One of the things that scare the job seekers is the employment exam. Most companies nowadays require the applicants to take these tests because these serve as fair basis for the screening process.
What was wrong? It’s not you, it’s…your process. Perhaps you are fixed at the traditional methods of recruitment. Sure they have been proven to work for years but in this day and age, it pays to exert extra effort to level up the hiring process if you want to keep up with your competitors.
What is an employment exam?
1. Job knowledge tests
This exam measures an applicant’s technical or theoretical expertise in a particular field. For example, a journalist may be asked about the media ethics. While in the case of an accountant, they may be asked of basic accounting principles. This test is most useful for jobs that require specialized knowledge or high levels of expertise.
Some examples of job knowledge tests include basic accounting principles, A /Net programming, and blueprint reading.
How to pass: Review the basic principles of the field of work you are applying for.
2. Cognitive ability test
This test is also known as the aptitude or intelligence test. It covers some or all of the following categories: numerical, verbal, abstract and mechanical reasoning.
The test generally uses questions or problems to measure the ability to learn quickly, logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and other mental abilities that are important to success in different jobs. Cognitive ability tests also assess a candidate’s potential to solve job-related problems.
How to pass: Read a lot. Familiarize yourself with the basic to advanced English words as the exam includes misspelled words and subject-verb agreement questions.
For the abstract reasoning part, learn to recognize relationships among concepts and familiarize yourself with sequences. In most cases, this exam will present you with a series of illustrations and you will choose which one completes it. Key word, it’s all about the pattern.
3. Personality test
This test is designed to reveal aspects of an individual’s character and if you are a good fit for the job and if the job is a good fit for you. This test is usually done for the ones applying for a salesman, Public Relations and other positions that involve interpersonal communication. However, this does not mean that the exam is limited to those who are into communications positions. Some companies also give personality test to the applicants in all the positions.
Most personality tests have an internal validity scale that detects attempts to misrepresent you. If your answers appear to be dishonest then you actually hurt your chances of being hired.
Even if you are somehow able to fool them into thinking you have the type of personality they are looking for, chances are you will not be very good at or happy with the job once you are at it.
How to pass: Unlike other exams, you can’t study for a personality test so no handouts needed for this. All you have to do is just be honest. What you can do is to take sample tests online and assess your answers. This way, you’ll be able to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
4. Skills or work sample and simulations test
This exam does not focus on knowledge or abstract personality traits. The exam is intended to measure actual skills: soft skills (e.g. attention to detail) or hard skills (e.g. computer literacy). For example, a secretarial applicant may take a typing test to show how fast and accurately he or she can type. Other examples include data checking tests, leadership tests, or presentations. This test helps find out the candidate’s knowledge and skill required for a specific job.
Work sample and simulations test focus on measuring specific job skills but also assess the general skills such as organizational, analytic, and interpersonal skills. The exam normally requires performance of tasks that are similar to those performed on the job to assess their level of skill or competence. For example, work samples might involve editing videos, writing articles, creating a mock-up app, or tuning an engine.
How to pass: Although this test requires more focus and consumes a lot of time, keep in mind that the employers give the applicants a time limit. Don’t panic when the time is almost over and you aren’t finished, yet. Just continue your work and make sure everything is well done given a limited amount of time.
Although pre-employment exams sound terrifying and nerve-wracking, it doesn’t have to be that stressful. HR advises the applicants to always prepare, relax, be confident and always read the instructions.