According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the use of employment assessment testing methods has increased in recent years due to a need to efficiently sort through online job applications. Employers frequently test job applicants' personality, moral compass, numeric ability, literacy and logical reasoning. Don't try to game the system -- many employers use the assessments to determine if a candidate will be a good fit for the position, so employees who change their answers in an attempt to beat the test may later discover they are not suited for the work. Additionally, many of the tests have measures to detect dishonest answers.
Practice general assessments regularly, so you get used to the process and reduce the anxiety that can accompany test-taking. Find practice tests for verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, teamwork, leadership and many other career related skills online (see Resources).
Thoroughly review the job description, skills and qualifications for the job. Try to think about what the ideal candidate for the job would be like. For example, if the position is a grocery store cashier, think about the best cashier you have experienced and what made that person unique. Use this knowledge and vision to answer hypothetical assessment questions such as, "How would you deal with an angry customer?" Think about how the ideal candidate would behave and the techniques she would use to resolve the situation with the best possible outcome.
Take the test, reading each question slowly and carefully. Make sure you understand what is being asked and the answer key. This is especially important if you are asked to give your answer on a scale (for example, "state how much you agree with this statement, where one is "completely agree" and five is "completely disagree"). Know what each number on the scale represents. If the test has multiple questions with a scale, read the scale criteria every time. Sometimes employers will ask a very similar question but reverse the order of the scale to check if the applicant is consistent and pays attention to detail.
Select the best answer for each question based upon your knowledge of the job and your personal values and beliefs. Don't try to guess what the test is looking for; just be truthful.
Double-check your answer before moving to the next question, to avoid unintended errors.
If the test is online, be careful when scrolling with the mouse. Sometimes you can inadvertently change a previous answer when you scroll down the page.
- If the test is online, be careful when scrolling with the mouse. Sometimes you can inadvertently change a previous answer when you scroll down the page.
For more than a decade, Tia Benjamin has been writing organizational policies, procedures and management training programs. A C-level executive, she has more than 15 years experience in human resources and management. Benjamin obtained a Bachelor of Science in social psychology from the University of Kent, England, as well as a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University.