Advice for jobseekers: Aptitude tests, online assessments and assessment centres

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info@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Community, Jobs & Careers
Employers are frequently looking for new and innovative ways to help them hire the right candidate for a particular role, and these can often include aptitude tests, online assessments and assessment centres. Johnny Nolan, careers manager for Newry in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service, offers the following advice. “It is important to remember that they are usually one part of an overall application, with application forms, CV’s and interviews still being widely used alongside these. “An aptitude test is a structured way of evaluating how an applicant performs in specific tasks or how they react to certain situations. Candidates are given instructions before they start and there will be some example questions to try. “The actual tests are formal and strictly timed. They generally comprise of multiple choice questions and are completed online or on a printed answer sheet. The results are then compared with how others have done at the same tests,” he explained. “An online assessment can be similar to an aptitude test. It may be used as the first stage of shortlisting, with a multiple choice format. It could also be included as part of the overall online application. “An assessment centre is an option that employers use to assess an applicants aptitude for a job, as well as their skills and personal attributes, by examining their performance through various tasks and processes. “They are usually run in a specific venue, with no more than 25 candidates per sitting. They are seen as a fairer and more accurate method of selection, as they assess what candidates can actually do. So how should you prepare for an aptitude test, online assessment or assessment centre? • Treat any interaction with an organisation like you would an interview. • Read guidelines and check you have the correct date, venue and time. • Get a good nights sleep, dress appropriately and prepare travel arrangements in advance. • Act in a professional manner at all times. • Follow any instructions you are given on the day precisely. • If calculators are permitted, bring your own as the layout will be familiar to you. • Take online practise tests and do as many as you can. • Read each section and questions within it carefully. Keep checking your timings. • If it is an online test, make sure you are somewhere quiet and have no interruptions for the length of time needed. Save as you go along, keeping a note of your responses. • It is important to take your time with each question as your mark will depend on accuracy as well as speed, however if you are stuck, move on. • Don’t panic. Most tests are designed to be difficult and candidates often don’t complete the whole test. To speak to a local careers adviser, ring 0300 200 7820 or visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers

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