As part of a company’s hiring process, many organizations nowadays will include pre-employment entry-level algorithms tests. These tests assess the candidate’s ability to perform the job and depending on what role they’re going for, will depend on the type of tests provided.
Just like any exam or test you sat in school, not everyone handles a pre-employment test well, so much so that often great candidates end up underperforming as a result. However, that can easily be avoided if you know what to expect and the tips and tricks needed to ace them.
What is pre-employment testing?
Pre-employment testing is a method of collecting data on the candidates so that those responsible for hiring a role or position, can make a more informed decision.
It’s also proven that not all candidates are honest when it comes to their resumes. According to Criteria Pre-Employment Testing, 46% of resumes contain lies and 78% are found to be misleading in some way. These tests make up part of the screening process to verify any information provided by the candidate when it comes to their resume. This can also confirm anything they’ve said in their initial interviews.
It’s a great way of providing your candidates with another opportunity to display their ability to do the job required. This is particularly useful for those who don’t enjoy or perform as well when it comes to face-to-face interviews.
There are different types of pre-employment assessment tests. These include personality tests, skills assessment tests and emotional intelligence tests, to name but a few examples. The type of tests you choose will depend on what you’re after to help make the decisions needed.
Five tips for acing your pre-employment test
Whilst you might not know what type of test you’ll get prior to applying for the job or attending the initial interview, it’s good to be well-prepared and to expect a pre-employment test to be part of the hiring process. With that said, here are five tips for acing your pre-employment test.
Identify your strengths and prepare where possible
Whilst you might not know the specifics of a pre-employment test, it’s good to prepare what you can in advance. This can be done by asking the person or persons conducting the interview directly. They may be able to give you a heads-up on what you can expect and in some cases, they’ll give you the relevant resources with the intention that you prepare for the tests.
The tests can also vary depending on the job. For example, a coding job may have a java coding test to screen the candidate on specific skills. Having knowledge of this might be helpful to have beforehand.
It’s also useful to identify where your strengths lie and that can be found by taking practice tests. Some of the pre-employment tests you’ll come across can often be found available online to try out. This can really help to prepare yourself and to strengthen any weak areas when it comes to these tests.
Do your research
Entry-level algorithm tests and any pre-employment tests for that matter can be done in advance. Many will often follow a similar format and so it’s always useful to familiarize yourself with how they tend to appear or which ones are more common to use than others when it comes to screening candidates.
There are also some great platforms and resources available that you can explore to help understand what the employee might be on the lookout for. Testgorilla is a good one that’s used by candidates in order to do the necessary research on those tests that will likely crop up.
By doing research, you prepare yourself and you’ll likely ease off some of the unwanted pressures that come with tests and exams in general. It gives you a head start when it comes to other candidates that you’re up against, however many that might be.
Putting in the time to do the research can also help you feel more at ease that you’ve done all you can to prepare well for the test before it begins. All you can do is your best, right?
Take a breath and approach the test with focus
Many candidates will likely feel stress and anxiety when it comes to the day of their pre-employment tests. Stress is a natural feeling and a very common reaction when you’re placed outside of your comfort zone.
Before going in for the test, take a big breath in and excel it out slowly. By doing so, you’ll hopefully shake off all the nerves to some degree and you can approach the test with more focus. Focus is essential because, without it, mistakes can be made and these are often mistakes that you wouldn’t have made with a level head.
If you find it difficult to get rid of the nerves before a pre-employment test, it may be worthwhile distracting yourself before going in. This could be listening to music or reading a book whilst waiting to be called in.
Be wary of time and allow it to work in your favor
Time is a fickle thing and one that can escape you quickly when it comes to a test. With pre-employment tests, you may only get so long to complete them. This can be challenging for some and time can end up feeling like a threatening presence. However, you can use the time to your advantage. If there’s a clock available, then track your progress alongside it.
If there are easier sections to the test that you know you can get done quickly, it’s worth tackling them first. That way, you’ve got the extra time available to focus on the more challenging aspects of the test. If there’s one that you’re struggling on, then you can mark it for later to come back to.
It’s important to use your time wisely and to focus on making every second of the test count. However, whilst it’s good to check the time, don’t do it too often as it might end up making you feel more pressured with the time slipping away so quickly.
Is the job the right fit for you?
Even though pre-employment tests are primarily used for the employer to gather data, they can also be useful for you as a candidate. Whilst many believe it’s the employer assessing the person who is right for the role, the candidate also needs to ensure the company is the right fit for them.
How do you know if the job is the right fit for you? There are a few considerations to think about before you go about confirming your acceptance of the role.
Do your beliefs and morals align with the business?
Company culture is a big one for a lot of employees and so it’s important to consider whether or not the business aligns with your own beliefs and morals. If they don’t, then even if it’s a perfect job, the company’s culture or way of thinking, could impact on your happiness in the role.
Being proud of the company you work for might be a quality that’s necessary for you, so it’s something to think about.
Are they offering you enough?
Knowing your worth is a powerful thing and when it happens, it can lead to a lot more satisfaction within your working life. So are they offering you enough for the role? This isn’t just your wage but the other benefits that come with the position.
It might be required that you negotiate your package or deal so that it satisfies what you’re after in return for your services.
Does it spark a passion for you?
Passion for the role is something that ultimately leads to your happiness at work. If you’ve got no passion for the job, it’s not going to be as fulfilling as another job could be. Considering you spend a lot of your lifetime working, it’s good to be engaged and excited when it comes to your job.
It’s critical to think carefully about whether it’s the right fit for you. So many employees can end up being disappointed or unhappy in their roles.
According to a global poll conducted by Gallup, a staggering 85% are unhappy with their jobs, with only 15% feeling like they’re engaged in the workplace. For the sake of your happiness and wellbeing, it’s just as important for you to decide on whether the job and company are right for you.
Don’t be fearful of pre-employment entry-level algorithms tests
The most important thing to remember is to not be fearful of any pre-employment tests. They’re put in place to access your abilities for the role, not to catch you out. Always remember to do your best and if it’s not meant to be then there’s always something better on the horizon.
Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)
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Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a YouTube content creator.