Another possible part of an assessment is role-play. Depending on the difficulty of the position, you may be given one to three in one day. These role-play situations differ in content and are often applicable to the job you are applying for. For example, if you apply for a management position, you will be given a role-play situation in which you are someone else’s manager. You may also be given more general role-play situations: for example, how do you behave when you have to get something done very quickly with a (rigid) colleague? How do you act in new, uncertain situations? Below we describe a number of common forms of role-play:
- 1. General. Always gauge the level of resistance of your conversation partner. Do this by asking probing questions. Once you have discovered how resistant your conversation partner is, you can try to steer the conversation in your desired direction. It is often difficult to find out their level of resistance. Try to continue the conversation calmly: an actor is given instructions to reveal something more later in the conversation. They will begin to provide you with increasingly clear hints. Be aware of this. It is crucial that you listen carefully to the other person.
- 2. Management. The most common situations in a management role-play situation are the following: addressing an employee regarding their development, etc. or convincing an employee to perform a certain task for you. Your discussion partner will most likely begin acting resistant. This gives you the opportunity to show off your leadership qualities. Sizing up your partner is essential here: what exactly is making the employee resistant? Start the conversation with a relaxed approach: show understanding, stand next to your employee instead of across from them. Later in the conversation you can be firmer and pull rank. Maintain control throughout the discussion.
- 3. Colleague. The most common situations in role-playing as colleagues are the following; addressing your colleague, convincing your colleague to perform a certain task for you, or encouraging your colleague to be more of a team player. It is important to gauge the resistance level of your partner here as well. You can do this by asking thoughtful questions and listening carefully to the other person. Present your points from a team perspective: use the sense of comradery to your advantage.
- 4. Client. The most common situations in a role-play with a customer are the following: dissatisfaction with a certain product or service, and dissatisfaction with the degree of contact with you or a colleague. Always express your understanding for the situation first: step into the client’s shoes. Never address the issue of fault, but apologize if necessary. Ask questions to get to the heart of the problem and work with the client to find a suitable solution. If possible, use multiple solution options and try to think creatively.