How to Prepare For a Job Interview: Anticipating Skills Tests


ikea job interviewWhen you think about how to prepare for a job interview, you can’t overlook the possibility that you’ll get hit with a skills test.  Skills tests give employers yet another way to distinguish between different job candidates, see how they perform under pressure, and check the various claims they’ve made on their resumes.

You don’t always know whether you’ll get a skills test, or what kind of test you’ll be expected to undergo, but the following are popular ones to look out for:

Software frequently used in your field 
If you write on your resume that you’re adept at Dreamweaver or Pagemaker, you may be called on to prove it.  Common programs tested prior to or during an interview include Microsoft Word and Excel, which are used by a wide range of jobs.  But be sure you’re proficient with any popular program your job specifically calls for, especially if you noted it on your resume.

Programming languages 
The point here is similar to the ones raised about computer software.  You say you’re proficient in C++? If it’s important to your employer, you might get tested.

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Many employers lament job candidates’ lack of writing abilities; it seems that in an age of tweets and texts, the ability to construct a readable paragraph has fallen to the wayside.  Depending on what your job is, you may need to prove that you can supply a clear set of instructions, draft a memo, or supply the copywriting for a company landing page.

Scenario based tests
These can take many forms. For example, if the position you’re applying for is managerial, you may have to take a test demonstrating how you prioritize, handle conflicts, increase group productivity, or provide insights into different tricky situations.  The test may be in a multiple-choice format or involve role-playing scenarios with your interviewer or with other interviewees in a group setting.

General intelligence tests
You might be asked to answer questions of the sort that would appear on an IQ test.  Some tests may be more specific to a particular set of cognitive abilities, such as spatial reasoning, that are important for the job you’re applying for.

Making sure that you’re as proficient as you claim on your resume, and approaching each test with confidence and clear-sightedness, will increase the chances that you’ll succeed.  Don’t hesitate to contact us for further advice on preparing for your interview, which includes anticipating the sort of tests your prospective employer may use.