Employability Skills

Here we describe the development of our employability test profiler.

This is a baseline Employability Skills Test designed to assess a learners ‘job readiness’. Also, where their learning needs are. BESTest also assesses the positive difference made by learning programme interventions in terms of specific employability skills.

Analyse your employability skills

Soft skills are critical in today’s workplace. The term employability characteristics refers to a cluster of productive personality traits . These characterize one’s suitability for working effectively – including with other people. Employability characteristics, or soft employability skills are numerous. They include social graces, communication skills, cognitive agility, emotional intelligence, resilience, empathy, time management, teamwork and leadership traits.

Passing pre-employment tests 

How you perform matters. Nearly 90 percent of companies said they would reject candidates if the test showed them to be deficient in basic skills, according to a survey by the American Management Association. 

Companies use pre-employment tests to identify which candidates are most likely to perform well on the job, potentially saving time and cost in the recruitment process and decreasing employee turnover.

Skills tests are used to verify whether a candidate has the skills they say they have, and are proficient enough to do the job.

Aptitude tests are more general and are used to evaluate an applicant’s ability to learn new skills and indicate how they may react to different situations once hired. 

Skills test are specific to the job . For example, a design challenge using Photoshop for graphic designer. Or a proof reading test for editors.

How to do well on numerical reasoning tests

The general advice given is typically that some focussed test practice will improve your score. Unfortunately, there aren’t any quick wins for being good at Maths.

  • Give your “first response”. Don’t second guess what is being looked for since “faking” and lying are easily picked up.
  • As a timed test you need to average around one minute per question. Work briskly but accurately.
  • Each question counts the same so pick off the easy ones first and don’t waste your test time on the most difficult questions.
  • Practise some of the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. For this reason alone, we strongly advise practising sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL sites. ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.

How to do well on verbal reasoning tests

These come in many different types of format. There is a traditional comprehension format. This is to have a short text passage followed by a series of questions about facts, opinions, conclusions from the passage content.

Remember to:

  • Carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on 1-2 key words so you must take more care to interpret these accurately.
  • If questioned whether something “always” applies whilst the passage states that it is “sometimes” the case, then this is a false interpretation.
  • Scan the passage initially, then to read it in more detail.
  • Efficiently answer questions. For example, by roughly recalling where to find the answer in the passage. 

How to do well on abstract reasoning tests

Abstract reasoning tests ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”. The easier questions typically at the start of the test, will involve one change in colour, position, size etc of the figures shown.

You can find more detailed advice in our non verbal reasoning test article for City Kids online magazine.

10 personality tips to help your Study Skills

  1. Find time to study – If you manage your time badly, inevitably you will be less productive than if you manage it well. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, especially around exam time.
  2. Keep to a routine – Work in the same place at the same time each day. Also, make sure you have everything you need before you start.
  3. Work to your strengths – Schedule challenging tasks for when you are most alert, and routine ones for when you may be feeling more tired.
  4. Don’t waste time – Rather than reading irrelevant material, skim and scan to help you decide if you need to read something critically and in-depth.
  5. Avoid distractions – Related to above. Switch emails and social media off to prevent your mind wandering while trying to learn new information!
  6. Regularly review your notes – Edit out what you don’t need. Ask yourself the question: “Is this information is relevant to my assignment, and how does it relate to what I already know.”
  7. Vary how you to take notes – For example, use Mind Maps and diagrams to generate ideas and linear notes to focus your ideas for essay or report plans.
  8. Be critical – Make sure that you always add your own comment to every concept or quotation that you write down. Maintain a critical and analytical approach at all times!
  9. Plan your work – If writing an assignment produce a detailed plan before you start to write it. This will make the drafting process much less stressful
  10. Understand different styles  – By understanding different writing styles – such as academic, journal and journalistic styles – you can put what you read into perspective. In particular, you can become more aware of any particular bias.

Employability Test Profiler Research

Bornstein, R. F. (2003). Behaviorally referenced experimentation
and symptom validation: A paradigm for 21st-century
personality disorder research. Journal of Personality Disorders,
17, 1–18.

Clark, S. L., Muthn, B., Kaprio, J., D’Onofrio, B. M., Viken,
R., & Rose, R. J. (2013). Models and strategies for factor
mixture analysis: An example concerning the structure
underlying psychological disorders.

Fontana, A., & Rosenbeck, R. (2004). Comparing traditional
and Rasch analyses of the Mississippi PTSD Scale: Revealing
limitations of reverse-scored items.

De Fruyt, F., & Salgado, J. F. (2003). Applied personality
psychology: Lessons learned from the IWO field. European
Journal of Personality, 17(S1), S123–S131.

Dilchert, S., Ones, D. S., & Krueger, R. F. (2014). Maladaptive
personality constructs, measures, and work behaviors.

Guenole, N., Levine, S. J., & Chamorro-Premuzic,
T. (in press). The NEO-PI-R: Factor structure and gender
invariance from exploratory structural equation modeling
analyses in a high-stakes setting.

Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., & Gough, H. G. (2006).
The international personality item pool and the future of
public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in
Personality, 40, 84–96.

Personality tests research Part III

Gore, W. L., & Widiger, T. A. (2013). The DSM-5 dimensional
trait model and five-factor models of general personality.

Guenole, N. (2014). Maladaptive personality at work: Exploring
the darkness. Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Cockerill, T., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Smillie,
L. D. (2011). Evidence for the validity of dimensions in the
presence of rater source factors.

Hogan, R., & Hogan, J. (2001). Assessing leadership. A view
from the dark side.

Judge, T. A., & LePine, J. A. (2007). The bright and dark sides
of personality: Implications for personnel selection in
individual and team contexts.

Employability test profiler

Personality tests research Part IV

Kolenikov, S., & Bollen, K. A. (2012). Testing negative error
variances is a Heywood case a symptom of mispecification?

Krueger, R. F. (1999). The structure of common mental
disorders.

Skodol, A. V. (2012). Initial construction of a maladaptive
personality trait model and inventory for DSM-5.

Lykken, D. T. (1968). Statistical significance in psychological
research. Psychological Bulletin, 70, 151–159.

McDonald, R. P. (1999). Test theory: A unified treatment.

Muthn, L. K., & Muthn, B. (2006). Mplus: User’s guide.

O’Boyle, E. H., Forsyth, D. R., Banks, G. C., & McDaniel,
M. A. (2012). A meta-analysis of the Dark Triad and work
behavior: A social exchange perspective.

Employability test profiler

Personality tests research Part V

Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. (2002). The Dark Triad of
personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

Morey, L. C., Verheul, R., Krueger, R. F., & Siever, L. J.
(2011). Proposed changes in personality and personality
disorder assessment and diagnosis for DSM-5 Part II:
Clinical application. Personality Disorders: Theory,
Research, and Treatment, 2, 23–40.

Steiger, J. H. (1990). Structural model evaluation and modification:
An interval estimation approach. Multivariate
Behavioral Research, 25, 214–12.

Wille, B., De Fruyt, F., & De Clercq, B. (2014). Fifty shades of
personality: Integrating Five-Factor Model Bright and Dark
sides of personality at work. Industrial & Organizational
Psychology, 7, 121–126.

Woods, M. (2006). Careless responding to reverse-worded items:
Implications for confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of
Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 28, 186–191.

Wright, A. G., Thomas, K. M., Hopwood, C. J., Markon, K. E.,
Pincus, A. L., & Krueger, R. F. (2012). The hierarchical
structure of DSM-5 pathological.

 –  –  –   Work Culture Fit   –  –  –

10 personality tips to help your Study Skills

  1. Find time to study – If you manage your time badly, inevitably you will be less productive than if you manage it well. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, especially around exam time.
  2. Keep to a routine – Work in the same place at the same time each day. Also, make sure you have everything you need before you start.
  3. Work to your strengths – Schedule challenging tasks for when you are most alert, and routine ones for when you may be feeling more tired.
  4. Don’t waste time – Rather than reading irrelevant material, skim and scan to help you decide if you need to read something critically and in-depth.
  5. Avoid distractions – Related to above. Switch emails and social media off to prevent your mind wandering while trying to learn new information!
  6. Regularly review your notes – Edit out what you don’t need. Ask yourself the question: “Is this information is relevant to my assignment, and how does it relate to what I already know.”
  7. Vary how you to take notes – For example, use Mind Maps and diagrams to generate ideas and linear notes to focus your ideas for essay or report plans.
  8. Be critical – Make sure that you always add your own comment to every concept or quotation that you write down. Maintain a critical and analytical approach at all times!
  9. Plan your work – If writing an assignment produce a detailed plan before you start to write it. This will make the drafting process much less stressful
  10. Understand different styles  – By understanding different writing styles – such as academic, journal and journalistic styles – you can put what you read into perspective. In particular, you can become more aware of any particular bias.

Aptitude test practice books

Rob Williams’s five practice aptitude tests books are all available on Amazon:

Firstly, in our opinion this is the best aptitude test practice book for Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests.

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Secondly, in our opinion this is the best aptitude test practice book forPassing Numerical Reasoning Tests.

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– – – Assessment Centre Practice – – –

Links to Employability Resources

Useful Personality Test Links

  • Our personality test design. 
  • Our personality tests research 2019.

Employability test profiler