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What really happens in an Assessment?

Exam questionnaireWorried about the assessment stage of your mobility pathway? Relax and let me explain what the assessments are, what to expect and how to rock up as chilled as me.


What are the assessments and why use them?

The Pathway uses assessments to work out how suitable you are for new roles in the NSW Public Sector. They’re based on that Capability Framework that everyone keeps harping on about, and assess capabilities relevant to the role you’re applying for.

You’re given hypothetical scenarios and activities that mimic your standard workplace. Depending on the role that you are going for, you may be asked to do stuff like group discussions, role plays, writing tasks, presentations, data analysis or in-tray tasks.


What to expect when going for an assessment?

All assessments are split over two sessions, a practice and an actual. They’re run by INS facilitators and assessors, who are totally committed to helping people do their best.

The practice exposes you to the assessment so that you know what to expect when stepping into the actual. It gives you the opportunity to have a go at the tasks and get feedback for the actual. You’re not assessed at all in the practice, it’s literally a chance to learn and ask questions.

The actual is your time to shine. You’ll be presented with a fresh scenario and be asked to complete tasks similar to what you did in the practice. Your performance in the actual will be assessed so make sure you apply the feedback from the practice, and try your best when completing all tasks.


How to prepare for the assessment?

While there’s no need to prepare for assessments, I would totally recommend doing the following beforehand:


1. Get to know the capabilities

There’s a reason that INS staff sound like a broken record when talking about capabilities. The assessments are based on capabilities relevant to the role and the behaviours outlined in the NSW Capability Framework. Build familiarity with the capabilities and behaviours, and have them in the back of your mind during an assessment. You can access the framework online and ask your CPO which capabilities are relevant to the role.


2. Be positive and maintain an open mind

Look, it’s possible that the scenario and activities are different to what you usually do at work. Don’t let this throw you. Remember that no technical knowledge is being assessed and that you’ll be provided with all the information required to complete tasks. Embrace the opportunity to apply your skills to new environments, and be confident that you can do it.


3. Get a good night’s sleep and arrive on time

I know it’s tempting to stay up all night studying the Capability Framework and reflecting on the practice feedback, but don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, set an early alarm and arrive at the assessment with a little extra time. This way you can step in feeling fresh, settle in and be ready to do your best!

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The INS Blog covers everything you need to become a public sector talent guru. Topics include talent mobility, capability frameworks, career transition, outplacement, work-based assessments, and more.