Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


A new perspective on role-player training in assessment centres

A new perspective on role-player training in assessment centres

Eveline Schollaert & Filip Lievens, Gedrag & Organisatie, volume 23, September 2010, nr. 3, pp. 213-231.

The most recent assessment centre guidelines emphasize that exercises should be designed to evoke a substantial amount of relevant behaviour (International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines, 2009). However, no empirical evidence exists of how one can manage this. This study aims to fill this gap by suggesting that role-player training should be extended via the use of 'prompts' to evoke behaviour. Prompts are standardized cues that a role-player consistently mentions in an AC exercise across candidates to elicit behaviours related to specific job-related dimensions. In the present study, role players and candidates were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions. In the first condition, the role players (N = 9) received no prompt training (117 candidates). In the second condition, the role players (N = 10) received a training with prompts (116 candidates). Results reveal that role-players are able to use prompts after attending training with prompts. When role-players use prompts, candidates also have favourable perceptions of the job-relatedness, two-way communication, and warmth of the assessment centre exercises. In addition, however, the inter-rater reliability of assessors was not positively affected by the use of prompts. A possible explanation is that assessors did not acknowledge that prompts had been used.


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