Whether you are passively or actively looking for a new role – two simple words bring a profound sense of comfort to what can be a stressful process: You’re hired.
However, that sigh of relief among candidates isn’t coming quite as easily as it once did, as an increasing number of employers have stepped up their vetting to improve the odds of finding the ideal person.
In addition to the standard job interview, more businesses today are including other evaluative tools to find the perfect match, such as gamification, writing tests, team interviews and personality tests. In fact, according to CBS News, among leading Fortune 500 companies, over 450 of them use various types of personality examinations before deciding to bring new people aboard.
Even though these added processes make finding the right person more drawn out – companies are using them more often because they’re effective. After all, according to a study from CareerBuilder, hires who don’t pan out wind up costing employers an average of nearly $15,000 per year for every person that’s let go. As cost effective as these processes may be, they provide little comfort to job seekers, who may find the interview alone quite stressful. With the right game plan, you can ace these examinations, showing employers you have what it takes to succeed.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Take a deep breath
More important than anything else – relax. This is obviously easier said than done, but it’s important to try to keep things in perspective and not put too much pressure on yourself; overthinking things can prevent you from being your authentic self. Keep in mind that there’s really no right or wrong answer to the questions employers pose. They’re simply inquiring about things to get a better sense of who you are and whether the position you’re applying for is the right fit.
Research the employer
With just about every business having an online presence, it’s easier than ever to go into the job interview with a good base of knowledge regarding the employer’s brand, according to Inc. Regardless of whether the company has a separate career website or simply an “About Us” section at their website, you should be able to find information about the company’s background and what it’s like to work for them. Company review sites like Glassdoor can provider further insight on the employee experience. All of these sources combined can give you an idea of what your prospective employer may be looking for in terms of answers on personality tests. For example, evaluating whether you’re naturally inquisitive or highly organized. Keep in mind, though: You’re assessing them every bit as much as they’re assessing you. It’s a two-way street.
Talk to colleagues or friends outside of your company
You may be surprised by how many people have either interviewed with a company or have experience with the additional evaluative tools employers are using. Talk to people that you trust to see if they have any insight on gamification, for example, should that be a part of the interview process. They may have tips that can help you prepare, so you’re not going into it completely unaware of what to expect.
Put yourself in the position of the interviewer
It’s impossible to predict the questions that you’ll be posed when it comes to personality tests or team interviews, but try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who are doing the evaluating. What would you be looking to glean from the candidate? According to the Society for Human Resources Management, 62 percent of the evaluative methods used by employers today examine job seekers’ behaviors. In other words, they’re not testing for a right or wrong answer necessarily; they’re looking to see if your mannerisms and characteristics are commensurate with the position for which you’re applying. So even if you’re not hired, it may be for the best; they may have more insight into what the position requires than you do. Or perhaps you might not find the work environment or expectations to your liking.
Confidence is something that every employer seeks in candidates. By trusting in your capabilities, you won’t have to worry so much about beating the evaluations, but instead focusing on approaching them with the understanding that the process will pair you with the job that’s a good fit for everyone. Even if you think you may have been wrongly eliminated from an ideal role due to one of these tests, have confidence that your skills and experience will eventually land you in the right role at exactly the right time.