When There is a Test at the Interview

An interview can be stressful enough, but how do you handle it when the employer also throws in a test?  Many employers will give interview candidates a test in order to further evaluate their job related skills.  Since most of these tests are a surprise, how can you possibly prepare?

Here are some tips that will help you be ready for any interview test:

Stay calm.  Even if the test is difficult, it is essential that you keep relaxed.  If you get too nervous, it will make it even more difficult for you to perform well on the test.  Remember that all the candidates will be facing this difficult task.  The candidates who stand out will be those who can rise to the challenge, and do not give way to the pressure.

FocusDuring the test, there will likely be many different things going through your mind.  You may be thinking about one of the interview questions, or trying to remember everything that they tell you about the position.  However, when you are completing the test, it is essential that you clear your head, and focus on the task at hand.  The test demands your undivided attention, and if you do not give it that level of focus, you will not be showing the employer your true capacity.

Understand the task. If you do not completely understand the task, do not proceed.  Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.  The employer will be happy to answer your questions, but after you complete the test, there are no second chances.

Always be ready for a test.  Since many employers will include a test as part of the interview process, you should always be prepared.  If you go into the interview expecting a test, you will never be surprised.  Based on the job description, you should try to anticipate which skills the employer may be testing.  However, always go into the interview ready for anything.

Watch your time.  Don’t treat the test like a race, but do keep an eye on the time.  Don’t focus so much on perfection that you end up taking an hour to complete a task that should take ten minutes.  The employer will be focusing on the quality of your work, but they are also looking for a candidate who can work efficiently.

Most applicants view a test in an interview as stressful, but if you approach it as an opportunity to stand out among the other applicants, your confidence and enthusiasm will make you shine.

(Written By:  Karen Bivand, Photo From: Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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