Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

Additional selection methods

The interview is the main method of selection for recruitment purposes, but there are a range of other selection methods you can use:

  • Assessment centres
  • Presentations
  • Role play
  • Group exercises
  • Practical tests
  • Psychometric tests
  • In-tray exercises

These additional selection methods can help you to further assess and select candidates. HR Partners can provide further guidance on selection methods.

Whatever selection process is used the final decision, templates and notes should be collated and retained for 6 months following the selection process.

Assessment Centres

Assessment centres involve the use of a wide range of activities which are designed to assess how candidates meet the criteria within the person specification. 

The types of activity often included in assessment centres include:

  • Group exercises
  • Individual written exercises, such as In-Tray exercises
  • Psychometric tests (occupational personlity questionnaires, aptitude tests) 
  • Presentation
  • Competency based interview

Assessment centres must be designed in consultation with HR, and should should be designed around the criteria within the person specification.

All candidates should undergo exactly the same number and type of exercises and undertake the exercises in the same conditions.


Presentations are frequently used as a selection tool, particularly in senior jobs. The candidate is provided with a topic and given a timeframe to deliver a presentation on that topic.

The presentation topic is usually sent with the interview letter, however in some situations it may be given to candidates on the day of the interview and the candidate has a set period to prepare the presentation before the interview. 

If technological applications (e.g. Powerpoint) are required for the presentation, it should be agreed with the candidate as to how this will be done and the technology checked prior to the selection process to ensure that it is in working order.

Role Play

Role playing is where the candidate assumes the role of the incumbent of the position and must deal with another person in a job- related situation. A trained role player is used and responds "in character" to the actions of the candidate. Performance is assessed by observers.

Group Exercises

Candidates are given a topic or a role-play exercise and are invited to discuss the topic or role-play in a group.  During the discussion/role play, observers who are looking for specific attributes award marks to each candidate.

This of course means you may need four or more candidates to make this a meaningful exercise and enough people to mark the candidates properly according to an agreed methodology.

Practical tests

These tests can be used to assess practical skills such as word processing skills and can be developed in-house with advice and guidance from your local HR Partner.

Psychometric tests

Psychometric tests are used to measure personality or aptitude for specific tasks and are often used for managerial level appointments. 

They can be grouped into two main categories; occupational personality questionnaires and aptitude tests. 

Personality questionnaires are not tests in that there are no right or wrong answers but they provide a wide range of information about an individuals preferred style of behaviour that can easily be linked to criteria within the person specification including competencies. 

Aptitude tests measure specific skills such as numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, decision making, problem solving, spatial awareness etc.

Most psychometric tests require those undertaking the administration, scoring and interpretation of the tests to have undergone rigorous, formal training and to be licensed. 

Further information on psychometric tests is available from your local HR Partner.

In-Tray Exercises

In-tray exercises are a test of a candidate’s ability to deal with a real work scenario – requests, demands on your time, and information overload. The exercises are used to test the candidate’s ability to process information quickly, analyse problems, make decisions, take action, manage time, work accurately and express themselves clearly and succinctly in a business context.