More and more businesses are using online assessments as part of the recruitment process. While in most situations you won't get a job based solely on a good online showing, a poor one could easily rule you out of one. So here to help calm your nerves if you are lucky enough to get to this stage in a job application are a five tips on how to prepare and tackle these types of tests.
1. Preparation is Key.
You wouldn't go into a face-to-face interview without being fully prepared would you? So why should this be any different? The basic information you should have for an interview you should have for a test, what does the company do? What does the job entail? What are the latest market trends? The benefit of an online test over a face-to-face interview is that you don't need to remember these details, but you can have them written down at hand.
2. Know your enemy.
The next thing you need to find out is what sort of test you are taking. If the invite is not clear then ask the recruiter. Once you have found out what type, then there are plenty of places online where you can take practice online assessments, such as The University of Kent. Not only will these get you used to the types of questions asked, but also the format and appearance of the tests.
3. Honesty is the best policy.
This is the big one, in fact if you were to take one thing away from this article it would be this – answer the questions honestly, not what you think the recruiter wants to hear. Some of these tests will ask you the same question in lots of different ways, and whilst they are not designed to catch out, recruiters will certainly notice any discrepancies in your answers
4. The Art of Guesstimation.
Although not common, one thing you should definitely find out before the test is if it is negatively marked. If it is not negatively marked and you really don't know the answer, by all means make 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 those that are left. Similarly in maths tests, you may be able to estimate the answer rather than working it out precisely particularly if you are running low on time.
5. Timing is everything.
We've all been there at some point or another, in an important example with lots left to say, arguments to made, points to be put across or questions to answer only to be told to put your pens down and stop writing. The introduction to the test will tell you how many questions you have and how long you have. Use this work out how long you should spend answering each question. Try not to get bogged down with one question, leave it and come back if you have time. But remember, the questions may get harder as the test goes on.
Dave Harrison is writing on behalf of The Test Factory. They create online assessments often used in the recruitment process.