Searching for a Job

Tests & What to Expect

Additional Interview Stages

Selling Yourself on Paper


The Offer Process

Skills based tests

You will usually be asked to complete skills based tests online, as an early stage of the selection process for a job. These are generally designed to assess your competency in widely-used office software packages such as MS Word and Excel.

During the test you will be required to perform tasks in these programs using whichever methods you usually would, including keyboard shortcuts. Excel tests are likely to include questions on functions, charts & graphs. Word tests are designed to assess your ability to format documents using the program’s functions.

Once you’ve completed these tests, the employer or recruiter will have an understanding of your skill level for each of the programs, which is usually classed as either Basic, Intermediate or Advanced.

Psychometric and personality tests

Psychometric tests, sometimes also referred to as personality tests, are designed to assess your fit for the role and company on a deeper level. Many employers like these tests as the results give them an insight into your way of thinking and working. It can be difficult for them to gain this information from reading your CV or interviewing you in a structured environment.

Psychometric tests offer a potential employer an insight into several areas, such as how you interact with others in a work environment, how you cope with stressful or volatile situations and whether your personality and working style fits with the company’s culture.

These tests consist of a number of statements which you are asked to agree/disagree with. Answers are usually multiple choice and are on a spectrum e.g. ‘Strongly Agree’ down to ‘Strongly Disagree’. When reading the questions, keep in mind that your answers should be based on that situation in a work environment rather than a social or personal setting. Bear in mind that there’s no such thing as a right or wrong answer to these questions. You should try to answer honestly as it will be obvious to the assessor if you have tried to ‘cheat the system’!

Aptitude tests advice

Aptitude tests are timed tests which are designed to assess either your verbal reasoning ability, numerical reasoning ability or abstract reasoning. In some cases a single test may be used to assess all three areas.

If you’re unsure what the test will involve, it’s best to ask so that you can practice in advance and ensure you’re prepared. Verbal reasoning tests are designed to assess your spelling, grammar and ability to understand and act on written instructions. Numerical reasoning tests usually require you to use arithmetic and maths as well as interpreting data from charts or diagrams. Abstract reasoning tests are designed to gauge your ability to solve problems logically. You will often need to identify and explain patterns in data then find a solution to a problem based on this knowledge. Questions in these tests are nearly always multiple choice and unlike psychometric tests there are right and wrong answers.