Tests: Would You Pass the Test

Article excerpt

Byline: By MICHELLE RUSHTON

EMPLOYERS are increasingly relying on tests to select new staff. While the formal interview remains a key feature of the assessment process, candidates need to be prepared for any number of different tests an employer might arrange.

Candidates are likely to be faced by psychometric or aptitude tests. These try to find out if a candidate has the necessary abilities and personal qualities for the job. Sometimes they involve quite sophisticated computer exercises.

Testing techniques used could be multiple choice exams, written or computer-based, role play and group exercises, managing a pretend in-tray, an informal tour of the workplace or even taking dinner with the staff you hope to work with.

Recruitment consultancy Morgan Ryder Associates, based in Liverpool, advises and helps employers to set such tests and works closely with candidates.

'We try to take the mystique out of employment tests by explaining to candidates what they are likely to face,' said Peter Ross, joint managing director of the consultancy.

Peter believes good preparation is vital. 'We keep a range of sample multiple choice tests candidates can practise on, and we have plenty of experience of other tests, including group exercises and role play,' he explained.

Apart from being prepared before you take any test, Peter suggests it is good to Improve your understanding of the nature of tests n Learn about the most common types n Appreciate why employers use tests - for example, helpful as CVs are, they only record past achievements and not potential, whereas tests can show and reveal potential Appreciate how tests are interpreted and marked n Understand what to do if you fail Said Peter: 'It is always wise to find out exactly what you will be facing before the interview day.

'Be prepared for every type of question, but do expect the unexpected, and watch out particularly for those seemingly less formal tests, such as workplace tours. …