An invitation to a roleplay assessment day can be both exhilarating and nerve wrecking, purely for the immense rollercoaster of emotions that are conjured from being assessed. Role-plays pose the same level of intimidation for some. In this article we highlight 6 things to remember in order to increase your chances of acing your roleplay assessment.
As daunting as it is having to undertake a role-play under strict observation, there are ways of ensuring that you are aware of, and manage your own emotions as well as your behaviour. It’s important to remember that the objective of the role-play is to demonstrate, to the assessors, how capable you are of supporting the young person and the degree to which you are aware of your own ‘practice’ - demonstrate that you are aware of how you interact with a young person in distress under somewhat ‘pressurised’ conditions.
Nerves are okay
Whilst roleplay is only meant to be a simulation of the real world, the thought of being observed by assessors who are critically analysing every word you say can cause your nerves to overwhelm you. Unfortunately failure to manage nerves can reduce your chances of performing at your highest level. We recommend that you get comfortable with the idea that you probably will get nervous, and that’s ok. Remember to follow the sitting process to loosen your body.
Much of what happens in the roleplay setting can be controlled with good practice. Our actions (responses) are influenced, in part, by either what we think or the emotions we hold in our spirit and vice versa. For example, sitting in a good posture is one way to evoke and radiate the feeling of confidence and control of self, which will in-turn enable you to think of yourself being able to deal with and handle whatever challenge is presented to you. Speaking at a slower pace can also enable you to feel more relaxed, allowing you time to gather your thoughts and speak with clarity.
Listening to answer
Roleplay is all about connection and building rapport and what better way to connect with the young person (or service user) than to actually listen to what they have to say- use the 80:20 principle: allow or encourage the service user to speak 80% of the time and 20% for yourself. But don't just listen to what they have to say. Listening with the intent of understanding empathetically. More importantly, listen to yourself - how you respond to their every plight, and allow the service user enough room to express themselves.
Strive to keep a consistent flow of the conversation. We recommend that you become curious with the hope of getting a clearer picture of the areas of need, potential risks, and the strengths by asking open ended questions and explore all the issues raised by the service user.
Empathy goes a long way
When exploring the issues disclosed by the young person show some empathy. Put yourself in their situation and remember that you’re there as a trusted and informed professional. - one that is able to reassure, empower and effect positive change to the situation.
Do not overpromise!
And lastly, be weary of trying to impress the service by overpromising. We have witnessed far too many accounts of practitioners promising either a support service or solution that was beyond their control and could further exacerbate the situation by failing to meet that promise.
See you at the next Assessment Centre.