Skill assessment: What is it and why should you care? By WUZZUF

What usually goes through your mind when you hear that you are requested to take a skill assessment for a job opportunity? Some people think it’s just another interview, some believe it’s a pass-fail test, and some get so scared they don’t take it at all. An assessment is actually an excellent method to prove to your potential employer that you have what it takes.

What is a skill assessment and what does it measure?

A skill assessment is a tool or a number of tests designed to evaluate the skills required for specific positions. Some employment assessments measure language skills, such as Aptis, IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC. Yes, some companies might actually look for applicants who have already taken international English Language assessments, but one can argue that they are mostly required for content related positions.

Others might be aptitude tests, designed to measure cognitive abilities or knowledge, or psychometric assessments to give the companies a better understanding of the candidate’s personal traits. Also, there are general skill-tests like the Viriphi Assessment, which is a general-skill assessment that targets young professionals to evaluate their communication (interpersonal and teamwork), numerical (problem-solving and analysis) and linguistic (English proficiency) skills.

Why do companies ask for assessments?

In case you haven’t noticed, the Egyptian job market has been drastically changing over the past 10 years. It’s getting more and more competitive, with more than 300,000 students graduating from university each year and an average of nearly 100 or more applicants per job in some of the most competitive industries.

Skill assessments help candidates navigate Egypt's job market.

Caption: The job market is extremely competitive. In some industries, there are more than 200 applications per job on WUZZUF. Source: WUZZUF.

For example, there’s an average of 238 applications per job on WUZZUF in the banking industry, 234 applications per job in the accounting and finance industry and 213 applications per job in the human resources industry.

Moreover, most applicants nowadays use the same templates for their CV, have similar backgrounds or mention almost identical sets of skills, such as “exceptional communication skills and the ability to work under pressure.” So employers look for unique qualities that make some applicants stand out. Here’s where assessments come in.

They have proven time and time again to be an objective and time-saving method to predict an employee's performance on the job. Click To TweetThey have proven time and time again to be an objective and time-saving method to predict an employee’s performance on the job. This doesn’t just go for technical assessments, general skill-assessments are equally as important.

Who asks for assessments?

Some of the most well-known companies in the MENA region rely on assessments. For example, P&G relies on its own reasoning test, Nestle, PWC, and Hindawi rely on English proficiency tests, while the British Council depends on Aptis. Also, OLX, Travco Properties, and the Greek Campus depend on Viriphi, because it evaluates the basic skills any candidate needs to work in any workplace, regardless of industry. Moreover, Viriphi helps candidates understand themselves better and gives them badges that highlight their accomplishments on their WUZZUF profiles, which helps boost their chances of success on the recruitment platform. You can know more about Viriphi assessment here.

There are two different Assessments here, categorized by motive:

First: Companies that have developed their own technical or aptitude assessments and invite their applicants to take them, which means they own the scores and keep them to themselves. You only hear back from them when you’ve been selected for an interview. Famous examples of this scenario are P&G reasoning tests and Nestle’s English test.

Second: Assessments you seek to take yourself, without a direct invitation from a company. In this case, you get the score report of your assessment, which will tell you a lot about your own skills and measured abilities. Like the IELTS and TOEFL to test your English, or Viriphi to test your soft skills and general abilities.

What’s in it for you?

Now that you know that you need something more than a polished CV and an impressive cover letter to try to distinguish yourself from the crowd, what can you do? A well-informed job seeker will try to find all the tools that will make it easier for companies to find and hire them.

We can easily say that assessments, whether they’re technical, general, linguistic or certificate-based, are definitely one of those tools.

Another thing that is really interesting about taking an assessment is that you get to know more about yourself when faced with a challenge you usually wouldn’t face.Click To TweetAnother thing that is really interesting about taking an assessment is that you get to know more about yourself when faced with a challenge you usually wouldn’t face.

How can you prepare yourself for an assessment?

In case you have not already taken an assessment, you are bound to do so at some point in your career. So, how can you get yourself ready for it? Practice. Practice. Practice. There is a massive number of online resources that can help you perform well on an assessment and get high scores. Here are a few:

While they might seem overwhelming or an unnecessary waste of time and effort, assessments can be incredibly useful in helping you prove that your self-assessed skills are not exaggerations, and making you stand out among a sea of candidates who want the job you know you’re right for.

Have you ever taken an employment assessment? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

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WUZZUF Career Coach

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