufficient, uninterrupted time to complete the test 10

11 5. Rating guidelines For interviews and observed exercises (excluding personality questionnaires and ability tests), assessors will score your performance using standardised indicators that align with the below 5 point rating scale A rating of 3 represents the benchmark for adequate performance in the role Significantly below expectations Below expectations Meets expectations Above expectations Significantly above expectations The indicator is either: a) represented by the negative statement b) there is no evidence of the positive indicator The positive indicator has been partially met The positive indicator fulfils the requirements of the position assessed for The positive indicator is strongly developed in relation to the requirements The positive indicator is exceptionally well developed in relation to the requirements c) or reveals considerable need for development This rating scale is broken down into a range of indicators for each competency. These indicators support a standardised and consistent scoring approach 11

12 6. Outcomes Outcomes for selection If you are being assessed for a role then you will be informed whether or not you were successful by the manager or by a member of our Resourcing team. Sometimes you might be asked to come back in for a second stage assessment before a final decision is made. If this is the case then you be contacted and a convenient time will be agreed. If you are successful and offered a position we will talk you through the conditions of any offer and agree a suitable start date. If you verbally accept the offer you will be sent a written contract for you read, sign and return. If you have questions then please feel free to contact a member of our Resourcing team or the hiring manager at any stage. If you are not successful you will be given feedback on your performance about key strengths and key development areas that were displayed during the assessment. This is typically provided over by an assessor who observed your performance on the day. Please use this feedback with your line manager to help inform your personal development plan. Outcomes for Development If you are assessed as part of a development centre, you will be contacted by an assessor or by a member of the Talent Team who will let you know the outcome and arrange a date for you to receive thorough feedback. Most development centres specify an outcome in terms of how much time and development you need in order to be ready to move to the target position or grade. Some development centres will determine whether or not you should move into a talent pool. Those in the pool will be expected to continue to develop and progress towards a relevant role at the assessed levelif you are not immediately placed into a talent pool, you will be given feedback on areas for development and suggested ways to address these areas. This may include a side-ways move before being assessed again. Most development centres will specify a minimal time that you can go back through the process and you will be informed of this at the time. The main aim of a development centre is to provide you with meaningful feedback and to give you an understanding of your potential to progress within the business. You should make the most of this opportunity to gain thorough feedback and to reflect on your own strengths and development areas. Please use the L & D portal site to help guide your learning interventions. 12

13 7. Further support Going through an assessment process can be a nerve racking experience, but it is important that you take it as an opportunity to showcase your relevant skills and competencies. The assessors will not be there to catch you out but to guide you in giving full, detailed answers. If you have any questions on assessment and selection at E.ON then please use HR Online or check out our talent pages on portal. 13

14 Notes 14

15 Notes 15

16 E.ON Energy Solutions Limited. Registered office: Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8LG. Registered in England and Wales No HRSSA/07/13

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