What are Role Play exercises?

Role play exercises is an assessment tool mostly used by employers in industries such as law and sales during the recruitment process to test the ability of candidates for handling problems and dealing with clients. These exercises are usually conducted by a member of the recruitment team or with a professional actor hired for the purpose. Some companies may incorporate role play during group exercises and ask different candidates to play different roles.

How do they work?

Typically, role play exercises are conducted as an act where the candidate performs the position he or she applied for, while a member of the recruitment team plays the prospective client or the customer. The exercise usually revolves around a crisis like the complaint of the client or shareholder, which the candidate is supposed to solve. In industries like sales or retail, the role playing candidate may be asked to sell a new product or service to the customer. The context and content of the exercise may also vary according to the company or the industry, the position for which the candidate is applying and the consumer base.

Which industries use Role Play exercises for evaluation?

Recently, several industries have started using role play exercises for better evaluation of candidates during the recruitment process. Some industries are:

Industry Exercise
Law Dealing with an unsettling client
Education Disciplining a disobeying child or explaining him why he was wrong
Retail Solving a complaint of a customer
Marketing Advertising a new product
Finance Trading with a dissatisfied shareholder


What kinds of jobs are using these exercises for evaluation?

Role play exercises are usually conducted for jobs which require dealing with a client or a third party, for examples in industries mentioned in the above table.

How difficult are the Role Play exercises?

If the company where you have applied for a job requires you to take a role play test, there is absolutely no need to panic. Firstly, because role play exercises are not tremendously difficult, and in fact, are the most fun filled and entertaining part of selection process. They are certainly easier to pass in comparison to written tests or interviews, and are a great way to make an unforgettable first impression. Secondly, more than often the recruitment procedure is not limited to solely these exercises, and also comprises of interviews and other tests. Therefore, the selection committee of the job is not likely to base its entire decision on the role play exercises, and will also take into consideration the candidates’ performance in other tests.

How important are Role Play exercises for my evaluation?

Even though role play exercises are not difficult, as stated, they are extremely important in the overall evaluation of a candidate. This is because even though a written test or an interview allows the recruiters to assess whether or not an applicant is fit for the job, a role play exercise helps them determine how a candidate will perform on the job.

Why preparing for Role Play exercise is important?

Despite the fact recruiters don’t base their entire decision on the role play exercise, they do it weigh it as equally vital as the interview or written test. Role play exercises give them an opportunity to assess the communicating and decision making skills of the candidate. Thus, it is important that you prepare well for your exercise and our guide will help you do exactly that.

When do I take the Role Play exercises?

Most companies which require the candidate to take a role playing exercise test, inform the candidates about test way in advance, letting them know the date and center of the exercise, hence, giving them ample time to prepare.

What kind abilities or knowledge do I need to know to pass the Role Play exercises?

The basic abilities which recruiters look for in candidates during role play exercises are:

  • Outstanding Verbal Communication Skills
  • Ability to Plan and Adapt
  • Decision Making Skills
  • Knack to evaluate and analyze
  • Capacity to mentor and coach
  • Focused

What are the practice tips to prepare for Role Play exercises?

Here a few practice tips which would help you prepare for role play exercises:

  • The biggest factor that affects your performance during an exercise is your body language and your communication, so it is of utmost importance to work on these before the actual test. Work on your pronunciation and try to be loud and clear. Be attentive and listen to the instructions carefully before you answer.
  • The purpose of a role play exercise is to assess the decision making and problem solving skills of a candidate. So, confront the issue that comes up during the exercise and provide a solution. Go through a sample of exercises for your industry to get an idea of what you may be required to do.
  • Try to finish your exercise within the time allotted to you for the same. This shows your recruiter that you can manage time well, and meet deadlines.
  • While role playing, make your recruiter or actor comfortable by offering him a drink or doing something similar. This person is supposed to be your customer, and being polite with him shows your recruiter that you are a decent person to work with.

To sum things up

Our guide comes with specialized packs of example exercises, practice exercises and performance tips. Along with this, it also offers assistance on how to behave at an assessment center and a list of centers most commonly used. It provides information on the structure and format of role play exercise, and how different industries score them. It also contains recommendations from top assessment centers, examples from a myriad of industries. In addition to this, it also offers advice on other tests like presentations exercises, group exercises, and analysis exercises, which can come in handy while preparing for a role play exercise.

This guide is the best solution for all your exercise preparation needs, with plenty of job and career practice exercises. Our manual will help you prepare and perform better on the day of your assessment. Thus, getting you closer to your dream job.