How to Correctly Take an Assessment Test

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Many employers require candidates to take an assessment test as part of the pre-employment screening or interview process. The assessment may evaluate whether a candidate has the specific knowledge, skills or abilities required for the role, or may give the employer information about the candidate’s personality or style. The assessment may take a variety of formats, including online survey, paper questionnaire or interview format over the phone.

Schedule the assessment test. Work with the potential employer to pick a time for the assessment. Try to pick a test time when you are well-rested, alert and clear minded.

Understand the purpose and directions of the assessment. Ask the assessment administrator to provide information about how the results of the assessment will be used as part of the decision-making process. Read or listen to the directions of the assessment. If there is anything you do not understand, clarify it before starting.

Take the assessment, following the directions provided. If the assessment is a skill-based assessment, try to answer the questions as accurately as possible. If the assessment asks questions about your personality and preferences, answer as honestly as you can. Try not to over-think your answers or tailor your responses to what you think the employer will want to hear.

Clarify next steps with the potential employer. Make sure you understand the next steps in the process and when you can expect to hear the results. Often, candidates who perform well on assessment tests will be invited for additional interviews.

Tip

Try to relax when you are taking the assessment. Most often, you have been invited to take the assessment because you have demonstrated qualifications for the role.
If you participate in a personality or style assessment, sometimes the employer will share the results with you and ask for your perspective. During this discussion, try to avoid being defensive. Be open to discussing your strengths and development opportunities. Even if you are not offered the position, the self-reflection can be valuable for your personal growth and ultimately help you in your job search.

Warning

Do not try to cheat or game an assessment test. This shows a lack of professional ethics and is the best way to ensure you are not offered the position.

About the Author

Kate Dittmer is a human capital consultant and freelance writer living in Boston. She has been advising clients and writing about organization effectiveness, talent management and other human capital topics for more than seven years. She holds a degree from the University of Notre Dame.

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