Facing a Test or Simulation as Part of Application Process?
I’ve had clients start to freak out a little because they’ve been told they need to do a technical test and/or simulation as part of a job application process. I always tell them that these simulations and tests can literally be “their best friend” when applying for jobs that they’re well suited for – especially when they don’t have a resume chock full of a depth and breadth of experience.
A Chance to Show What You’re Good At …
Here’s my thinking. Let’s say that Jim is really good at something that he’s only been doing for a little while. On the flip-side, Quincy might be pretty mediocre (or worse) at something that he’s been doing for a really long time.
When an employer is considering Jim and Quincy for the same job, how can he/she tell who’d make the better employee? Here’s when a technical test or a simulation becomes very valuable. If the employer can create a “simulated work-related task” (i.e., a simulation) or a technical test that evaluates Jim and Quincy on some relevant abilities then he/she will have some great information to consider when making a hiring decision.
Personally, I’m a big fan of simulations and tests as a useful supplement to job interview questions. Some people are good at talking (i.e., “performing” well during a job interview) but not doing (i.e., performing well on the job). Ideally, during the hiring process, employers should confirm that potential hires are able to perform the most important duties required of the job. For me, it allows me to mix creativity and practicality when working with employers/business owners. At the same time, I like knowing that it creates a level playing field for job seekers. (Read more about why I use I/O Psychology as a foundation for my HR Consulting and this other article about measuring soft skills).
Of course, there are many jobs where a new hire can learn on the job but that’s a whole other topic that I’ll address in another post on the notion of “Bring vs. Learn …”
Need help dealing with a delicate or high-stakes career or HR issue? I invite you to contact me privately. I offer a free 15 to 20-minute initial consultation by phone. Or, if you prefer, you can contact me by email, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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