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What is your study programme?

Assessment

Last modified on 09-09-2022
Assessments are a common part of the job application process. The employer uses specific tests to find out whether you are the most suitable candidate for the job.
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What is your study programme?

What this involves

An assessment is a way to map, measure, test and evaluate your current and potential competences and qualities by way of a psychological study. To assess your suitability for the position, the employer will have established a minimal set of requirements that each candidate must meet in order to be considered.

Common components

1. Aptitude tests

These are intelligence tests that are designed to assess your power of reasoning and logic. They may include supplementing arithmetical sequences, linguistic analogies or sets of characters. Such tests use strict criteria such as speed and the number of correct answers to assess your skills. Several important things to keep in mind:

  • There is no way to increase your IQ, but practising will make you more familiar with the various types of assignments and questions.
  • Do not dwell on a question you do not understand.
  • Read the instructions and the sample questions carefully before you begin the test.

You can start practising for aptitude tests online at:

2. Personality questionnaire

This type of questionnaire identifies your personality traits, which say something about your behaviour in general and in a work-related setting. There is no way to practise for this type of questionnaire, and there are no right or wrong answers. You may be asked to give your opinion on a statement or to pick an option that most applies to your personality. The questions will be related to personality traits such as extroversion, dominance, flexibility, assertiveness and stability. Important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Be yourself: there is little point in pretending to be something you are not. If you do, you might find out later that the company or position is not right for you after all.
  • Base your answers on how you see yourself, not on what you want to be. The test will also measure the consistency between your answers.
  • Read each question carefully, and do not think about your answ
  • Answer based on your ‘work persona’ if you find there is a discrepancy between how you would respond in a work situation and in your private life.

To give you an idea of how a personality questionnaire works, have a look at the following websites:

Good to know

  • Competences such as creativity and innovative thinking are tested more and more often.
  • Online games are increasingly used as tests.
  • You are always entitled to a written report following an assessment. If the psychologist who conducts your assessment is a member of the Netherlands Institute for Psychologists (NIP), they must adhere to certain professional codes of conduct. In this case, they need your permission in order to share the results with their client (the company).

Preparing for an assessment

1. Ask which competences will be tested beforehand.

2. Find out how you will be assessed.

3. Practise, practise and practise some more!

4. Reread the vacancy: the vacancy will often contain a description of the personality traits corresponding to the recruiters’ ideal candidate. Try to translate these competences into practical examples. This is a good way of predicting how these competences will be assessed.

Afterwards

The psychologist will compile a recommendation based on the tests, questionnaires and results and then discuss it with you. If you are unclear about elements of the assessment report, do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Have the vacancy on hand to compare and ask the assessor how you performed per task and target area and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. The assessor will be able to give you useful feedback.