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How to ace an aptitude or IQ test

by Aptitude Tests on 20 May 2017 permalink
Hate them or love them, you are bound to come across some psychometric tests in your job hunting. To avoid the effect of surprise and perform well under the stress of time-limited tests your only option to pass this next hurdle is practice.

The last thing you want in recruitment is to be treated like a commodity. People would measure up your brains if they could and this last mode of selection is the last straw in the job search obstacle course you're going through.

Do not despair - hope is at hand. Besides, you are not competing against computers or machines but other human beings who will also have to sit for the same test.

Look at it from the employer's point of view for a minute if you will. These days trust and honesty are in short supply. People have no shame in lying, fudging and stretching things to get a foot in the door. An aptitude or knowledge test might in fact be your saving grace as it is an unbiased way to see how all candidates perform without any prejudice.

At the end of this article you will find a link to a resource that will give you a chance to practice at home those types of tests before you are faced will the real thing.

A good test is designed in such a way that answering multiple choice questions at random will render an abysmal result. Since guessing is not the way to go, you'd better get the best return on your limited time by moving across to the questions you do know about.

Also remember that the same question is often asked multiple times in slightly different ways in order to eliminate chance.

Having practiced beforehand will cancel out the effect of surprise. Of course the tests you will face when applying for a job will be proprietary to that company but you will be confident that you've been there, done that...

Rather than hitting aimlessly at all jobs that you can find, this selection process will in fact force you to specialise in a given field. As the saying goes: "Jack of all trades, master of none." As you start to focus on a given industry or job classification you will find that your knowledge of that field increases - a definite plus when being screened for an interview. You will also find that doing your homework to find out what you need to know about a company you are aiming to work for will deepen your grasp and increase your confidence.

It's not the number of times you fail that matters, it's the number of times you get back on your feet and have another go. Go for it - you deserve it, you and the people you love.


Job sniffer to the rescue

by Aptitude Tests on 13 May 2017 permalink
If recruiters use software programs to do resume profiling, skill set analysis and average job tenure calculations - isn't it time candidates become technology savvy and use advanced job searching techniques?

Have you ever been distressed at the thought of scanning page after page of search engine results, trolling for the words career, job listing, employment vacancies and the like?

There are indeed specialised places as employment websites but more often than not, they are portals for recruitment agencies who do not disclose the name of the employer or the closing date for the position.

Those who go after government jobs know how to play the game - you have more chances of getting work there if you are female, with a disability and with an ethnic background...

Introducing Job Sniffer - an employment aggregator. This service regularly visits corporate websites advertising their positions and populates a database. Visitors can then search opportunities by job description, keyword or location. Neat isn't? You are not being led astray by some junior staff at some employment agency recycling stale jobs. Instead the link takes you straight to the original job post where you can apply. You have the confidence of seeing the original job specs and closing date to make your application a worthwhile endeavour.

Extra screening is performed on the database to normalise job titles and locations. There is always a bonus in dealing with the people who have the final say regarding who to hire. You can do your background check on the company and show off your industry knowledge in the cover letter. If you go for a blind date with a recruitment agency, not knowing who the final employer is, you don't have that advantage.

Job Sniffer is sponsored by our two employment related sites: Resume Digest and Aptitude Tests


The mental gymnastic of aptitude tests

by Aptitude Tests on 06 May 2017 permalink
How current is your knowledge of procedures and systems in your industry? You might use that stuff in your trade on a daily basis or just look it up on the internet if need be. Nevertheless it can be used as a selection criterion to cut down a long list of job applicants to a shortlist for interviews.

As you get older your memory is not as supple as it used to be. You also learn not to remember things that can readily be referenced.

Unfortunately that's not a good situation if you get screened through a battery of aptitude or knowledge tests. This is exacerbated by the fact that some people have spoiled it for everyone else by making false claims in their resume.

In recruitment you are presumed a liar until proved dependable - through a test that is. This sets a fair but high standard for everyone.

It will be difficult to assess someone's experience and seniority through a test (that's what face to face interview are supposed to determine). In a world where everything is standardized or packaged there is no room for giving someone a go. You deliver the skills or we look at the next person.

Nobody is interested in what fresh insight you can bring to the firm. All they want to know is that they don't need to waste time on your training or induction. You are deemed to pick up the ball running. All what is required is to obey the procedures manual and whoever can do it the cheapest will get the job.

Only once you're in, can you flex your problem solving skills and be flagged for a promotion. Another hurdle here: If your strategy is to enter at a low position and move through the ranks you might find you have to compete with outsiders poached straight out of competitors. They have done exactly for the last 5 years what the job description calls for, while you lag behind and can't show evidence of any management skills.

The whole concept of aptitude tests can be overused to coerce people into pigeon holes they don't want to belong to. But if you want to get the job and pay the bills and support your family what choice do you have?


First Hurdle Before the Interview - Aptitude Tests

by Aptitude Tests on 29 Apr 2017 permalink
In this world people unashamedly lie about their qualifications and work history. Aptitude tests are being used to screen candidates worth calling for an interview.

Psychometric tests can be taken online wherever you can log onto the internet. Make sure you are not being distracted and that your laptop battery will not run out.

On the positive side you can see that it is a fairer system where all candidates are judged on the same criteria. On the negative side it can be a humbling experience to fail a set of 50 or 100 questions administered by some computer out there in cyberspace.

Young adults would be accustomed with the practice as IQ tests or others are being routinely administered on campuses. Mature workers can stand at a disadvantage for being exposed to this type of selection. Do not despair. There is hope. Like everything else in life, you can prepare yourself for such an encounter.

We live in an increasingly categorised world where even the most mundane of tasks have been documented and it won't be long before you can apply to study at the Advanced Tertiary Institution of Performing Janitors.

Aptitude tests are here to stay - so just get over it! It is a game of mental gymnastics and with the appropriate preparation you will be able to demonstrate your aptitude - no more no less.

A well written test will get cheats undone by repeating the same question in slightly different ways to cancel out random right answers.

Tests can be used to assess your problem solving skills, your behaviour under pressure (tests must be completed within a given amount of time). Other tests can check your knowledge of procedure manuals and regulations. Tests can check your fluency in a foreign language, your grasp of computer programming, your math skills and a whole range of abilities.

Tests are only as good as the person who wrote the test in the first place. Of itself a test can be questionable but when the performance of many candidates is rated the results are obvious. You can tell those who understood the questions from those who fudged their answers. You can tell those who have a relevant background from those who stumble along.

Whether you get the job or not you should ask for the results of your test if possible. How you rated across the batch of other candidates that day can also be helpful information.

Aptitude Tests is an online service to prepare yourself for aptitude, knowledge and IQ tests.

Resume Digest is an online service to customize your application for each job you are responding to.


Internal Recruitment Can Save Your Company Money

by Aptitude Tests on 22 Apr 2017 permalink
Here comes the age of the recruitment agency. Was it some flamboyant head of human resources in a Fortune 500 company who recycled herself into the slave trade?

Both employers and candidates have a lot of gripe about these services and there are ways to do without them. If you dare to advertise a position for your company you run the risk of being ignored or else being flooded with irrelevant applicants. Who will sort out this mess?

Remember that advertising a vacant position for your company does not need to be done under hand but can be turned into a valuable public relations exercise. Your suppliers and customers alike will notice and say: "So and so is hiring... they must be doing alright!"

If you are the one who is going to supervise that new entrant, doesn't it stand to reason that you should also be the one to make the selection? But how do you thin down a pile of 100 resumes to a shortlist of 10 or 5 people to interview?

The answer might be in using a set of aptitude tests. People have no shame in stretching and fudging things on their resume just to get a foot in the door. Others have quite a charismatic personality but collapse when under stress. Knowledge and time-limited IQ tests can screen those people out. You don't have to call all these people to your office to sit for the tests. They can do that online and you get a report to call in only those with the best scores.

You can even write your own set of questions and devise a test specific for your industry. You can reverse engineer your procedures manual and see if your current staff is up to speed on your current directives.

You should consider your job advertisement like a prime piece of self-marketing. Remember that one of the people you attract will become your people.

If people cared about the position they are applying for they would take the trouble to customise their resume to address all the requirements called for in the ad. If they have some motivation in working for you they would have done some basic research to gather information about your firm before fronting for the interview.


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