Dealing with Assessment Tests

Things are going great. You’re almost at the end of the phone screen and you’ve nailed it so far. As things come to a close, you’re pulling out your date book to pencil in your on-site interview. But, then, what’s this? The screener says the next step is an online assessment test, and she’ll e-mail you the link.

Assessment testsA recent publication from the Korn/Ferry Institute says assessment tests are on the rise. As hiring managers continue to focus on "fit," they’re increasingly using them to judge candidates on a number of levels as a "whole person."

This can raise the anxiety of the uninitiated. Tests tend to make most people nervous, and assessments can be doubly wearing because of the unknowns. Are they testing my IQ? What if this reveals an emotional imbalance I didn’t know I had?

If you’re faced with an assessment test, take a deep breath and relax. Realize there are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Be yourself and answer the questions as honestly as you can. Companies are looking for the "you" that’s not trying to
persuade or impress anyone on the interview team.

The other tip Korn/Ferry offers is to allow plenty of time to take the test. If you’re thinking about being late to your next appointment, odds are you won’t be truly "present" for the test.

And remember: While you want to do well on the assessment, don’t focus on it to the exclusion of the other interview fundamentals. Hiring is all about the "whole person." So nail the interview and the thank you follow up, and get hired.

— Chad Broadus