In “coach speak,” an assessment exercise is a term we use to describe having the job seeker think about themselves, and then write about themselves, and then analyze what they have thought and written, for the purposes of illumination and guidance.
The reason they are called “exercises” is because they are “work”… which is why they aren’t the first thing everyone wants to do. I have said it before, and I will type this until I am blue in the face: assessment exercises are valuable because they help you clarify and explain who you are, and what you can do.
Rather than yell at my procrastinators out there, I wanted to talk about the types of assessment exercises that are out there, for those who want to go through the process and reap the benefits of doing so…
Here are some of the types of assessment tests you can encounter out there:
Psychometric: Psychometric assessments are exercises or questionnaires, designed by psychologists, which measure cognitive, behavioral and personality traits of an individual.
Aptitude Tests: Aptitude tests are also known as ability tests…these tests provide information about a person’s ability to perform tasks and will also indicate the person’s ability to learn and understand new tasks and information.
Personality Inventories: Personality inventories are concerned with how you typically behave, the way you relate to other people or co-workers or the way you approach and solve a problem… they generally explore personality characteristics.
You might find these being administered by coaches and counselors…you might also find online versions you can take. Beware the ones advertised as “free”…there is no such thing as free…what normally happens is this – TAKING the test is free, but VIEWING the results and interpretation will require your visa or mastercard.
About the only online personality test I like is one called the “Myers – Briggs Type Indicator”…look around the web for the long version…it really is free, but be prepared to get used to the nomenclature they use to classify your results…if you really need help understanding your personality, this is a good place to start.
Now, the thing I don’t like about the above tests is that they are one size fits all…by that I mean, you have to answer a list of standard questions in order to take these tests… in my view, standardized tests imply standardized test – takers, and in all my years of practice, I have never met one job seeker who was just like the last one.
To that end, I advocate (and teach) writing exercises that examine MOTIVATED SKILLS, (IE: what you do and why you do it ) which are specific to the job seeker…then, we take these results and tailor make a strategy for them to follow… yes, it’s work, but you don’t need a psychology degree to get involved with it, and you get results that make sense to you…you don’t need to wonder “does this apply to me, and if so, how?” because everything originated with you and your experiences.
I’m not saying that aptitude tests, psychometric assessments and personality inventories can’t be useful to you…they can be, and they are better than nothing…the point is, you have to start somewhere.
Whichever assessment tool you have available, be sure to make use of it. The more understanding you have about yourself; the more you can construct a quicker and more effective job search.
Until next time, I wish you all the best.
Thomas Patrick Chuna is a certified Five O’Clock Club job search coach.
The Five O’Clock Club is a nationally recognized outplacement firm with a proven job search methodology that helps job seekers get better jobs faster.
The Five O’Clock Club also provides affordable, humane outplacement services to companies who care about the well being of their employees.
Tom is also an experienced independent recruiter specializing in molecular oncology research scientists & MD’s.
Learn more: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com http://www.patrick-international.net