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Employers in private and public sector companies use pre-employment tests to assess whether you’re a good fit for the position you’re seeking. Because the tests are designed to reveal aptitude and personality traits, you don’t need to study. Test-taking is stressful, so prepare ahead of time to ensure you do your best.
What Is Pre-Employment Testing?
Pre-employment exams are used to help employers gain a better understanding of job applicants before making a hiring decision. Many employers find that pre-employment testing saves them time and money. They can use the test results to determine whom to bring in for an interview. Additionally, they can use test results to focus the interview on specific issues and questions. Finally, pre-employment testing helps employers find candidates who have the desired behaviors, traits and skills needed for the success of the organization.
Tests can be designed to assess any of the following:
- Personality or character traits
- Skills and abilities
- Job knowledge
- Software or language proficiency
- Emotional intelligence
- Alcohol and drug use
Assessment Test Questions and Answers
You won’t find AAA assessment test answers online. Don’t waste money on test prep courses, since they won’t help you with personality, behavior or substance use tests. However, print and online practice tests are available for verbal and mathematical reasoning. You may want to look at those to get an idea of the kinds of questions that you will be asked. If you know you’ll be tested with a software program like Excel, review the software. If you have time, study online tutorials or enroll in a class.
The Night Before the Test
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. That might mean going to bed a little earlier than usual. Avoid alcohol. Try replacing screen time with a book or soft music to help you relax. Set your alarm to wake you a few minutes earlier than for your normal routine. Plan what you’re going to wear. Place everything you need, including car keys, wallet and phone, in one spot, so you won’t spend stressful minutes looking for anything in the morning.
The Day of the Test
Eat a good breakfast. Take care with your appearance. It could be the first impression you make with a potential employer, so you want to look neat and professional.
Allow enough time to get to the test site. It’s better to arrive early than late; in some cases, you will not be permitted to take the test if you don’t get to the testing site on time.
American Automobile Association
The America Automobile Association (AAA) is one of thousands of organizations that uses pre-employment testing to screen applicants for some positions. AAA pre-employment assessment tests are administered online. You can use your own personal computer or a computer in an AAA office.
Depending on the position you’re applying for, AAA pre-employment assessment tests can include any of the following:
- Personality: Assesses your characteristics and behavior
- Situational Judgment: Tests your problem-solving skills for job-related scenarios
- Abstract Reasoning: Looks at how you understand and analyze visual information
- Verbal Reasoning: Examines how you extract and analyze information from yes-no or multiple-choice questions
- Mathematical Reasoning: Tests your quantitative thinking
- Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office: Assesses your knowledge and skill level with software programs you’ll use on the job
If you complete the assessment successfully, you’ll be contacted by AAA to schedule a telephone or an in-person interview. If you’re not invited to interview but would still like to be considered for employment, you can retake the assessment after a waiting period of six months. AAA does not offer any feedback on your test results.
Prepare for the Job Interview
Whether you’re scheduled to interview with AAA or any other organization, preparation is essential to putting your best foot forward. Here are some important tips:
- Research the Company: Find out as much as you can about the company and the position you’re seeking. Spend some time exploring the organization’s website. Visit employment websites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder to look at job announcements posted by the organization you’re interviewing with as well as those of competitors in the industry. Talk to current employees, if possible, or others who work in the industry. It’s not unusual to be asked in an interview: “What do you know about our company?” Show that you are interested in the job by demonstrating your knowledge.
- Determine the Type of Interview: Depending on the organization, you may be interviewed in a traditional one-on-one scenario, by a panel representing different aspects of the company, in a group interview with other candidates for the position, or by phone. Interview questions will likely be the same no matter the type of interview. It helps to know the type of interview ahead of time so that you can mentally prepare. Panel and group interviews may be more stressful, as you’ll be interacting with more than one person.
- Rehearse Your Answers: It’s easy to start rambling in an interview if you’re not sure what to say. Check out lists of common interview questions online and prepare how you’ll answer. Don’t worry about trying to memorize responses word for word. You want to be prepared, but you also want to sound conversational and natural. Common interview questions include the following:
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What attracted you to this company?
- Why should we hire you? Why do you want this job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Can you describe a time you had to deal with conflict on the job?
- How do you deal with co-workers who don’t pull their weight on a team project?
- How do you handle criticism?
- Can you talk about a time when you failed to meet a deadline?
- What is your salary history?
- What salary are you looking for?
- How would you describe your work style?
- What are you proudest of?
- What are your long-range goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What is your ideal working environment?
- Which three words would best describe you?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
- What motivates you?
- What other companies are you interviewing with?
- Have you ever been fired from a job? What happened?
- Prepare for a Role Play Interview: Part of your job interview might include one or more scenarios in which you’re asked to show how you would handle a situation. An AAA role-play interview, for example, might require you to plan a travel route for a customer or answer questions about insurance.
- Dress for Success: An old adage reminds us that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When dressing for an interview, choose attire that’s conservative, neat and professional. Hair should be clean and styled away from your face. Jewelry and makeup, if worn, should be kept simple.
Careers With AAA
The American Automobile Association has a variety of career opportunities across the U.S. Visit the organization’s website to find what’s available. Read the job description carefully. If you think you qualify, follow the instructions that tell you how to apply.
Denise Dayton is a a freelance writer who specializes in business, education and technology. She has written for eHow.com, Library Journal, The Searcher, Bureau of Education and Research, and corporate clients.