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Are you applying for a new job in London?
Guest Post by Jennifer Feldman
Are you applying for a new job in London? You have probably noticed that London job hunting has become increasingly more challenging in recent years. Gone are the days of going in for one interview, acing it, and then getting the job. Many companies are now using psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process. Don’t worry if you are a little bit confused about what a ‘psychometric test’ is; so is everyone else. Each company uses the term ‘psychometric test’ to refer to a different form of assessment. This is primarily because psychometric testing is an umbrella term that labels all tests used by employers to assess a candidate’s potential job performance. Psychometric testing encompasses three main areas: aptitude tests, behavioural tests, and assessment centre exercises. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these sub-categories.
Aptitude tests measure a candidate’s overall knowledge, reasoning skills, technical knowledge, and specific skill sets. Most aptitude tests are given online under time constraints. Depending on the company and the position you are applying for, you may face a different battery of tests. There are hundreds of different assessments, so just because you took an assessment for one company does not mean you should expect to see the same test at a different company. Most employers use different assessment companies, and each assessment provider’s exams feature different content, styles, and formats. Here are some examples of common aptitude tests:
- Numerical Reasoning Test: This test assesses your ability to do simple numeracy functions. The test covers basic word problems and numerical calculations.
- Verbal Reasoning Test: This test involves answering questions related to vocabulary and analysing a text.
- Abstract Reasoning Test: This test requires you to answer questions based on nonverbal information.
- Mechanical Comprehension Test: This test evaluates your understanding of common mechanical concepts.
- Error Checking Test: This is a technical aptitude test which requires you to review information and find mistakes.
Behavioural tests are used to gain insight into a candidate’s personality and how it fits a potential position. Behavioural tests, unlike aptitude tests, are usually untimed and lengthy. There are two different kinds of behavioural tests: personality tests and situational judgement tests.
Personality tests are an extremely common tool used by employers in the recruitment process. A personality test is an instrument used by companies to help sift out candidates and to find those applicants who would be a right match for the company. Personality tests give an employer a feel of what the candidate’s personality profile is.
Situational Judgement Tests
A situational judgement test measures your ability to make thoughtful decisions. During this assessment, you are provided with hypothetical work-related scenarios for which you must provide solutions. You will be presented with options for potential resolutions, and required to choose the best course of action.
The assessment centre is usually the final step in the hiring process. An assessment centre is often a full-day activity that is made up of a combination of interviews, individual tasks, and group exercises. Depending on the employer, the assessment centre can take place at the company’s offices or at a private testing centre. The purpose of these exercises is to provide your future employer with an overview of your interpersonal skills. Most assessment centre days consist of any or all of the following exercises:
- Psychometric Test
- Case Study
- E-Tray or In-Tray Exercise
- Group Exercise
Before attending the assessment centre day, you will most likely be asked to take a combination of psychometric tests. Even though you previously completed these exams, most employers require you to retake them for verification purposes. These verify tests are usually shorter than the original exam. That being said, you should still make sure you review for this shorter version of the exam.
The case study portion of the assessment centre presents you with a brief, ranging from about 5–15 pages, to review. The information on the brief varies based on the position you are applying for, but it will always relate to the job. You are required to analyse the case and make professional decisions based on the information.
E-tray and In-Tray Exercises
Depending on the company, you may either be presented with a paper-based in-tray exercise or a computer-based e-tray exercise. In this type of exercise, you are provided with a number of emails, or messages, along with background information about the company and your role. The focus of this task is not necessarily how you answer a message but rather how you manage your time and prioritise tasks. Part of the challenge is that you are given too many emails to answer in the given time. Therefore, don’t try to finish everything. At the end of the exercise, you should be able to defend why you made each of your decisions.
During the group exercise, you are expected to either create a project or reach a conclusion based on information. Everyone in the group is provided with a personal role and information that only they are given, in addition to the information provided to the group as a whole. The point of this activity is to see how you perform in a group. The outcome of the exercise is less important. Rather, the assessors are looking to see which role you take in the group.
Interviews are a great way for you to let your personality shine through. There is no one formula for how the interview process works on assessment day. Therefore, you should be prepared to face any/all of the following types of interviews: competency interview, panel interview, partner interview, and/or technical interview. Make sure to do your research in advance. You don’t want to make it all the way through to the final round and feel unprepared.
From the moment you try to find a job in London, you should make sure you are ready for the interview. You never know when you could get called in. As a city with one of the most competitive job markets, you must do everything in your power to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Don’t just wait till the last minute to start preparing for your psychometric exams. Start early with JobTestPrep’s online practice packs tailored for specific companies. JobTestPrep provides a variety of online practice materials, including practice tests, answer explanations, video tutorials, and study guides. Its resources are guaranteed to help you succeed. Best of luck, candidates!