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Like any type of test, online assessments can initially seem daunting, and with an average of 70 applicants for every full-time vacancy, an ever-increasing number of businesses are using online assessments as an additional tool to help them narrow down their search. Therefore, at some point in your job hunt, it’s likely to have to take one of these tests. As any slight advantage you have could be the difference between you landing that dream job and missing out, here are some tips on how to prepare, and what to expect from these types of tests.
Preparing for the Test
Good news, they obviously like your application and think that maybe, just maybe, you are the right person for the job. The Recruiter obviously wants to know you a bit better, what makes you tick, how do you think so have invited you to take an online assessment. Great, but now what? The work starts early on, not just the moment you settle down to take the test. The most common mistake candidates make at this stage is under-preparing for the test – I assume by reading that the fact you are reading this blog means you are serious about your job hunt. That means that you wouldn’t go to a face-to-face interview without being fully prepared, would you? So why should an online test be any different? Practicing for the assessment tests will ensure you are prepared to face this part of the interview process.Like any type of test, online assessments can initially seem daunting, and with an average of 70 applicants for every full-time vacancy, an ever-increasing number of businesses are using online assessments as an additional tool to help them narrow down their search.Click To Tweet
All the basic information you would research for an interview you should also learn for any online assessment. If you don’t know what the company does, who they work with, what the job entails, and what the latest market trends are then go away and learn these key details, and don’t think about taking the test until you are confident on these points. These areas may very well not come up in the test but a basic knowledge will certainly help boost your confidence before the assessment, and if they do come up and you don’t know then you be kissing the job goodbye.
One of the key pieces of preparation is to find out what sort of test you are taking and then practice, practice, practice. There are lots of resources online such as JobPrepTest which provides free practice tests that you can practice against the clock. Not only will these get you used to the types of questions asked and areas you might want to consider doing some more research on, but also the format and appearance of the tests which at first can appear alien. If you are not sure what sort of test you will be facing then ask the Recruiter, they will be impressed with the fact that you are taking the test seriously and in most cases will give you more details on the test.
Taking the Test
When you are planning on taking the test, make sure you block off some time where you won’t be disturbed and can concentrate. Take the phone off the hook, send you kids off to get ice-cream, and your partner to walk the dog. Maybe even go the whole hog and create your own ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.
Some of these tests ask candidates questions that seemingly have nothing to do with the position applied for. For example, how strongly do you agree or disagree with statements such as I enjoy parties and other social occasions or I am nervous around large animals, even if they are in a cage at a zoo. Whilst they might seem inconsequential, they can have a profound impact on your application. It’s important to answer all questions honestly, and not simply say what you think the recruiter wants to hear. Many tests will ask questions to test the same characteristics in various different ways. Although the test is not designed to catch you out, recruiters will notice any discrepancies in your answers and this could damage your chances of advancing.
The benefit of the repeated practice you hopefully have done prior to the actual test is that you should be used to answering these types of questions to a time-limit. The test’s introduction will tell you how many questions you have and the test’s time limit. Use this work out how long you can afford to spend answering each question. Try not to get bogged down with one question, leave it and come back if you have time.
If you find you are running out of time and you don’t know the answer, then it might be the time to have an educated guess. If you are facing a multiple-choice test, you might be able to quickly rule out obviously wrong answers and concentrate on the remaining answers. Similarly, in a numeracy based test, you may be able to estimate the answer rather than working it out precisely particularly if you are running low on time.