How to prepare for a leadership assessment

Desk with computer viewing PeopleFactors

Congratulations! You’ve been invited to complete a talent assessment for a new role. But, being presented with an hour-long (or more) deep dive into your abilities – we know how daunting this can be. We’re here to help make this process as smooth as possible for you and to get you prepared to let your best self show. Read on to learn our top tips to get you assessment-ready.

Desk with computer viewing PeopleFactors

What is a leadership assessment?

Put simply, these assessments provide an independent, objective picture of your natural style, abilities and skills relevant to the job you’ve applied for (or, perhaps for your current position). The feedback from the assessment will be used alongside your professional experience, qualifications, references and the interview process to give an overall view of your fit for the role.

Remember: this isn’t about berating your maths skills, or picking out your grammar mistakes, but understanding whether you are right for the role, and just as importantly, whether the role is right for you.

What benefits are there for taking an assessment?

There really are multiple perks to both using our assessments as an employer and taking our assessments as a potential employee.

Of course, employers get the best folks for the role with relatively little ground work. And, if you’re an employee looking to land a new role, it’s highly likely it’s for an employer with a history of less failed promotions and REAL retention and nurturing of top performers; this isn’t just a hunch, but real, data-led insight.

What does the assessment involve?

You’ll be presented with various questions to assess not only the obvious verbal and numerical aspects of your skillset, but your rationale, ability to problem-solve and understanding of situations, all relative to the role you’ve applied for.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Personality Questionnaire – This is a measure of your natural style, the way you interact with people, apply yourself to tasks, and respond to challenges.  
  • General Reasoning Test – This test will measure your problem-solving ability as well as what you’re like adapting to change. Like some of the other tests, you’ll have a 30-minute time limit, but there’s no need to sweat (scroll down to see how best to set up).
  • Critical Reasoning Test – Another timed test, this one to understand your ability to interpret information, recognise assumptions and draw conclusions.
  • Upwards and Downwards Management Style Questionnaires – These two (untimed – phew!) questionnaires will measure the way you tend to manage interaction with your boss or more senior people (Upwards Management Style), and with your direct reports (Downwards Management Style).
  • Motivational Values Questionnaire – This is a measure of what motivates you at work and what you need in order to feel satisfied.
  • Personal Enterprise Profile – How do you see your role in contributing to overall business success? This questionnaire will take a measure of your attitude towards business and commercial risk.
  • Strategic Case Study exercise – Not automatically applied to all candidates, this exercise might be given to you depending on the role you’re applying for. It’s a timed online exercise where you’ll be presented with a specific scenario and asked how you would approach it. It’s designed to assess your business knowledge and understanding.

The best way to prepare

The first step to a smooth assessment process: don’t overthink it. These assessments just require you to relax and be honest.

Fore-warned, as they say, is fore-armed, but don’t let the details of the tests above worry you. The process you’re about to go through is actually a quicker, easier and much more pain-free way to understand whether you’re a good fit for the role, and vice versa. If you force your answers or try too hard, your test will show it.

So make sure to approach the test when you’re relaxed, well-slept, and in a calming environment. Yes, that means switching off devices, alerts, emails, and putting a chunk of time in your calendar (we recommend an hour and a half).

Note: our assessments also go great with your favourite cuppa.

FAQs

  • How long does it normally take?
    • We recommend blocking out an hour and a half for a full assessment, but you don’t need to do it all at once.
  • Can I take a break?
    • Yes! And actually, we recommend it. You can do the assessment in as many short stints as you need to, as long as you complete it before your deadline.

  • Can I complete the assessment in another language?
    • Naturally. We’ve over 20 languages you can choose from, right from the start.

  • Will I receive feedback?
    • Yes. You’ll be provided with a full report of your results. So, even if you don’t land this job, you’ll have some incredible insights into your strengths and weaknesses – a perfect step to landing the role that’s made for you.

  • How do you treat my data?
    • We’re very particular about our data here at PeopleFactors. Only the necessary parties at the role for which you’re applying will get the results from your assessments. We never share data with anyone.