How to Prepare for a Job Interview with Personality Tests or an Assessment Center

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How to Prepare for a Job Interview with Personality Tests or Assessment Centers

Once the modalities of a professional assessment process have been detailed, the question everybody ask themselves is: "can I prepare for the assessment, and how?"A number of books have been published and seminars have been organized with the aim of preparing people to the passing of all kinds of tests.

Although perfectly understandable when applied to knowledge tests, this approach can prove counterproductive when trying to thwart a well-structured approach to personality tests (articles). Indeed, a lack of authenticity during the assessment can actually represent a cause for the rejection of the application. Moreover, when people get a job after presenting an image that does not reflect reality, they will be confronted to the difficulties inherent to their lack of compatibility with the position. The ensuing malaise will affect the person even more than the company!

However, the following recommendations can prove useful:

  • gather data on the position’s requirements;
  • analyze your motivation for the position; why would such an activity be a plus for your personal evolution;
  • come to the interview as relaxed as possible;
  • play the game of spontaneity and authenticity, without trying to depict a personality that is not yours;
  • open the door to dialogue with the persons in charge of the assessment;
  • dare to speak about your strengths and limitations: frankness always pays out on the long run!
  • dare to ask questions and assess the position and its environment;
  • analyze the repercussions of this new activity on your private life (family, social life, political activities…);
  • analyze the gap between the position and what you can actually contribute. Assess the efforts you will have to make in order to meet the function’s requirements; discuss them and, if you are accepted, make your final decision.

It is true that the employer is always seeking the rare bird, and that it is normal for a job candidate to be attracted by questions of prestige, social status and even, quite simply, salary. Yet, you should also consider your future job satisfaction, your well-being in the workplace, as well as your professional fulfillment. Thus, even if you are interested - just as the employer - in making the best use of your strengths, you should also dare to say "no" to a position that could prove stressful, should its requirements outmatch your abilities. Such a situation could indeed result in incompetence and even sickness (due to an incompatibility with the professional environment).

We also recommend you the article "Job Applications: When Your "Weaknesses" Turn Into Assets" which deals with the issue of recruitment interviews from the candidate's perspective.

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