Set A Great Interview Task

If you are recruiting for your automotive business, it’s likely you’ll need to set an interview task for your candidates. You can only learn so much about candidates from asking questions. Remember some candidates may be ‘experts’ at interviewing and know the ‘right answers’ to common questions. If you want to employ the right people, make sure you have a thorough interview process. We strongly recommend including interview tasks or tests. Do this at the 2nd interview stage. It will really help reveal a candidate’s true skills and abilities.



WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE? – Are you testing market knowledge? Skills? Working style? Personality traits?

WHAT TYPE OF TASK OR TEST WILL YOU SET? – Will it be prepared in advance or set on the day?

HOW MUCH TIME WILL YOU ALLOW FOR THE TASK? -10 minute presentation or full assessment day?


As an employer there are a wide range of interview tests at your disposal. They type of testing you choose will probably depend on what you want to achieve and the time available. Here at Copeland we are familiar with wide range interview testing techniques. We advise our clients on the best testing techniques for their situation.


You can use interview presentations assess the candidate’s ability to communicate clearly and formally. Often employers will use presentation to assess a candidate’s subject knowledge. They are also used to test skills in timing, analysis, public speaking and creativity. We’d recommend giving your candidates a brief in advance of the interview. Be sure to give all candidates a similar time to prepare. Ensure you give clear instructions such as how long you want them to present for. It’s also wise to pre-empt any technical issues on the day. Many of our clients ask candidates to email them the presentation ahead of the interview.


In-tray exercises are situations where the candidate is tasked with organising their workload. These tasks are good for testing job performance. They also assess key competencies such as analysis, decision-making and time management. You might give a candidate 30 to 60 minutes to work through several items of work. Examples could be: emails, reports or telephone messages. You would task them with prioritising items and deciding what action is required.


Involving a number of candidates together, group exercises are often used in assessment centres. You would also use them if you have multiple vacancies. The employer will provides an industry or workplace-related problem.

You can use group exercises to assess candidates against key competencies. These might include teamwork, leadership, problem solving and communication. Examples of typical group exercises include:

  • Ice-breakers – This will help relax and bond the team. You could include simple tasks such ask asking them to find out facts about other candidates.
  • Discussion – Provide a business scenario for your candidates. Ask them to reach a logical conclusion. Try asking each candidate in turn to contribute.
  • Role play – Give your candidates a particular role, background information and a brief.


Case studies test the candidates’ analysis, creativity and problem-solving skills. They are given a description of a situation and are asked to respond with either a solution or advice. The conclusion is reached by collating and analysing provided information.


These interview tasks involve writing an essay, email, letter or report on a given topic – although they do sometimes include proofreading, reviewing or summarising a document.Tasks typically last 40 to 60 minutes, and assess the candidates on common sense, comprehension and written communication.

Further Reading:

Narrowing Down Your Candidate Pool

Create A Great Candidate Experience

Copeland are UK automotive industry recruiters. We find you industry expert candidates and reduce hiring times. Our focus is on quality over quantity so we find the right people for you.

Learn more about OUR WORK & SERVICES or Get in touch: E: [email protected]   T: 07973 286342

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