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Surviving Pre-Employment Assessment

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Fri Oct 07 2016

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Surviving Pre-Employment Assessment-cf8a153855227a89a1113d73588f50445565dff50f595587c93fa5f8af657024

There are a lot of unknowns in a job search, but one thing is certain: You will have to take an assortment of tests so your potential employer can vet you. Companies today want to hire the best and avoid the rest, plain and simple. You aced the interview, you have contacts in the company, your resume is modern and professional—but you’ll still have to pass anywhere from one to 10 tests before you’re hired. 

What Do You Mean by “Test”? 

In its simplest form, a test is filling out the employment application accurately and completely. Beyond that, there are a variety of pre-employment assessments. For instance, a workplace personality questionnaire assesses how you work with others: Are you team-oriented or do you prefer to work alone? Are you reliable? Can you take direction well? A drug screen and physical examination provides information about your health relevant to your potential job. And employers almost always conduct a reference and background check. 

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Why So Many Tests? 

Employers need to screen prospective employees for a variety of reasons. Hiring and training new employees is an expensive endeavor. By doing a thorough job of screening, employers hope to reduce hiring mistakes. In addition, employers want to ensure that employees will be a good fit with the company’s culture. Employees who are a good fit stay longer and are more successful in their jobs. For the safety of the company and its employees, recruiters need to know more about potential employees than ever before. Think of the workplace violence incidents that we hear about all too frequently. This is just one more reason why a thorough screening is so important. 

How Can I Prepare? 

Here are a few tips that can help you handle pre-employment assessments: 

  • Try to find out what kinds of tests will be administered and research then online so that you know what to expect. 

  • Take all assessments on a computer, rather than a mobile device. Although some tests have been rewritten for mobile-enabled platforms, many will not work properly on a smartphone or a tablet. 

  • Answer the questions honestly. Most tests have redundancy built in so you cannot “game” the test. Besides, if you are a poor fit for the position, do you really want the job? 

  • Stay away from posting about controversial topics on social media, especially if your accounts are public. Employers routinely check social media sites for anything you may have posted. Don’t discuss job dissatisfaction, negative reviews, or anything you don’t want a potential employer to know. What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet! 

How Can I Learn More? 

The Association for Talent Development is publishing a book, called Find Your Fit, that offers a step-by-step guide to finding the job for you. It features advice from some of the best career coaches working today. You can pre-order it now.

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