interview tips: psychometric tests & interview assessments
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Post on 22-Dec-2015
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- Interview tips: Psychometric tests & Interview assessments
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- What is a psychometric test? Psychometric tests are used to identify a candidate's aptitudes, personality, or ability. Tests have been established over many years and are often used with specific groups defined by age, prior educational level or type of job. Most psychometric tests are performed online, although you may find some remain as hard-copy questionnaires. Some tests enable you to save your answers and return to complete the test at a later stage; others are timed. Check if you can go back and amend an answer before you begin a test, as some tests do not permit you to go back to a question once you have moved on.
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- Why test? Tests are often used for preliminary screening Tests can be used as part of an assessment centre Assessment centres assess your performance in a range of situations and are generally used as the second or final stage of the selection process after preliminary interviews have taken place. Likely to be designed around assessing you against the job competencies, assessment centres offer the advantage of allowing you to compensate for an activity not going well by excelling in another; the disadvantage is that you are under scrutiny for a lengthy period of time and this can be demanding. Activities are usually timed, which means you are being assessed in your capacity to work under pressure.
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- Personality tests Personality tests aim to identify a personal type and there are no 'right or wrong' answers. They often take the form of paired items or pictures that you are asked to choose a preference. For example, would you rather read a book or go to a party?
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- To prepare for a personality test: practise using tests so that you are familiar with the style and format of questions; answer questions honestly and without trying to guess what is the 'right' answer; omit any questions that you do not understand.
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- Aptitude or ability tests are those that are designed to assess your reasoning or cognitive ability. Aptitude tests are usually timed and include: verbal tests; numerical tests; spatial reasoning; subject/job-specific tests.
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- To prepare for an aptitude test: practise as many tests as possible; try to find out whether there are particular tests for your type of job or industry;
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- Where can I practise psychometric tests? It is visiting the website of the organisation to which you are applying, as some large companies provide practice testing and coaching on how to improve scores, although there may be a cost. For advice, information and practice tests (some organisations may charge), visit: AssessmentDay - practice aptitude tests. AssessmentDay Cubiks Online Assessment - information and practice tests. Cubiks Online Assessment Institute of Psychometric Coaching - professional preparation for psychometric tests. Institute of Psychometric Coaching JobTestPrep - numerical reasoning tests. JobTestPrep Morrisby - career and educational guidance. Morrisby SHL - assessment advice and practice tests. SHL
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- Interview tests and exercises Assessment centres typically comprise: interviews; in-tray exercises; presentations; tests; group exercises; social events such as dinner or lunch with prospective colleagues.
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- case study exercise? Case study exercises ask you to collate and analyse the information given and to draw conclusions from it. A case study exercise may be given to you verbally or as a series of documents describing an actual or synthesised situation to which you are asked to respond. Your response may be to produce a brief report, explain verbally what you would do, make a decision, or all of these.
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- How do I deal with a case study? Try to anticipate the type of case study you will get by researching the organisation. Once you have been given your case study: read all materials carefully and make sure you know what is expected of you; make notes as you go; sort out the important from the trivial material; treat it like a course assignment - identify your focus, arrange your material and draw conclusions. Look for patterns, inconsistencies and contradictions. What is the real issue? decide what you think could or should be done next; manage your time carefully - completing the task on time might be more important than capturing every detail in your report/commentary.
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- Group discussion? Be well prepared, research the organisation, job role and sector well Maintain eye contact Think about your body language Reflect on others contributions before speaking Make sure all contributions are clear and relevant Think about your bias, are you matching the ethics and ethos of the organisatsion?
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- written exercise? Written exercises often involve writing a letter or report on a certain topic or you may be given a document to review or summarise. To successfully complete a written exercise, you should: read all materials carefully and make sure you know what is expected of you; use a combination of narrative writing styles, headings and bullet points to add emphasis; ensure correct spelling and use of grammar by using the spell check and proofreading to avoid the misuse of words, e.g. there when it should be their; write for someone who does not have your depth of knowledge; use acronyms only when you have explained them as you would in an essay. For example, 'the Student Loans Company (SLC)' followed by, 'in the SLC instructions'; keep comments concise or you may run out of time; make sure all writing is relevant to the task you have been given.
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- What makes a good interview presentation? Presentations are used to assess your ability to communicate formally with groups and also to give you an opportunity to provide your own ideas. You will usually be given a topic and timeframe in advance, so can prepare in your own time. If you're asked to make a presentation during an assessment centre without prior notice, you're being observed in how you respond under pressure. When preparing a presentation make sure you: decide what you want the audience to know by the end of it and keep that in mind throughout your preparation; develop aims, objectives and outcomes for your presentation and write them down; structure your presentation to include an introduction, a main section and a conclusion; keep visual prompts to a minimum - don't overload PowerPoint screens so that you have to wait for the audience to read through the text; practise your presentation by speaking out loud, rather than reading your notes, as this will give a better idea of how long it will take.
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- What makes a good interview presentation? When you give your presentation, remember to: respond to the topic you have been given and eradicate any irrelevant material; use pauses to allow the audience to take in what you have said; avoid rushing, which often happens when we are nervous; leave time at the end to invite questions from the audience.
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