Union Views: Please answer these 50 questions

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June 20th, 2016 7:00 am| by Steen Vive

Every job I have landed has involved a recruitment and selection test.

These tests, which may look at personality or skills, are often misunderstood. The idea of being assessed is confused with an exam, and this leads to sweaty palms and a raised heart rate. In fact, the uncertainty regarding such tests has become so widespread that Djøf, the organisation I work for, regularly hosts test events to help our members prepare.

Remember: tests are not exams. They are a basis for dialogue with your potential employer that seeks to identify whether you are a good fit for the job. I hope my tips help you excel.

Personality tests
A personality test is tricky to prepare for. Your answers are guided by your preferences and motivations. My advice is to be intuitive and honest. Do not try to outsmart the test, thinking you know the ‘right’ answers.

I found online tests helpful for practice. They challenged my self-perception and highlighted whether I needed to address some apparent contradictions in my personality.

Skill tests
Again, the best way to prepare is to find a similar online test. This gives you an idea of strengths and weaknesses, and what you need to practise to achieve a better result.

Here is how I practiced my general skills:

– Verbal tests:
· I consulted my dictionary and considered connotations
· I practised my grammar using online exercises
· I did crosswords and word games to increase my vocabulary

– Numerical tests:
· I revisited the basic rules of arithmetic, fractions and equations
· I studied tables, charts and graphs and explained them in words
· I played numerical games, such as sudoku

– Diagrammatical tests:
· I worked with charts and graphs
· I practised problem-solving involving graphs
· I cracked logic puzzles

Prepare through practice
There is no need for test anxiety. Think of the test as an opportunity to gain valuable insights about yourself even if you do not land the job. Do not try to outsmart the test. Plan responses to questions about your personality and skill strengths and weaknesses.

And remember: practice and preparation make perfect.

Steen Vive

Steen is senior advisor at Djøf, the Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists. He is a blogger and manager of various projects aimed at generating jobs in the private sector. In this column he writes about trends and tendencies in the labour market. Follow him on Twitter @SteenVive