Tips for new job seekers: Interview tests

The first thing to do is read the instructions, particularly if it's an online test. In some cases you'll get practice examples and some time to familiarize, but you still need to be clear about how to do the answers.

Question types:

Multiple choice - this is a very familiar type of test, but don't take it for granted. Check your answers.

Comprehension - read the example, word by word, make sure you understand the information. Check your answer against the text for accuracy.

Alphanumeric - this is basic spelling, arithmetic, etc, and doesn't go above SAT levels. They're actually quite easy. Check your answers.

Associative test - these are usually sequences, like 1,3,..., 7,9. Sometimes they're diagrams or shapes in relation to each other. You can see the logic from the examples, and choose which example fits the answer. Check each answer to make sure it makes sense to you.

Performance tests

These are the ones that really get on people's nerves. The tendency is to go flat out through the test one question at a time, and make mistakes. That just doesn't work. There's a system to deal with these tests, though, so you can give a respectable number of answers.

To get a reasonable number of answers in the time allowed:

  • Read each question, one at a time.
  • If you can give a correct answer immediately, do it.
  • If you can't, don't waste time. Move on. You can come back to it.
  • Do all the questions where you know your answers are correct.
  • Come back to the tougher ones, repeat the process, doing the easier ones first.
  • Take a stab at the ones you don't get, after you've done the others.

This is time management. It allows you to get the maximum number of correct answers, and leaves you time to handle the more difficult questions.

Above all else: Never get psyched out by interview tests.