Your Comprehensive Guide To Virtual Assessment Centres

by | May 29, 2024

Introduction to Virtual Assessment Centres

What Are Virtual Assessment Centres?

Virtual assessment centres are digital platforms designed to evaluate candidates’ competencies, skills, and potential, either by exam style assessments, asking a series of competency based questions, or by creating a simulated work environment. These centres use a variety of online tools and technologies to conduct assessments that were traditionally held in physical locations.

The Evolution from Traditional to Virtual Formats

Assessment centres have long been a staple in the recruitment process, providing a controlled environment to assess candidates through activities such as role-plays, group discussions, and interviews. With advancements in technology, these assessments have transitioned from in-person to virtual formats, allowing for greater flexibility, efficiency, and reach to those who may have limited access to travel. It also supports organisations in reaching lower carbon targets.

Key Components of a Virtual Assessment Centre

Technological Platforms

Virtual assessment centres rely on robust technological platforms that facilitate various activities and assessments. These platforms often include video conferencing tools, online testing software, and collaborative applications to ensure seamless execution of the assessment process.

Types of Activities and Assessments

Typical activities in a virtual assessment centre include:

– Online tests and quizzes to measure cognitive abilities and knowledge.
– Virtual group discussions to assess communication and teamwork skills.
– Role-playing exercises to simulate job-specific scenarios.
– Interviews conducted via video calls.
– Self recorded interviews / After the fact assessments
– Multi Mini Interviews (MMIs).
– Objective Structured Clinical Examinations – OSCEs.
– A mixed equivalent.

Role of Virtual Facilitators and Assessors

Virtual facilitators and assessors play a crucial role in guiding participants through the assessment process, providing instructions, and ensuring that the assessments are conducted fairly and effectively. They also evaluate the participants’ performance and provide feedback.

Benefits of Virtual Assessment Centres

Cost-Effectiveness and Time Savings

Virtual assessment centres significantly reduce the costs associated with travel, accommodation, and venue hire. They also streamline scheduling, allowing for quicker and more flexible assessment processes.  Virtual assessment centres reduce your carbon footprint and of those being recruited. It can also be a business continuity option when faced with the situation we had when Covid 19 shut down face to face interactions

Broader Accessibility

By eliminating geographical barriers, virtual assessment centres provide access to a global talent pool, enabling organisations to attract and assess candidates from different regions and backgrounds.

Simulation of Work Scenarios

Digital tools allow for the creation of realistic job simulations, enabling candidates to demonstrate their skills and abilities in scenarios that closely mimic actual work environments.

Read more about choosing the right technology for virtual assessment centres.

Challenges and Solutions in Virtual Assessment Centres

Technical Issues

Technical glitches such as connectivity problems from the participant and software malfunctions can disrupt the assessment process. To mitigate these issues, it is essential to conduct thorough testing of all tools and provide technical support throughout the assessments. Examples like the diagnostic tool used by Qpercom, can help to mitigate this.

Ensuring Fair and Unbiased Assessments

To maintain fairness, it is crucial to standardise assessment procedures and use objective criteria for evaluation. Incorporating diverse perspectives in the assessment panel can also help mitigate biases.
Furthermore, due to online video interviewing and digital scoring, advanced statistical analysis makes it possible to analyse assessment error and incorporate this assessment error in your decision making process.

Engaging Participants Remotely

Keeping participants engaged in a virtual environment can be challenging. Incorporating interactive elements, such as real-time feedback and reading time with a scenario, entertaining surveys, Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) and/or Situational Judgement Test (SJT) can enhance engagement and participation.


There are limitations in the way we assess practical skills with an online assessment, these may still need to be conducted face to face. It may mean that the assessment is designed to have this as a separate component where practical elements are isolated in a face to face environment.

Proctoring, which is sometimes referred to as online invigilation or remote invigilation and the use of AI can also be a challenge in a remote setting, unlike traditional assessment where the organisation has control of the environment, in this instance they do not and cheating with the help of AI or a person is a possibility.

Designing a Virtual Assessment Centre

Creating Effective Virtual Assessments

Designing a virtual assessment centre involves identifying key competencies for the role and developing activities that accurately assess these skills. This process includes:

– Defining objectives and outcomes.
– Selecting appropriate technological tools.
– Creating interactive and engaging assessments.
– Adding your competency framework to your Virtual Assessment Centre.

Incorporating Interactive Elements

Interactive elements such as group rooms, actor simulation and interactive case studies can make assessments more engaging and reflective of real-life job situations.

Best Practices for Participants

Preparation Tips

Participants should ensure they have a reliable internet connection and are familiar with the assessment tools and platform. Testing equipment beforehand and setting up a distraction-free environment are also crucial steps. They need to ensure they have read instructions provided by the assessment team, are aware of time differences/zones and have a quiet place to perform the assessment where they will not be disturbed.

Standing Out in Virtual Assessments

To excel in virtual assessments, participants should:

– Be punctual and professional.
– Communicate clearly and confidently.
– Actively engage in all activities and discussions.

Tips on how to prepare can be found here.

Case Studies: Successful Implementations

Examples of Effective Use

Several organisations have successfully implemented virtual assessment centres. For instance, the National Health Service (NHS) has used Virtual Interviews and Digital Scoring to conduct tens of thousands of assessments in 2023 and 2024.

Check our video on How Qpercom streamlines MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews).

Lessons Learned

From these implementations, organisations have learned the importance of thorough planning, clear communication, and continuous improvement based on feedback and outcomes.

The Future of Recruitment: Trends in Virtual Assessment Centres

Emerging Technologies

Innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are poised to revolutionise virtual assessment centres. These technologies can enhance the realism of simulations and provide deeper insights into candidates’ abilities.

Predictions for the Future

As virtual assessment centres evolve, they are expected to become more immersive and data-driven, offering even more precise and efficient assessments. This evolution will play a significant role in shaping the future of recruitment and talent management. 

Transitioning to Virtual Assessment Centres

Practical Advice for Companies

For organisations looking to adopt virtual assessment centres, it is essential to:

– Choose reliable technology partners.
– Invest in training for facilitators and assessors.
– Ensure a seamless and user-friendly experience for participants.

Key Considerations

When choosing technological solutions for virtual assessment centres, organisations should take into account factors like data security, user-friendliness, and scalability.

Virtual assessment centres provide a flexible and efficient method for evaluating candidates, using technology to surpass traditional limitations and improve the recruitment process.

For more insights, workshop opportunities, and detailed information on virtual assessment centres, visit Qpercom. Get in touch for a demo or a free trial.

Free eBook:

The Use of Technology in Clinical Skills Assessment
An essential read for those introducing technology into clinical skills assessment.

Technology can:

  • Reduce error rates
  • Decrease administration time
  • Increase quality standards