When you apply for almost any job, you have to go through a selection process that includes submitting a resume or application and an interview. In some job selection processes, you are also asked to take a skills test to determine if you possess the skills required to perform the job successfully. These tests can vary based on the type of position you are applying for and include technical skills tests, written exams, and working interviews.
Technical skills tests are often given for positions that require you to perform physical tasks. For example, if you are applying for a position as a welder, you may be asked to take a welding test. This test will usually be given at the work site and may require you to perform a certain type of welding, demonstrate your knowledge of welding different types of metal, or ask you to perform a variety of tasks related to the job available. Tests that require less equipment may be given at the agency where you are applying. For example, Impact Staffing offers a measurement test for individuals applying for certain quality control positions. The applicant is required to measure various metal parts using micrometers and calipers. This helps determine if he/she has the ability to use a measuring device accurately. These types of tests vary greatly based on the requirements of the open position.
Written or computer generated exams are also required for some positions. If you are applying for a position that requires you to use a computer, you may be tested on your computer skills. For example, if you are applying for a Human Resources position at a manufacturing plant, you may be tested on your competency in various software packages or database management. If you are applying for a job working with machinery on a plant floor or warehouse, you may be asked to take a written math or mechanical aptitude test. Like technical skills tests, written exams also vary based on the position, but are not quite as specialized. You can often find online tutorials for basic math, measurement or computer skills exams online. You can use these to “brush up” on your knowledge before the actual exam, if necessary.
Beyond testing, sometimes a company will request that a candidate complete a working interview. Your recruiter or the contact that you interviewed with at the company where you will be working will let you know what is expected during this interview period. A working interview can last one day to several days. This period allows you time to determine if the position is a good fit for you before committing to take the job and allows the company to see if your skill level is a good fit for the position’s requirements. You are of course compensated for the hours worked during the interview process.
The important thing to remember during the testing process is to relax! These tests are important, but are not the only factor that goes into determining the final candidate selected for the position. If you have any additional questions about testing, ask your recruiter. They are more than happy to help you understand the process and help you show up for your test feeling prepared and confident.