Most people are aware of how important it is to prepare a good resume and update their LinkedIn accounts. But that’s where they stop…Instead, you should ask yourself what else you can do to be an active player in your job search. The next step after you send out your resume should be preparing for the interview. In the current employment market, each open position receives thousands of candidates. Landing an interview is no easy feat. Excelling on the interview is an even greater challenge. The more you prepare for the interview, the greater your chances of getting hired. Unfortunately, preparing for a job interview in the current job market has become more complicated. The market is inundated with talented candidates, leading many employers to use job assessment tests to help improve the screening process. The pre-employment assessment process varies from company to company, and most employers use tests from assessment companies.
Before starting to practice for your pre-employment assessment, it is important to know which assessment you are going to take. Not all companies provide this information. This is primarily because they would prefer that the first time you encounter the pre-employment assessment be at the interview. I suggest asking the HR representative for information when you receive that first phone call scheduling the interview. If that does not work, do your own research on which assessments you will encounter, based on your profession or your potential employer. Ask people who previously interviewed at the company and look on job boards.
There are two main types of tests you may face:
- Aptitude tests – An aptitude test is an instrument used by employers to measure a candidate’s cognitive skills and other basic skills needed for the job. Different aptitude tests are used to measure all the potential skills required for the position, including math skills, literacy skills, and reasoning skills. Math aptitude tests usually evaluate basic arithmetic and numerical reasoning skills. Verbal tests usually cover text analysis and include language-based questions. Other common aptitude tests used by employers are tests that measure deductive reasoning, abstract reasoning, and critical thinking. One of the most popular critical thinking tests is the Watson Glaser Test. Equally common are job skills tests and computer skills tests. After learning which type of aptitude test you’re about to take, find the appropriate online resources and start practicing.
- Behavioral tests – Behavioral tests are aimed at identifying a candidate’s personality profile. This information is then used to identify if the applicant is an appropriate fit for the position. Behavioral tests primarily fall into one of two categories: personality tests or situational judgement tests. Personality tests are used to evaluate a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. They are designed to inform an employer of specific personality traits, including how tolerant, friendly, or assertive a candidate is. Every position requires a different set of traits. For instance, a salesperson and a data analyst will be judged according to different personality traits, ones that specifically match each of these two jobs. Situational judgement tests measure how a candidate is likely to react in different work-related situations. The use of behavioral tests has increased by 20% with each passing year. Currently, 80% of the Fortune 500 companies use them. It has become quite common that immediately after submitting your resume, you are emailed a personality questionnaire.
Interview assessments are becoming more and more commonplace. Companies have learned that replacing a poor hire is extremely costly. The average cost of replacing a bad hire is about 1.5 times the cost of the worker’s salary and benefits combined. This is mostly because it is expensive to interview, train, and then re-train a new hire. Writing a great resume is important, but it is only part of the battle. It is equally as important to prepare in advance for job assessment tests. You need to be an active, rather than a passive, player in the quest for your dream job!
This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and blogger at JobTestPrep. She specializes in writing about the employment hiring process. JobTestPrep is a market leader in preparation for job assessment exams. It has helped more than 500,000 people achieve their academic and career goals.