Many employers conduct pre-employment screening to determine if the candidates they’re considering are truly qualified for the job. These types of skills tests are a benefit for both employees and employers. It keeps employees from feeling they’re in over their head when they’re placed in a situation they’re unfamiliar with. And it ensures the employer is objectively hiring the most qualified person for the job. But how can you prepare ahead of time for any pre-employment screening or testing the employer conducts? Here are some things to consider.
1. Ask the company if they test skills.
There is nothing wrong with asking the company if they use pre-employment testing as part of their hiring process. The real trick is ensuring that you don’t sound concerned by the prospect. For instance, if you just ask “do you test on skills,” it may send up a red flag that you’re not comfortable with the skills you’ve presented on your resume. When you ask, position it as your preparation process.
2. Determine the type of testing.
If they do provide testing, ask them what type they do. This can give you an idea of what to review before taking the test or how to approach the test in general. If the test is written, you can prepare for that, or if the test is online or in the office. Each will have its own set of processes, and you can find yourself better suited to one or the other. The more you know the more relaxed you can be.
3. Brush up on your skills.
You should be pretty confident in the skills you bring to the table, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice. Especially with a skill that you haven’t used for a little while, make sure you remember some of the basics. For example, if you have experience in Microsoft Excel, but haven’t used it since your last position, spend some time at home with the program to refresh memory on some of the tools.
4. Don’t worry, you’ve got this.
Finally, it is critical that you don’t stress yourself out too much by overthinking the test process. The most important thing is that you are talented and you are skilled for this position, so relax. Be confident and trust your skills. Before the test make sure to get plenty of rest, eat a proper meal, and try not to get too stuck in the minutia of the process.
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