How to Handle Pre Employment Testing in Interviews

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Some employers use pre employment testing to assess your personality or your aptitudes (the things you will likely be good at) as they relate to the job.

The most common mistake people make in testing lies in trying to beat the tests. Some people mistakenly feel that need to provide the answers the employer wants to hear in order to get hired. This strategy rarely works, however, because well designed employment tests have lie scales built into them. If you try to answer the questions based on what you think the employer wants to hear, as opposed to what is true, the employer will know your answers were not sincere.

Tips for Personality Tests 

One of the first clients I ever worked with was encountering a lot of personality tests in his job interviews. He was convinced that his personality was not what employers in his field were looking for, so he was constantly trying to manipulate the tests. He job searched unsuccessfully for a long time, and, unfortunately, I couldn't convince him that it wasn't wise to try to manipulate employment tests. 

Eventually, he realized that his strategy was not working, and he decided to simply be honest on the next set of employment tests that he encountered. It wasn't surprising that the first time he was honest and didn't try to manipulate the personality test, he was offered a job. He could have saved himself a lot of time spent out of work and job searching if he had simply been honest on those tests in the first place. 

Tips for Aptitude Tests 

In addition to personality tests, you may also come across aptitude tests during job interviews. Aptitude tests measure the things that you are likely to be good at or learn easily. Depending on the requirements of the job, employers may use tests that measure many different things including your general learning ability (math and language), your manual dexterity (whether you're good with your hands) or your clerical perception (your ability to notice details). Although they are used in many industries, these tests are commonly used in hiring for manufacturing jobs. 

When you complete aptitude tests, keep in mind that they are normally designed so that it is impossible to complete the entire test. So do your best to accurately complete as much as possible, but don't worry if you don't finish the entire test (very few people, if any, will finish). 

General Tips for Pre Employment Testing 

Be sure to read all instructions carefully before beginning any assessment. It may be tempting to save time by jumping right into the test, but the time allotted to complete these tests takes into account time needed to read instrucions, and you may miss some very important information if you fail to read the instructions. 

When you arrive to complete your pre employment testing, dress to make a good impression. You may be tempted to dress very casually because it is not the same as a formal interview. However, employment tests may offer an opportunity to make contact with the employer, and each point of contact is a time when your suitability for the job is being assessed. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take the time to dress to make a good impression during pre employment testing. 

The best strategies for doing any kind of pre employment testing are simply to get a good night's sleep, be honest on the tests, when you are doing aptitude tests, do your best to finish as much as you can but don't worry if you don't finish all of the questions and dress to make a good first impression.

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