Interviews and Testing

Prospective employers may use a range of selection methods to assess your suitability for opportunities within their organisation. This may vary from a structured interview, work related exercises, presentations and the use of a range of different psychometric tests to measure your mental capabilities or aptitude as well as your personality characteristics or behavioural style. Put simply, there are a number of ways to test the competencies that an employer believes you will need to perform successfully within any given job role, so be prepared.

 

Interviews

When preparing for an interview, consider the most likely questions that you are going to be asked. This could be something simple like why you want to work for the company or why you feel that you would be a suitable candidate for the chosen role. In many cases it is true that the most frequently asked interview questions are ones that can easily be prepared for in advance, however, poor preparation can lead to candidates slipping up on straight forward questioning. This preparation should also include gaining knowledge on the business you are being interviewed for. Do your research and know a thing or two about your potential employer, as they will most likely ask you what you know about them. Most of this information should be on their corporate website. Ensure you know what the company’s key products and/or services are and who their clients are for example.  

Consider your appearance. It is essential to be appropriately dressed and in most cases looking smart is a given, so you should think about what to wear as it is important to create a good professional first impression. Always allow plenty of time on the day of an interview to get there without feeling rushed or being set back by delays. Remember to take with you a form of identification such as a passport, a pad and pen to take any notes and an up to date copy of your CV.

During the interview, look your interviewer(s) directly in the eyes and focus on the questions that they ask you. It is important to engage all of the interviewers in the room, even if not everybody is asking questions. Remember to smile, even if you feel nervous, because it will make you come across as responsive and relaxed. Try to ensure that all of your answers to their questions remain upbeat and positive and use examples of direct experience whenever possible. Even if you stumble on a question, don’t be put off and try to regain your composure and move on. As part of your preparation, you should also put together some well thought through open questions to ask. If asked, never say you have nothing to ask at the conclusion of an interview, as you may come across as disinterested, so always plan this in advance. During the interview take notes. This enforces the impression that you are conscientious and paying full attention. Always end the interview on a positive note. This might be something simple, like thanking them for their time and stating that you will look forward to hearing from them.

 

Testing

There are a number of different tests a prospective employ may ask you to undertake in order to further evaluate your candidacy for a position. Unlike areas such as an individual’s experience, education or general appearance, areas such as behavioural traits, personality and mental capabilities of a candidate may be more difficult to assess during an interview. For this reason, some employers may choose to use psychometric testing during their selection process to test a candidate’s character, strengths, weaknesses, working style and predict overall performance of a candidate within a specific job role. This will all help make the right recruitment decisions which will hopefully improve employee retention.

Traditionally used as part of the selection process alongside general structured interviews, which can be at times more subjective, psychometric testing can measure a range of factors such as general intelligence, critical reasoning and can be used to build a picture of an individual’s motivations and personality characteristics. This aims to provide a more objective approach to assessment, which can then be used to provide a more rounded view of a candidate’s suitability for a position and/or overall fit for a team or company.