Often such tests will involve questions that have no right or wrong answers, but rather provide the employer with an understanding of your preferences, personality type, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as concern areas about your emotional and mental health.
Additional testing may involve logic, math, mechanical, grammar, and spelling questions to gauge your abilities in these areas.
Completing assessment tests well can increase the likelihood that the company will offer you the job. Here's how:
Before the test
- Ask what type of test(s) will be administered and how long the testing will take. Say: "Can you tell me what type of tests will be administered? How would you recommend that I prepare?"
- Learn all that you can about the type of assessment tests using various search engines.
- Seek to learn how the tests will be given (in-person, by phone, online, etc.)
- Take practice tests until you feel fully prepared to take the real tests.
- Contact people who have taken the tests to learn if they recall their own effective answering strategies.
- Request information about how your test results will be used and how well you must do on them to be considered for the position.
- If you know that you will have difficulty with aspects of testing such as the math assessment, notify the hiring manager and ask if that skill test is necessary for the position. If it is not, the company may wave that part of the test or overlook your deficiency in that area.
- Get plenty of rest. Don’t eat heavy foods that could tire you during the test.
During the test
- Answer questions honestly and consistently (assessment tests tend to ask similar questions repeatedly to ensure you are being truthful).
- If there is no completely right answer for a multiple choice question, choose the answer that is closest to how you think as it relates to the company and position.
- Read questions carefully and check your answers. If you don’t know an answer, make your best guess and move on. Return to such questions if there is time later.
- Consider the company culture in your responses. Are employees overwhelmingly ambitious, bureaucratic, creative, etc.? Answer in line with their corporate style.
- When asked moral, ethical or legal-focused questions, choose the answer that is the most moral, ethical and legal.
- If you felt like you bombed certain sections, alert the hiring manager. If he or she really wants you, the manager may have the authority to disregard certain results.
- Write the names of tests you took and any questions that you remember. This will help you speak knowledgeably later with the test administrator or manager.
- Consider how you can respond better if tested for a different position.
- Ask the hiring manager how you did. Be open to feedback and positive about criticisms. Mention proof points to disprove or reinforce the test results. Convey wisdom you’ve gained and your willingness to be coached to overcome concern areas.
- If you are rejected after an assessment test, thank the hiring manager for the opportunity (through a letter or email), emphasize that you are actively building your strengths in the concern areas and express interest in being considered for future opportunities within the company.
The bottom line: Learn to excel at assessment tests! Doing so can help you land a great job.
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