You’ve passed the first stage – your application form or letter has been read and you’ve been invited for the assessment stage. You can give yourself a real advantage now and practise these tests and assessments so that you’re prepared and ready to shine.
This stage is really important – it’s a great way for your potential employer to find out about you quickly – if you don’t score highly enough, you’re unlikely to get through to the interview stage. We cannot stress enough how important it is to practise these tests to really give yourself the best chance to succeed.
Here’s some excellent advice from mybrink’s assessment experts Graduate First. They’ve put together all the useful information that you will need, so read on carefully and take some notes…
There are four main kinds of psychometric tests which you are likely to come across when you apply for a summer internship, full time job or management position.
· Numerical reasoning test
· Verbal reasoning test
· Diagrammatical/logical reasoning test
· Situational judgement test
Read all the emails and any letters or documents that you have received from the company to find out as much as possible about the kinds of tests you will need to sit, including: Who is the test provider?
How long is the test?
Look at the company’s recruitment pages and online forums where people have shared their experience about the tests.
Be prepared and know what to expect to maximise your chance of success!
· Revise the relevant material if there is a prerequisite – for example a numerical reasoning test will test your knowledge of basic arithmetic calculations– ratios, percentages, fractions etc. Calculators are allowed so make sure you know how to use one properly!
· Practising these kinds of questions and tests will improve your confidence. Increased familiarity with the word style and kind of questions will help you to reduce your stress when you’re under time pressure in a test environment.
· The questions will give you a large amount of information – you will need to develop a skill to identifying the necessary information to answer the question in a very short time.
· Finding out if there any gaps in your knowledge in good time, gives you time to ask someone for help or remind yourself what to do if you’ve forgotten.
· Search for practice questions – specialists at Graduate First have spent years designing tests for SHL and IBM Kenexa which are two of the biggest aptitude test providers – they have combined their knowledge and experience to offer you a number of tests which are similar to the ones you will sit. Do yourself a favour and practise them now! Make sure you’re in a quiet room with good internet connection before you start.
Maths isn’t complex. The biggest complication in these tests is that you’re given too much information and you need to read the information as well as interpret graphs and tables quickly to find the answer. With added time pressure sometimes even the simplest of calculations can prove tricky. The key here is to practise! With an average of 45 seconds to read the text, interpret the information and do the calculation – you can understand why familiarity and practise will give you an advantage.
Here you will need to read a passage of text and answer a number of questions. The trick is to stick only to the information in the text – this kind of question does not rely on your existing knowledge. You will be asked if a statement is true, false or impossible to say based on the knowledge you have been given.
These tests examine your ability to identify underlying patterns and trends in sequences of diagrams which contain various shapes. You will need to carefully examine any changes in shapes, their positions, colours and movements so that you can predict what arrangement will come next. With no limit on how abstract these can be (or on how many variations) they can be tricky, especially as you may only have 45 seconds to work it out. Practising these kind of questions definitely helps!
These tests are different to the others – they will test your competencies by exposing you to a range of situations in which you need to state what your course of action would be – either grading them from best to worst, or how likely certain behaviour is for you. Based on the role, ideas for the best answers will differ. The key is to answer consistently so that you are answering in a way that really describes you. Do not try to answer with what you think they are looking for, but give honest responses. After all, these assessments are as important for you to establish you’re going into the right role as it is the other way around. Plus, the tests are designed to penalise inconsistency – you have been warned!
Once you’ve passed the tests to the standard the company is looking for, you might be asked to take part in an assessment day. From the moment you enter the building, be aware that everyone you come into contact with could be asked for their opinion of you.
You could be asked to take some more aptitude tests – designed to check your consistency when compared to your previous tests.
Present yourself to the receptionist and be aware that you could be taking part in the assessment with other people in reception the same time as you. It’s a good idea to make contact with them and momentarily take your mind off the upcoming events. Establishing a rapport early on will help you by giving you the confidence to collaborate with them later – showing that you are a sociable and confident candidate.
· Balance the role of a leader by being a good team member – share your ideas and listen carefully to others.
· Prompt quieter participants by asking for their opinions and ideas.
· Ask critical questions about other people’s ideas – whilst acknowledging their strong points and good ideas.
· Acknowledge someone else’s good idea and build upon it – suggesting add-ons. This shows that you can structure your argument and persuade others to see your point of view – as well as your ability to collaborate and that you’re not excessively competitive.
· Keep an eye on the time – don’t overrun the time limit that you have been set.
· Don’t interrupt anyone else – wait for the other person to finish speaking before you speak.
Read and absorb all the information above. Practise the tests and research details about the company you’re applying to work for.
Good luck from the mybrink team and Graduates First.