You’ve taken your time, you’ve answered every question about your contact information, work history, education, and provided three references with home addresses for each. An hour has passed and you are longing for the old days when this application would’ve been written with a pen and handed to someone with a handshake and introduction. Submit. You’re done. Except you’re not done, the application just takes you to an “assessment”. What more could they need to assess?!?
Assessments are common additions to online job applications now. They might test your basic knowledge, your personality, or your decision-making ability. If it’s a basic knowledge test, just do your best and remember that the square root of 9 is 3. We’re mostly focused on personality assessments.
Like with anything else in the hiring process, think of this as a test. You’re being judged. You will have a score. There ARE correct and incorrect answers. The first incorrect answer is Neutral. Some applications refuse to allow you to answer neutral, others just leave neutral as an option knowing you’ll score no points for being neutral. The phrase “Somewhat” should never be part of your answer. If your answer sounds wishy-washy, it probably is and no matter how you answer you’ll be wrong. Take for instance the statement “I get really anxious in large crowds”. If you “Somewhat Disagree” with that statement, you are saying that you occasionally will get really anxious in large crowds. Let’s do another statement: “I think it’s ok to talk about your weekend plans with your coworkers when there are no customers present”. Somewhat disagreeing with that means that every now and then you’re going to be telling everyone what you did last weekend when there are areas to clean, floors to mop, reports to prepare, etc. Think of these questions as true and false, “kinda true” and “sorta false” don’t answer the question.
Next, remember that you’re applying for a job, not sharing a questionnaire on Facebook. If questions like “I like being in large groups of people” or “I feel comfortable meeting new people” come up on a personality test for a customer service job, remember that the company you’re applying to wants you to be meeting large groups of new people daily.
Even if you’re picking in the outer columns, strongly believing what you believe, and saying what you think they want to hear, stay mindful of trick statements. For instance: “It maddens me when the judicial system allows a guilty person to go free”. Nobody likes when someone they believe is guilty of a serious crime goes free, but if you say you agree or strongly agree to that statement, it sounds like you might go running around the workplace screaming whenever the CourtTV case you’ve been following doesn’t go your way. Watch the phrasing of the questions and try to figure out the answer that makes you look best to the employer.
Finally – remember that the online job application rules still apply. This isn’t the time to take a lunch break, check what’s on tv, or go read the latest Facebook drama. The clock is ticking. This is why we said you need lots of time to get these things done, because some of these applications require lots of time to get things done. So plan for an hour or two and get it done right the first time.