Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Basics of Pre-employment Assessment Tests

In order to prepare for a pre-employment test, you must first understand the purpose of the test and the type of test you may be taking. The general purpose of these tests is to assess your potential rather than your acquired skills and knowledge. There are several types of tests you may face and each type of test has a different purpose.

Personality Assessments
Personality assessments are presented as a series of true/false or multiple choice questions. Your responses to the questions enable the employer to infer many things such as how you communicate, how you respond to stress, and even how likely you are to stay with the company if hired.

One approach to this test is to be yourself and answer honestly and spontaneously. This is the response most employers are hoping to receive, but may not be the best approach for you. Many of the questions are open to interpretation. Therefore, before answering each question, think about the motivation behind it. The best approach is to be honest, but think about the reasoning behind each question instead of approaching it as black and white.

When answering the questions of a personality test, it is important to answer the questions consistently. The tests often ask the same basic question multiple times in different ways.

Verbal Assessments
Verbal skills tests measure your ability to understand written instructions and may include spelling and grammar tests, checking data for errors, and assessing your communication skills. These tests may be used for clerical, customer service, or data entry positions.

Numeric Reasoning Assessments
Numeric reasoning tests are a measure of your basic arithmetic, mathematics, and number sequencing abilities. You may have to solve math problems, infer information from graphs and charts, or demonstrate your ability to interpret statistical data. These tests are used for career fields that require the ability to work with numbers such as accounting, bookkeeping, and construction.

Spatial or Mechanical Reasoning Assessments
Spatial or mechanical reasoning and fault diagnosis tests evaluate your knowledge of physical, mechanical, and three-dimensional objects. These are often used for technical types of positions where mechanical aptitude is necessary such as engineers, electricians, and mechanics. Police forces, fire departments, and the military also use these types of test to evaluate problem solving skills.

General Preparation Tips
* Arrive on time for the test and present a professional appearance.
* Dress and behave as though you are in an interview.
* Take practice tests. You can find free online tests as well as word puzzles or
math puzzles in books. Prepare yourself for a timed test scenario.
* Get a good night of sleep the night before and eat a good meal prior to the test.

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