During the course of your job search, you may occasionally encounter a company that asks you to take a pre-employment test. The reason for these examinations is employers are trying to establish an objective baseline for how well you fit what they are looking for in a new hire, above and beyond your stated qualifications.
If you're asked to fill out such a document, whether in person or online, there are some things you should know going in. These include the following:
1) It's intended to challenge you
Again, companies are trying to get a feel for what you bring to the table, and they're literally putting you to the test to see if you have what it takes to succeed in the role, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. That doesn't mean this is a reason to get stressed out, but it does mean you're likely to get some questions you don't necessarily know the answers to.
2) They may come from more than one angle
There are multiple ways to assess your readiness for a given job, including skills testing, physical testing and more, the SHRM said. You might want to anticipate and prepare for multiple types of assessment as you enter the candidate search.
3) Employers put a lot of stock in them
These kinds of tests are not to be taken lightly, the SHRM further added. They're given because companies believe they work in assessing performance, and as such you need to treat them with the same gravity your potential employer does.
4) They're often subjective
On many of these tests, you will likely find that there's no specific right or wrong answer, according to The Balance Careers. The hiring manager is often just trying to see how you may respond in certain situations or whether you fit into the existing culture.
5) They should take some time
These aren't the kind of tests you take online to see which TV show character you are, so you need to put some serious thought into your answers, The Balance Careers noted. Go over the test once before you answer a single question and then review your answers once you're done. That way, you'll be sure you did your best and fully understood every question.
6) You can probably find practice tests online
If you know in advance you're going to be tested, you might be wise to find out what kind of assessment you'll be given, according to the Harvard Business Review. That way, you can search online for a sample test that's along similar lines, and better acclimate yourself to the effort.
7) You should be honest and not just say what you think they want to hear
Because these tests don't usually have right or wrong answers, you need to be honest about where you stand, the Harvard Business Review advised. If you aren't, you could find yourself getting the job, but it could be a position or team you're not right for. That ends up being a waste of everyone's time and effort.
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