Prepare for Your Pre-Employment Assessment

by Jennifer Feldman

Pre-Employment Assessment

If you are in the process of applying for a new job you might have been asked by the employer to take a pre-employment assessment exam or a psychometric test. Psychometric testing is an umbrella term used to label all assessments used by employers to evaluate a potential candidate’s performance. The term psychometric testing generally refers to either behavioral tests or aptitude tests. The current standard procedure is that assessment tests are being given online under time constraints. An assessment might be administered immediately after you submit your resume in the comfort of your own home, at your employer’s office, or at an assessment center. Even if the test is given at home, in many cases, you will be asked to retake part of the test on the day you attend your job interview.

What Is a Personality Test?

One of the most common forms of behavioral tests being used today is the job personality test. A personality test is a tool used by employers to help find candidates which they feel would be the right fit for their company. The personality test indicates various aspects of an individual’s character, and is usually based on the five-factor model. There is a common misconception that one cannot prepare for a personality test and that there are no wrong answers. This is not true! Many people have different aspects to their personality. Therefore, they can answer the questions on the personality test various ways. Employers are looking for certain personality profiles for specific positions. An important factor which influences the outcome of your personality test is stress! Stress manifests itself in various ways in your answers, including causing an individual to be careless, over analyze questions, become indecisive, and perform frustrating behaviors. Taking an online practice test that simulates the real feeling of an exam is the best way to minimize your stress so that you perform at your optimal level on the test day.

What Is a Leadership Assessment Test?

When applying for a leadership position, many employers are looking for certain character traits. The purpose of the leadership or managerial personality assessment is to find the candidate who is best fitted to serve as a leader. There are four main traits that employers are looking for:

  • Self-management
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Individual competencies (which are indicated by leadership aptitude results)

Those serving as leaders within a company drive the success of the company and can change the company’s vision, products, and procedures. Serving as a leader in a company is no easy task, and getting a leadership position is even harder. Leadership assessment exams vary from employer to employer. Although, the key components and traits that they are looking for are always the same.

What Is a Situational Judgement Test?

There are many employers that will require you take a certain type of behavioral exam called the situational judgement test. The situational judgment test will test your ability to make responsible and thoughtful decisions. During the exam, you will be presented with various hypothetical scenarios which you will come across in the workplace, and you will be required to provide solutions. You will be given a few different options for possible resolutions, and you must decide the most effective course of action. Often you are expected to choose your responses spontaneously. That does not have to be the case. Studying will help you discern which resolutions are the most appropriate to choose given a certain scenario.

What Is a Math Aptitude Test?

Unfortunately, there is not one universal pre-employment math test. That being said, math aptitude tests are a category of testing which can be easily prepared for. Math aptitude tests can vary greatly in terms of length of time given for the test, and even whether they are timed at all. If you are taking an untimed test, you should be thoughtful and thorough when taking the test. On the contrary, when taking a timed test, self-pacing and accuracy are extremely important. Most math aptitude tests are multiple choice and can cover topics ranging from basic computation skills to more difficult word problems. Math aptitude tests differ from profession to profession in content covered and level of difficulty. You should do research and find practice math exams for your profession and even individual companies.

What Is a Mechanical Aptitude Test?

One of the most common types of aptitude tests is the mechanical aptitude test. Mechanical aptitude tests measure one’s knowledge of physical and mechanical concepts. Mechanical aptitude tests can be given to those working in the engineering, mechanics, skilled trades (i.e. carpenter, electrician, etc.), maintenance, military, industrial fields, and transportation fields. Specific topic knowledge is often needed to excel on these types of assessments, including knowledge related to force, motion, energy transformation, levers, pulleys, screws, gears, voltage, circuits, magnetism and more. To succeed on mechanical aptitude tests preparation is needed. Candidates should become familiar with the structure of the questions and the topics of interest. A popular technical and industrial assessment given in the United States by the Pearson Assessment center is the Bennet Mechanical Comprehension Test.

What Is a Figural-Reasoning Test?

The Figural-Reasoning Test (FRT) is also referred to as the diagrammatic, non-verbal, or abstract reasoning test. These types of aptitude tests are non-verbal tests, which assess your ability to analyze and understand information presented visually. The focus of these exams is to test your visual reasoning skills. Testing your visual reasoning skills is a way to gain an objective understanding of an individual’s intellectual potential, without confounding factors such as culture, language, or prior education. FRTs use shapes and pictures to test the exam takers’ ability to predict logic patterns or processes. For many test takers, this is an unusual type of exam and it’s best to try to understand figural reasoning tests in advance.

What Is a Computer Skills Test?

It is becoming increasingly more popular for many employers to assess an employee’s computer skills using either a:

  • Typing tests
  • Microsoft Word tests
  • Excel tests

In today’s day and age, every profession requires the use of different computer programs. These tests measure your basic computer competencies, which are usually required in your daily workload. They are designed to see if the candidate has an adequate level of skill required to perform the job in a satisfactory manner.

How Should You Prepare?

Before beginning to practice for an online assessment, gather as much information as you can about the assessment and the conditions.

Once you ascertain which test you are being given, you need to be your own advocate and make sure you are ready! Here is a complete list of the various assessment company tests. Preparing in advance will make you an active player, rather than a passive receiver. Only you can differentiate yourself from the thousands of applicants you are going up against. Just remember in this grueling employment market, especially when targeting big companies, you need to do everything you can to get a leg up on the competition!

This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert, and specializes in writing about the employment hiring process.

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