Jobseeker Advice - Just Be Yourself, You Are Your Biggest Asset

With psychometric assessment (aka psych testing) steadily establishing itself as one of the most reliable selection weapons in a HR professional’s arsenal, organisations around the country are implementing them as a standard part of their selection process, especially in bulk recruitment exercises like graduate intakes and vacation programs. 

Unfortunately, the growing popularity of psychometric testing has also led to the introduction of some ‘undesirable operators’ in the market. I am specifically referring to companies who coach, train and assist jobseekers in responding to psychometric assessments in a bid to make them more desirable. 

There are a number of issues here however, one that I find the most worrying is that some of these organisations claim to employ fully trained psychologists who have designed these assessments in the past. Yet, on further investigation there are no clear staff profiles on their website that list the credentials of their people. Furthermore, none of these companies appear to be endorsed by any type of regulatory body (e.g. the Australian Psychological Society). 

Fortunately, the majority of jobseekers recognise that responding to psych assessments in a way that is not reflective of their own ability or orientations is actually detrimental to them personally. If successful, they are likely to be offered a job that does not suit their preferences, that may be stressful or de-energising or that sits outside of their skill set. 

And don’t get me wrong either - not all companies offering career support are of the undesirable type. There are some wonderful career coaches out there who provide stellar support to help jobseekers differentiate themselves. In my opinion these services are helpful in providing support around presentation skills, interview ability and resume writing. On the other hand, psychometric assessment coaching is impossibly difficult, fraught with danger and more harmful if anything.

The big myth about coaching and training for gaming assessments

What many people don’t understand is that candidate responses on both ability and attribute assessments are often compared to a unique organisational profile or industry comparison group. 

Here is an example. Let’s say you were applying for an Accountant position but didn’t think you were really the typical ‘Accountant type’. Your natural inclination might be to present more of a typical ‘Accountant flavour’. In a test you might choose responses which are traditionally more strongly associated with accounting types such as introversion, mathematical orientation, being highly task focused and compliant. However, the problem is that this particular organisation might actually be looking for candidates who have strong interpersonal skills and are more creative or innovative thinkers – in fact, nothing like the traditional traits you might expect in an Accountant.  

What if they’re actually after an out-of-the-box Accountant? What if they’re after you? 

This is why psychometric assessment coaching and training is fraught with danger and can have a negative consequence for jobseekers. Jobseekers must realise that they are their own biggest asset. You - with all your imperfections, quirks and development areas is exactly what organisations are looking for! 

Let’s face it, everyone has weaknesses and areas for development. The individuals who tend to excel in life are those who accept these imperfections, show awareness and work towards improving themselves. 

THIS is how you can get prepared

To give yourself the best chance of doing well, review some example questions. These will make you more comfortable with the types of questions you are about to face. 

When it comes time to complete the test, it’s important to make sure you’ve done the following:

  • Read all instructions carefully no matter how monotonous they are. They’re there to assist you. 
  • Make sure you are well rested, comfortable and relaxed. Fatigue, anxiety and general discomfort have a negative influence on testing ability.
  • Ensure that you are in a quiet environment, free from distraction.
  • Refrain from completing assessments while affected by alcohol or drugs (this one is pretty self explanatory)
  • If you wear contacts or glasses, make sure you have them on. There is nothing more uncool than receiving a less than favourable result in the pursuit of aesthetic appeal.
  • Resist receiving help from others, they may provide you with the wrong answers or waste your precious time by having to engage in debates about what the right answer should be.
  • Respond honestly and to the best of your ability. Assessment results are generally locked down for a 12-month period and you may be retested in future stages of the selection process to ensure that you were honest.

Don’t fall into the trap of letting someone tell you that you’re not enough. You are your best asset and this is what organisations are looking for.

About this Post

This post was originally published by Onetest on our HR and psychometric testing blog.

Onetest Australia -

Onetest UK -

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