testing / assessmentOh my gosh! A test; you didn’t say there would be a test. This is a growing trend in the hiring process. These are designed to see how well you fit the mold that they are trying to fill. Let’s look at two of those tests and assessments that are common to employee screening. It is best to be prepared for the possibility of such a requirement during a job interview so not to be caught off guard or be intimidated by the prospect.

Career Assessment Testing

Chances are, you if you have applied for a position, then you have been asked to participate in a career assessment test. It is the way for an employer to see if you are a good fit into their work environment.

The latest trend in narrowing down a perspective employee out of the thousands of applicants applying for a position is called an Employee Assessment Test [EAT] and it is very common when being interviewed as a pre-requisite to a formal interview or true consideration. Do not be dismayed or irritated because you are being challenged; Instead, just look at it as a hurdle in a long distance marathon that is getting a job. Remember that in this event there are no sprints; you must be prepared for endurance.

Regarding testing, usually there are seven sorts or types of assessment; Aptitude, skills, integrity, personality, background, credit and drug screening. Most of them require a release or verbal authorization. Many of those relating to the first five can be done by phone or online. This is becoming very common in order to progress through the interview process.

This process is designed to get a good fit for what the job entails. Usually there is no right or wrong answers to these tests. They are scaled to ranges of desirability for the needs of the position. Try to be rested, alert and be a good listener to the questions being as concise and direct as possible when answering them. If you don’t know an answer or are not sure of what they are asking or in what context that they are asking, ask for clarification as to their meaning or what it is that they’re asking. If you try to cover it up or stretch the truth it will probably come out in other answers.

If this EAT is part of a face to face interview then be sure to be at your best, getting a good night’s rest and something on your stomach and bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated if you tend to get dry mouth or get exasperated during testing.

If this is verbal listen fully to the question. Think before you respond and keep it to the point, not rambling. If you are asked about something that is not easy to respond to or to recall then, just say so and ask if you can come back to that question later. Likewise if it is a written test, read the question carefully and if in doubt ask what they are seeking. Keep all answers concise, to the point and as brief as possible. If they have a question about your answer you will be asked to elaborate on what you meant.

If you still have questions there are many sources online, some even for the companies that you are applying to. One source on taking EATs can be found at this address:


C-A-R: Challenge – Action – Response

This is another form of employee screening. It enables a perspective employer to help decide if you are a good fit into their work environment.

The assessment is based on situations you have faced, what you did to handle it and what happened as a result of your action. Was it handled in a manner that fits their needs?

This is a relatively new way of interviewing a potential candidate for a job based on behavior. Chances are that you have been questioned during an interview with one of these new analytical quiz questions.

Here is an interview typically. You are in front of two or three persons who are there to see what you are made of and if you are a fit to their position. It usually consists of a team that is constructed from the hiring group of the company that you are applying to and connected to the area that eventually will hire someone to fill that position.

You have followed the rules to this point and provided your resume; usually you give them a full resume at this point, have completed an application and have a general idea of what it is that the job consists of. There is though the scrutiny of this select group of people who all have a shot at you about your skills and qualifications. That is where they narrow your skills for a match with their needs.

The next area though may seem a little vague to you if you are not thinking of this before hand; You will be asked a series of questions and they are composed of a formula that goes simply like the acronym C-A-R. They propose a challenge that you may have had in your position. Then they will suggest something that occurred that presented an action that impacted you directly. They will ask you what your response was. Now there is no right or wrong answer. But your response will usually sway them to pick or pass on you.

Here is a standard one that is used where honesty is part of the job.

“Have you ever worked with another co-worker who you knew was dishonest? Say stealing from the company or from other co-workers? What happened? How did you respond?”

Or it may be phrased like…

“Many jobs come with challenges and opportunities to affect the company and you are faced with a moral dilemma. Have you ever had something like that happen to you? If so, how did you respond?

Most of the time it is impossible to anticipate the field that they could ask, but it is always good to know some details from your experience that may prove to be relevant that if asked for such a C-A-R question that you could answer.

The key to this sort of question is to avoid rambling. Be as concise as you can be with your response. Avoid long stories or emotional stories or getting too detailed.

You should think of things that may have been a challenge for you but a word of caution, when speaking of challenges that may come to surface, avoid ‘dissing ‘ someone, co-workers, employers, etceteras. This is tantamount to gossiping unless you preface the story with a caution and that the story is verifiable and was integral to you and your position.

Behavioral interviewing techniques are growing continuously and their use is becoming more and more common. There are many sites available to prepare yourself for these types of interviews. One site that I find is very insightful and helpful is with Kristi Daeda. Her blog is loaded with tips and insight on this and you can access it at this link:


Filed under: Testing / Assessments

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