Preparing For a Job










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Tests and Assessments:


Some organizations use some form of test as part of their selection process. This is more likely to be the case when many people are applying for a number of similar jobs e.g. as Consultants, but it can be the practice in some organizations for choosing a candidate for a single job. Such tests might be concerned with assessing Skills/Abilities and Aptitudes, or Personality. The former will most often be used to assess suitability for as particular job they may be used to narrow down a long list of applicants. The latter can also be used to choose from between many candidates but also to assess the match of an individual to a particular job situation and could be used towards the end of a selection process. Personality test rarely assess only personality but more usually managerial or leadership style, behavioral traits etc

There are only a few situations in which preparation for a test is worthwhile. Personality test, test of managerial/leadership style, behavioral traits etc will show you as you are. There is no point in trying to appear different. There are no right and no wrong answers. You cannot really prepare for them

On the other hand tests which have an intelligence component, as well as tests of numerical and verbal reasoning and some aptitude tests do have right and wrong answers so these you can get ready for. It helps therefore to know what you might be expected to take. If you cannot find out do some preparation in any case

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1.     Try to practice some similar questions if you know what type of test to expect (see section on Reference material for sources of questions)

2.     Try to do some timed questions - unless you are familiar with this situation e.g. through recent exams

3.     If you are currently on an MBA program you might ask your Occupational Psychology professor or those involved in selection for the program if they have anything you could try out

4.     Relax e.g. get a good nights sleep beforehand

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Assessment Centers

Assessments are also used by many organizations as part of a selection process. Generally this will consist of one or more exercises or simulations. The intention will be to simulate the situation of the job or the business unless this requires industry/business specific knowledge in which a quite different exercise may be used > Such assessments might be individual or undertaken in groups. If the latter there will usually be observers who amongst other things will be looking at your interpersonal/group related behavior.

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1.     Try to be clear what is required in each exercise. Read any instructions carefully

2.     Try to identify what competencies each test is seeking to assess, and how you can best demonstrate them

3.     The competencies looked for in managers include, problem

solving, facilitating, leadership, objective setting

4.     In group exercises, assessors are looking for a balance of such behaviors i.e. a willingness to listen to and learn from others and also an ability to take charge and give leadership.

5.         Try not to be too much of one thing and too little of another


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Flowchart: Alternate Process:  
Preparing For a Job


Flowchart: Alternate Process: NegotiationsFlowchart: Alternate Process: Tests and AssessmentsFlowchart: Alternate Process: Interview
Flowchart: Alternate Process: Covering LetterFlowchart: Alternate Process: Your Resume/CVFlowchart: Alternate Process: What is a Resume?