Tackling tests you may be given at Interview

Tackling tests you may be given at Interview

At most job interviews, you will be the only candidate present. This means you can’t be given any sort of group exercise, however you could still be asked to sit one or more tests. Here we look at how to prepare for and tackle some of these.

Psychological questionnaires – these ask you to say what sort of a person you are. They might be designed to assess your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, whether you prefer working alone or in a team, whether you are reserved or more outgoing etc. Answer all questions honestly – don’t try and second guess the answers the company wants as these tests often ask similar questions multiple times to try and identify inconsistent responses. It’s also very difficult to prepare for these types of test in advance.

Ability tests – these might typically assess numerical and/or verbal reasoning. They may require you to carry out numerical calculations of varying difficulty, and a calculator may or may not be provided. Alternatively, you might be asked to select which word is missing from a sentence, given a range of options; or asked to judge what facts can and cannot be gleaned from a section of text. Here you most certainly can practice in advance – have a look on the internet for some examples of numerical and verbal reasoning tests, or look for some general ‘boost your IQ’ exercises. These tests can be very important, as while it’s unlikely you will be offered the role based on your test score alone, the company may well set a pass mark for the test, and won’t consider you if you fail to achieve that score.

Case studies – these assess how you would react in certain work-based situations. For example, the question might describe a scenario and you are then asked to explain in writing what strategies you would use to solve the problem. When answering these questions, think carefully about your past experiences, and consider how you have reacted in similar situations in the past. The question may be designed to assess skills such as: ability to disseminate information, analytical ability, judgement and decision making, written communication, innovative thinking and general business acumen.

If the test involves a time limit, keep a close eye on the time and ensure you are progressing through these questions at the right rate. Therefore, make sure you wear a watch to an interview as that might be the only way to keep track of the time. Some tests will have a very tight time limit simply because you are expected to answer the questions instinctively.

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