Boehringer Ingelheim
28 July 2016
Jana von Puttkamer

How to master the assessment centre

The term “assessment centre” often – and unnecessarily – causes people to get nervous. Yet if you are open to it, the assessment centre puts you in an excellent position for you to acquire a real feel for Boehringer Ingelheim – but equally for you to show Boehringer Ingelheim who you truly are.


This article is full of tips and insights that will give you a good understanding of how we at Boehringer Ingelheim usually set up an assessment centre.

Section title

Simply be yourself!

What it is exactly – and what it is not


It’s not like a job interview where the focus is firmly on the job itself. Much more than that, it’s an opportunity for Boehringer Ingelheim to be “shown something” and for you to do the showing: show who you are and what you can do. But equally it’s a chance for you to find out something about Boehringer Ingelheim, your potential employer, in a situation that takes place at eye level. The goal at the end of the day is to find out if you would fit well to us and if you would fit into the team – something that you want to know as well.



What happens in the assessment centre?


At Boehringer Ingelheim, we are often supported by an external recruitment agency. That allows us to focus on what’s important: you. We will ask you to imagine yourself in different roles. For example, that of employee and supervisor. Or giving feedback to a team member who has handled a project badly. Also we would like to see your presentation skills. 


The assessment centre is particularly relevant for those occupational groups where soft skills are especially in demand – are you a good team-player, a good presenter, can you negotiate and convince, how do you deal with a conflict situation, can you lead?



Will I be assessed on my own?


This will depend on a number of things. If you are interested in one of our trainee positions, we’ll ask you to spend a day with us in a small group. You will be challenged with unknown situations - this could mean working in a team or in a competitive situation for example. For those who have already gathered professional experience, the assessment takes place singly and usually takes 3-4 hours. And occasionally we do mini-assessments. There you may be given an assignment to prepare at home to present to us on site.



How should I conduct myself?


Firstly, it’s important to understand that you will be walking into a welcoming situation. You could be our next team member! The assessment centre takes place in an atmosphere of fairness, openness and equality. It’s not a stress test. There are no trick questions and no hidden traps. And if the sprinkler system suddenly switches on, we’re not trying to throw you off – it’s just gone wrong! We want to meet you on equal terms and get to know the genuine you, not you playing a role that you think we might want to see.



How can I prepare myself?


We’re not looking for you to learn your answers by heart, just prepare some thoughts. We would love to hear some examples from you of how you have behaved in certain situations. What exactly did YOU contribute to a project? What role do YOU typically play within a team? When did YOU negotiate successfully? How did YOU deal with setbacks or a difficult personality?


Think about the job that you are interested in – what might it involve – and imagine some possible scenarios. Think about the questions that you might want to ask us. For example: what could be the greatest challenges associated with the position? You want to leave the assessment centre knowing more about Boehringer Ingelheim than when you went in!



Our best assessment centre tips


1. We can’t say it often enough: be yourself!


2. Always use “I” – not “we” or “one”. It’s you that we’re interested in.


3. Know your own strengths and play to those.


4. Rely on your intuition!


5. Remember those personal examples of your abilities that we asked you to prepare – now’s the time to talk about them.


6. And don’t use the conditional form – say how you really think and act in a given situation.


7. Ask questions throughout – don’t save them for the end. We’re looking for a dialogue with you.



What about feedback?


At the end of the assessment centre you will receive direct, constructive feedback. This feedback is a result of our observations and will be summarised by the recruitment agency.


If you have any questions, get in touch.



Summing things up:


1. It’s YOU that we’re interested in – relax and be yourself.


2. The assessment centre is there for you to get as much out of it, as you put in.


3. It could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship!

"The assessment centre is YOUR chance to find out if you would fit well to Boehringer Ingelheim and if we would fit well to you. "
Jana von Puttkamer

5 comment(s) for 'How to master the assessment centre'


I'd love to be assessed. To help me build my career position in Boehringer Ingelhiem Nigeria.

Hello everyone, Interested by the assessement, thank you very much. Best regards Tarik Nouali

To whom it may concern: I am very interested in working at Boehringer Ingelheim, I would like the evaluation to be applied to me. I have ample experience in Supply Chain Management at the Healthcare Sector. Thanks.


Gostaria de participar do processo.

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