Thinking Tests in interviews

The employer does want to know if you're up to the job, and you'll get some basic, but important, tests of your thinking.

At entry level, the questions will be things like dealing with a situation, or a technical question, nothing fancy, but you'll recognize the relevance.

Unlike some other questions, these really are practical questions, so just answer to the best of your ability. You're trained, you know the job, consider the question as the sort of issue you'd expect to encounter on the job.

Remember to think before you speak, and also remember this is a question where the result of your thinking is the real answer. This is a version of a situational question, in which how you think, and what you achieve, are the primary issues. It's a problem solving test.

You can qualify your answer by saying what you're trying to achieve. It's a bit like showing your calculations in a math test.

So you can say something like, The idea is to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties so we need to establish what their requirements are, or We're trying to clear a backlog, so we need to allocate resources…

This is a lateral thinking approach, and it makes your answer a lot clearer. The interviewers know what you're trying to achieve with your logic. They don't have to guess where you're going with each sentence.

Clearer is always better.

Intelligent responses to information and questions

Interviews give information, as well as get it. You'll find you're given some extra information, and your presentation improves dramatically if you know what to do with that information.

Let's say you're informed that part of your job includes some data analysis.

You can ask questions, too. If they're good questions, you prove some extra competence, and you will also get some useful information.

Data analysis could mean anything, and a competent person would naturally want more information. The person who gets the job definitely will.

Presentation equates to giving the interviewers reason to believe you know what you're doing, anticipating situations, and reacting properly to information.