Do you find applying for a new job daunting?

If so, you’re not alone. 73 percent of people looking for work consider it one of the most stressful things in their life. Even the most confident person may find competing with other candidates and securing a great role a challenge.

And it can be even worse if your prospective employer asks you to sit an assessment test during the interview stage.

But while companies leveraging pre-hire assessment tests are 36 percent more likely to feel satisfied with their hiring decisions, they add extra pressure to what may already be a drawn-out interview process.

So, why do employers use assessment tests, what areas do they focus on and how can you prepare to ace yours?

Why Employers Take Advantage of Assessment Tests When Hiring New Employees

Employers use assessment tests, such as the Professional Index Learning Indicator (PI LI) test, to identify skills or weaknesses they may not otherwise become aware of until after hiring a candidate.

In the case of the PI LI test, companies measure applicants’ cognitive capabilities and their adaptability in the workplace. Other aptitude tests will highlight potential flaws that may affect candidates’ suitability for a certain job, helping employers choose the right applicants.

One core benefit of testing prospective employees during the interview process is filtering out those who may “embellish” their CV. Never done it yourself? Well, you could be in the minority: more than half of employees in the UK have lied (or at least withheld important details) when applying for work.

And this dishonesty can cause problems for both employers and employees. Businesses that hire an under-qualified or incompetent worker could face serious disruptions or costly mistakes. The candidate themselves may harm their future prospects if they take a job they don’t fully understand or have the skills to perform, too.

Furthermore, testing candidates at the interview stage and determining their capability to handle the work required can help to prevent unexpected mental strain. That’s crucial when more than 600,000 British workers experience work-related depression, anxiety or stress, 44 percent of which is due to their workload.

In short: assessment tests empower companies to measure applicants’ competence, skills and ability to handle their work accurately.

What Areas Do Assessment Tests During the Interview Process Cover?

Businesses may administer different assessment tests during the interview process, based on the nature of the work involved. For example, in a customer-facing role, tests may incorporate role-play or verbal communication to measure candidates’ ability to deliver a strong customer experience.

Employers hiring for jobs involving physical work, on the other hand, might invite candidates to take part in a hands-on test. This helps prevent an unsuitable employee from taking a position with the potential to cause injury to themselves or others.

Different assessment tests cover different areas. Those measuring cognitive abilities typically feature questions designed to evaluate problem-solving/logic skills. Even though these may not necessarily reflect the actual situations candidates can expect to encounter, they nevertheless demonstrate their mental acuity.

To return to the Professional Index Learning Indicator example, anyone undertaking this may be tested on:

  • Formal logic
  • Spatial awareness
  • Word problems
  • Number series
  • Inductive reasoning

Each of these (and other) areas presents applicants with a number of questions to answer or activities to complete, such as identifying sequence types or comparing multiple types of visual content.

Regardless of the assessment test’s specifics, effective preparation is the key to success.

How can You Prepare for Your Interview Assessment Tests to Maximize Your Performance?

Preparing to undertake a pre-employment assessment test is essential — but what steps should you take?

Practice makes perfect

One of the simplest, most effective ways you can prepare for an assessment test is to try a practice course.

For example, if an employer invites you to take the Professional Index Learning Indicator test, sitting through a practice exam like the Predictive Index Test Behavioural & Cognitive Assessment Course offers a valuable insight into what you can expect of the real thing. This incorporates video-based studying and computer-based practicing, with written guides, sample tests, and practice questions available.

Taking a practice test can increase your confidence and put you in the right frame of mind to land your dream role.

Relax and focus

Try to put yourself in a positive frame of mind before your assessment test. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Sadly, research shows almost three-quarters of British workers struggle to relax — even on weekends and longer breaks. If that sounds familiar to you, try to:

  • Keep the test in perspective: remind yourself you’ve practiced and taken it seriously, and remember that another candidate could get the role for reasons beyond your control
  • Exercise to get your endorphins working
  • Eat a balanced diet and drinking water to fuel your body with essential nutrients
  • Make sure you know where and how the test will be administered, how long it will last and what equipment you need to complete it — this can help you feel more prepared

Undertaking an assessment test during the job interview process may be difficult, but you can pass with enough preparation and determination. Follow the tips explored above to increase your chances of success — and make yourself stand out from other candidates.

Do you have any suggestions to help applicants perform well in assessment tests during the job interview? Share below!