The way people are selected varies greatly from one employer to another. The selection process may involve several stages. Every stage of the process should be designed to clearly assess your ability to do the job that you are applying for.
The following are all methods of assessment you could come across:
Employers will look for a match between your experience and qualifications and the requirements of the job. Remember that interviewers are likely to ask you questions based upon the information you have included in your resume, so it is essential to be relevant, honest and succinct. Remember that potential employers may have many resumes to read through and will often check the accuracy of the information you provide.
Ability tests look at the extent to which you are able to carry out various aspects of a job; for example, your verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning abilities. Often employers are interested in your potential to do a task. In this case, they may use assessment methods that aim to simulate aspects of that task (see Assessment Center Exercises below)
Personality Questionnaires look at behavioral preferences, that is, how you like to work. They are not concerned with your abilities but how you see yourself in terms of your personality; for example, the way you relate to others, and how you deal with feelings and emotions. There are no rights or wrongs in behavioral style, although some behaviors may be more or less appropriate to certain situations.
Situational judgment tests are used to assess your ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations. They involve reading a scenario or watching an animation and selecting the response that most effectively deals with the situation. These assessments are designed to assess how you would handle situations that you could encounter in the job you are applying for.
These exercises are designed to simulate a particular task or scenario relevant to the target job and it should be clear what kinds of skills are being assessed.
Examples include the following:
- Group exercises
- Role plays
During an assessment center a group of candidates take part in a range of exercises, which are observed by assessors. The assessors rate the performance of the candidates against the competencies required for the job.
Questions are likely to be based around your experience as well as the job competencies and requirements that should have been detailed in the job description. The key is to remember to be honest and to use relevant examples from your career, studies or private life that provide evidence to the interviewers of any skills being discussed.