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  • Ed Lawrence

The Stop SIgn- Beating Assessments

How to Beat An Assessment Test



Dear Stop Sign, “How do I beat an assessment test?”


That’s a great question, because according to surveys, 63% of employers require assessment tests during the hiring process.


These assessments are typically one of the following types:


· Skills–-Determine the candidate’s clerical skills (data entry, typing), technical, programming, and competencies with software.

· Simulation–-Use everyday workplace scenarios to identify the decision-making style of a candidate.

· Case Study–-Assess a candidate’s communication, presentation, and problem-solving skills; understanding of the industry, and their ability to analyze, interpret, and leverage available data.

· Personality–-Measure personality including decision making, cognitive learning, problem solving, and service orientation.


If the assessment is to be a Skills test, I have no problem referring you to one of many test prep sites where you can take practice tests and learn what the test requires one to do.


But, these days, the assessment type most often encountered is the personality type.

How do you prepare for a personality assessment?


Short answer: You can’t.


“But, Stop Sign,” you say, “For only $89, look what we get!”


  • Full practice test simulation

  • A detailed guide showing you how to:

  • Choose the qualities that match your role

  • Classify all the traits on the test

  • Navigate the test with essential tips

  • Practice to understand the qualities you must emphasize (I added the emphasis.)


Wow, sounds enticing. I’m confident many readers are right now googling for a test prep site.

After all, $89 is a cheap price to pay to land a well-paying job where you can be miserable or at least find the position and environment tolerable for the few months before you leave or are shown the door.


In other words, if you are thinking of spending the money---Stop doing that!

Save your money.


Here’s why:


First, companies use assessment tests to help them figure out whether an applicant will fit the company culture; to answer the question “will we get along.”


If you don’t match the culture and fit in, you are more likely to become a problem employee.

So, what’s a problem employee?

Answer: Anyone they feel is one.


Are they considering generic stereotypes, such as accountants and engineers are quiet?

Or is what they want based on specific circumstances; e.g., a previous person in the role was either too quiet or too outspoken?


In short, you can’t beat an assessment test, because:

1) You don’t know for sure what they want.

2) Even if you do lie or finagle your way into the company, you’ve lost, because sooner or later the fit mismatch will become apparent, and then you’re a problem employee.


Problem employees are usually unhappy and usually seek to leave the company.

Employers don’t want that.


So, instead of trying to beat an assessment, how about acting smart?


Smart applicants know themselves before commencing their job-search. They take an assessment test on their own; so, they understand their own personality type and behavioral preferences.


Smart applicants apply to companies that match their values, for jobs that match their skills.”

No lying needed.


Then they research a target company, its history, and its people, especially the interviewers (once known). This includes:

1. Asking questions, such as “What’s their/your management style?” and “What’s a typical day like?”

2. Noting their communication style (open/guarded; direct/indirect).

3. Inferring their values. That’s right—taking your best guess.


If one follows this methodology there’s no need to beat the assessment; no need to lie. Instead, you can feel confident. After all, if they tell you, “thanks but no thanks,” you can feel good that you probably dodged a bullet.


And If they do call you in, you’ll be very confident—you really are a fit.


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Have a career-related question for the Stop Sign?

Send your question to ed-lawrence@getstart-ed.com

Please include "Stop Sign" in the subject line.


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