Job Search and Online Assessments

Velta WorleyOnline Assessments are becoming an integral part of the job search process. Online assessments are called talent assessments. Many companies use talent assessments to test applicants for employment to determine if the candidate is a good match for their job vacancies. Companies who conduct talent assessments are seeking applicants that match their hiring criteria.

Talent assessments, also called pre-employment test or employment screening tests, are used to help employers identify candidates that will be a good fit for job openings at their company. Also, talent assessments help predict a new hire’s on-the-job performance and retention. So in, theory, applicants who pass the screening test should perform better as employees if they’re hired.

Employers use job simulations to measure whether candidates can perform tasks associated with the job. For example, an employer might ask a staff member to role play scenarios with candidates to assess sales, problem-solving, verbal communication, or counseling skills. Candidates for administrative or clerical staff positions might be asked to perform tasks that assess their accuracy, speed, proofreading, writing, and editing skills.

By the way, there is no pass or fail. The results are based on how the employer thinks a candidate should answer, which doesn’t necessarily correlate with a candidate qualifications for employment. In many cases, the company is looking for a certain type of employee that is a good fit for their organization structure and culture.

However, when asked to take an assessment, it is in the best interest of the job seeker to complete any and all assessments required in the hiring process. After all, many people dislike tests – especially when they’re designed to identify the applicant’s personal strengths and weaknesses. For example, an algebra test only tells you how much algebra you know (or don’t know), but an assessment exposes the insecurities and flaws that a job seeker may have.

As a stand-alone, assessments are not sufficient for making hiring decisions. However, when combined with all the information that is available about the job candidate, the data they provide are an excellent supplement and can add an important dimension toward understanding what type of job candidate you are. The following tips can assist the job seeker in preparing and making the most of the talent assessments.

Tip 1 – Relax
It is important to remember that there are, in fact, no right or wrong answers. What is most important is to be yourself and respond candidly and authentically.

Tip 2 – Give yourself plenty of time
An assessment test typically lasts 45 to 60 minutes, and is conducted via an online survey, paper questionnaire or, for some organizations, over the phone. Remember that ultimately the purpose of the test is to raise or clarify questions, rather than provide 100% foolproof answers about your abilities.

Tip 3 – Eliminate any distractions
Make sure to take the assessment(s) during a quiet time so there will be no distractions while taking the assessments. Many of online assessments are timed, therefore it is important to work as quickly and quietly as possible.

Tip 4 – Practice, Practice, Practice
If you are not comfortable taking tests (or just hate it), consider taking several online practice assessments to help yourself become familiar with the format of online assessments.

It is important to remember that online talent assessments are becoming a vital part of the job search – and are here to stay! The best advice for any job seeker, is to make sure that you are applying for jobs that fit your skills and qualifications, review the job description and requirements of the job, and conduct a thorough research on the company.

Velta Worley is a member of the Regional Navigator Team specializing in training, educating, and assisting community partners, Workforce Solutions staff, and job seekers throughout the 13 county region with adult education and literacy, and employment for people experiencing homelessness. She has over 8 years corporate management experience, and over 8 years with Workforce Solutions as a Facilitator, Technical Assistant, and Office Manager, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University.

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