What does Lego have to do with getting a job?

Today at the end of another Lego Assessment Day at Specialisterne NI’s office at Skainos, Belfast, I am again struck by the difference that using a work-like scenario such as building Lego Mindstorms in groups of two, makes to the Assessment process. A recruiter for over 10 years I have used interview techniques and references in order to best assess a person’s skills, yet when 2 years ago I started working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorders I was challenged to look at other means for assessing skills, given that what you see at interview for a person on the Autistic Spectrum may not reflect the person’s full skills, it’s a bit like being tested at your point of weakness, with the results forming the final answer for what you have to offer.

In a Lego Assessment participants build Lego Mindstorms Robots and programme them in small teams. The Specialisterne NI team take observational data and code this in relation to team, task and self-management factors. In post assessment interviews the interviewer explores moments from the assessment to test what we think we saw, and use this conversation as a springboard to discuss career aspirations and next steps.

The assessment day is simply a tool to get to know participants and to match job seekers to job roles, and corporate environments. The end result feels akin to 6 months working with a candidate in a typical recruitment role.

So, in answer to the question above, a systematic group task such as working in a team to build a Lego Mindstorms Robot may just help to secure a better matched job role, can help inform where an interview may mislead, and by helping your recruiter get to know you, can avoid undirected activity and help you get the work you want.

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