Hard Working or Lazy? How to Become an Assessment Rock Star

Bob Framarin —  January 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

Thank you for applying to ABC Company. Attached to this application you will find a personality assessment. Please answer the following questions and press ‘Finish’ upon completion.

At one point or another, we’ve all had to fill out an assessment while applying for jobs. There are many types of assessments that are all designed to evaluate an individual’s attributes and characteristics.  The purpose behind administering assessments of this nature is to identify a candidate’s compatibility with the company.

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If a prospective employer handed you an assessment, how would you answer the following question:

“How would you describe your work style?”

A) Hard Working

B) Stays Late

C) Goes Above and Beyond

D) Lazy and Won’t Help Others.

If given this prompt and accompanying set of answers, which would you pick?  It’s very safe to assume that your answer would either be A, B, or C.  Now that we’ve established that D is out of the running; three responses remain. Which one are you?  Are you the “Hard Worker” who is diligent in carrying out your tasks and duties?  Are you the “Late Stayer” who is the first to volunteer for projects that require long nights at the office—even if it means picking up the phone to let your spouse know that they shouldn’t wait up for dinner?  How about the employee who “Goes Above and Beyond”?  Does that phrase describe you to a “T”?

In the eyes of the employer, A, B, and C are all acceptable answers. But out of these three responses, which one should you pick? The answer that honestly describes you? Or the one that you want to describe you? This is a struggle that most candidates face when taking an assessment. There are multiple answers that seem right; but which is the best?

Let’s say you go the route of choosing the responses that make you look like the model employee. You answer all of the questions with what you know the employer wants to hear (i.e. comes in early, stays late, can work multiple projects at once, or my personal favorite, very organized).  I, as the employer, just found the greatest employee in the world; and without hesitation call you in for an interview. You land the interview and then what? You start getting asked to give examples of when you had to be organized or when you took on multiple projects.  As a result, you bomb the interview because you can’t give examples that back-up your claims; even though the answers you gave on the assessment said you excelled at all of those things.  Now you’ve not only wasted your time, but the employer’s time as well.

Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum.  What if you decide to answer the questions truthfully?  Are you going to hurt your chances of getting the job if you don’t strongly agree or disagree to a particular question?  These are internal questions that candidates struggle with all the time.

So what do you do?  Two words:  Be yourself!  For most assessments, there is no right or wrong answer. Instead of worrying about making yourself look like someone else, make yourself look like YOU.   Wouldn’t you rather be considered for a position with a company that likes you for who you are? When going into a personality assessment, it’s always important that your answers are in line with your values and reflect the real you. In doing so, both you and your prospective employer will find a perfect fit.

Bob Framarin

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Bob was an Account Manager here at NewHire and a pro at understanding clients’ hiring needs. He has lived in the Chicagoland area since 2007 and currently resides on the north side of the city. To Bob, there’s nothing worse than an Oatmeal Raisin cookie disguised as Chocolate Chip. Nothing.

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