Never before my job search did I think I would get a test as part of the application and interview process for jobs. But as of today, I have had to take two aptitude tests in the interview process (for different companies). This is one thing that I had never expected, but I’ve been able to adapt to it through a combination of research and the luck of already having studied for the GRE, since the questions tend to be similar.
So here’s what goes on during the aptitude test, for anyone who hasn’t had one. Basically it’s a multi-part test made up of timed knowledge (aptitude) questions, and untimed personality questions. According to Wikijob (don’t judge my sources, I’m not writing a paper!) employers use aptitude tests as “means of testing a job candidates’ aptitudes to perform specific tasks and react to a range of different situations given” (Wikijob, “Aptitude Tests“).
Another good source for job seekers to look at is MindTools site on Aptitude Tests. This site seems to cater to explaining aptitude tests to employers, which is good for those in our position to understand. If we know why we’re being tested and what the employer is looking for, we can perform better on the test. Find this article here.
In addition, a simple google search will help you find practice questions for aptitude tests. Honestly, though, if you were able to pass high school math and can think through word problems and identify patterns, you should be fine. The most recent test I took this afternoon also consisted of vocabulary questions, which were the exact same format as GRE vocabulary questions. If you happen to have already studied for the GRE, you’re fine. If not, here is a good website for practice questions.
Depending on the job you’re applying for, the questions may be more difficult or more specific to the position, so my best advice is to know your field and know what you’re applying for. The test isn’t like your freshman chemistry exams where they try to fail almost everyone, it’s just for the interviewer to get a better idea of your abilities. So don’t worry, stay calm, and stay Vulcan (…I mean logical. My geek is showing!).
- “Aptitude Testing.” – Team Management Training from MindTools.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.
- “Free Practice Aptitude Tests | Free Aptitude Test Examples.” Free Practice Aptitude Tests | Free Aptitude Test Examples. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.'”
- “Aptitude Tests.” WikiJob. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.