An assessment day is a spectacle held by some companies wrongfully convinced it is a good idea. You are there an actor and you need to define for yourself which role you are going to play.
Assessment arrangement is supposed to provide interviewers with genuine information to how a particular candidate behaves in real world situation. Unfortunately:
The situation is not real by any stretch of a definition
People attending are not selected yet therefore they make up a random bunch possibly incapable of ever forming a team
Everybody knows they're on clock and is therefore stressed
Everybody understands they are being watched and is therefore stressed second time
Everybody thinks they know what the interviewers want to see and is therefore wearing a certain mask and playing a particular role which annihilates the very idea of unveiling their true personality
Since everybody is behaving ingenuinely everybody is stressed. The third time.
Since everybody is stressed several times over nobody is capable of behaving naturally, even if they wanted
At the end of the assessment day interviewers select those baboons who guessed the desired behavior correctly and managed to improvise it. The interviewers end up with a random bunch.
I've attended such events myself. At the one we had a group of graduates who apparently lacked any sort of practical development skills. As it was closing to an end and we still haven't figured a solution I jumped in with a working solution, explained it to everybody then we presented it. I was then told I tried to exercise authority and pushed my solution on the team.
At the other one I tried to restrain my activity not to look authoritative again, listened to the others' input and tried to find a compromise. After the event I was told I was passive and initiativeless. Go figure.
A few tips what they want to see:
- Initiative. Unclear however up to what extent.
- Enthusiasm about solving a problem
- Involvement. Watch out not to overdo it.
- Admiration for the company. Shining eyes almost weeping about being granted with an invitation. Show it on the face, in action and in communication with the interviewers.
Otherwise it is a show, a spectacle as it is. Play, watch, enjoy, have fun. Unfortunately you're not allowed pop-corn.