5 Virtual assessment centre exercises to improve your remote hiring

For many of us, the last couple of years have brought an entirely new way of remote based hiring (and working). For many HR professionals and recruiters the focus will have shifted to technological solutions that can keep operations running smoothly in this new world of hybrid-work.

Even before the effects of the pandemic, recruiters had been under growing pressure to find new and better ways of finding, hiring and selecting the best candidates, but now they must do this all without being able to meet many candidates in person!


Types of virtual assessment centre exercise

There are many benefits to be gained from moving away from traditional assessment formats and moving your assessment centres to a virtual environment. By transitioning your assessment centres to a virtual platform, you can manage each stage of your development or assessment centres within a single online environment.

We’ve summarised a few of our favourite types of virtual assessment exercise that can be used in your virtual assessment centre:


Virtual meet & greet

What is a virtual meet and greet exercise?

The vast majority of assessment centres will usually include an introductory ‘meet and greet’ session. Meet and greet sessions (whether physically in-person or virtual) tend to take the form of a quick introductory briefing and usually will include another, more senior colleague from within the business. Virtual assessment centre meet and greet exercises provide assessors the opportunity to observe how candidates behave and react to each other and their environment within a virtual or online setting.


What is involved in a virtual meet and greet exercise?

Generally speaking ‘meet and greet’ sessions tend to be more informal when compared to the rest of the assessment centre. They also provide candidates with a good opportunity to settle into the assessment centre setting and break the ice with other candidates over tea or coffee.


Video based competency interviews

What is a virtual video based competency interview?

Video based competency interviews are structured in a similar way to standard competency-based interviews, with the main difference being that they are held in an online environment. Candidates will be asked a series of questions and may be interviewed by either a single interviewer or a panel of two, three or more people.


What is involved with a virtual video based competency interview?

Depending on the recruiter (and interview process), candidates will either be asked exactly the same set of questions, or may be asked more strategic interview questions based on the results of their personality assessment results.

For more information on how to tailor interview questions to each candidate please see our post on developing strategic interview questions to ask candidates.


Online psychometric assessments

What is an online psychometric assessment?

Psychometric assessments provide recruiters with a fair and objective way of assessing candidates across a range of attributes such as cognitive ability, personality, verbal reasoning and behavioural style. For a test to be considered ‘psychometric’ it must be standardised, reliable and valid, and must also be consistent in its content, administration and scoring. Psychometric assessments are often used within recruitment and development processes with the aim of helping employers identify the most suitable candidates for job applications or promotions, based on the extent to which their personality and cognitive abilities match those required to perform the role.


What is involved in an online psychometric assessment?

Today, the vast majority of psychometric assessments are completed via an online assessment platform (like ours!), although paper formats are still used by some businesses. Candidates will be asked to answer a range of questions, sometimes in a multiple-choice format. Most assessments are timed, with the exception of some psychometric personality questionnaires which can be completed across multiple sittings.


Virtual presentation exercise

What is a virtual presentation exercise?

A standard type of presentation but done in a virtual or online environment. If you’re asked to undertake a virtual presentation exercise you will likely be given a brief and then asked to prepare an online presentation in advance of the assessment centre day.


What is involved in a virtual presentation exercise?

Generally speaking, candidates involved in giving a virtual presentation exercise will be asked to deliver a presentation that either highlights some form of issue the company is facing, or developing some solution or recommendations to a specific problem. Virtual presentations are generally timed, with candidates being given between 30 – 60 minutes but this can vary depending on the role and position being applied for.

After the presentation is complete, candidates can expect a series of follow-up questions from their assessor/s.

Virtual presentation exercises are designed to assess:

  • A candidate’s ability to organise and structure a presentation effectively
  • A candidate’s ability to communicate and disseminate information clearly
  • A candidate’s ability to analyse information presented to them


Virtual Inbox/in-tray exercise

What is an inbox/in-tray exercise?

An inbox exercise (sometimes known as in-tray) – asks candidates to imagine that they already have the job and are working through a number of tasks presented via an email inbox. The aim of this exercise is to help simulate basic day-to-day tasks and see how they respond.


What is involved in an inbox/in-tray exercise?

Usually tasks in this type of exercise will come in the form of emails, notes and reports. During an in-tray exercise candidates will be assessed on their ability to organise themselves, how they prioritise their day-to-day work, how they analyse information and make decisions.



Running your own virtual assessment centre? We’ve put together a handy guide to help you get the most from your candidates in a remote setting: How to run a virtual assessment centre


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