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Tips for Answering Job Application Exams September 3, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Jobhunting Pinoy Style.
Tags: ,

In the Philippines, applying for a job means undergoing an interview and an exam, although not necessarily in that order.  These tests are qualifying tests.  They will test your intelligence, aptitude, skills and personal characteristics. 

Intelligence tests
Generally referred to as the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests, intelligence tests will of course try to measure your intellectual capacity and reasoning.  These usually consist of number series completion, abstract reasoning and other logic tests. 

How to beat these tests?  IQ tests are generally logic based.  You’ll find questions such as:

1.  Puppy is to dog, as calf is to: a) wolf    b) camel    c)cow    d)monkey
2.  Which among these items does not belong to the group?
 television, banana, tape recorder, radio
3.  What number comes next in this series?  8, 15, 21, 26?

Aptitude and skills tests
These tests will measure your background knowledge in the field you trained for.  They will also help identify the kind of skills you have.   

The tests companies give generally vary, depending of course on the nature of the job vacancy and on the type of company giving the exam.  A manufacturing company, for example, may give different aptitude tests compared to a call center or a bank.  The type of tests you will take as an applicant for a forklift operator job will be different from the one taken by someone who’s applying for a technician position.

The Personality test
There are several ways to test an applicant’s personality but the end result is the same.  It’s to determine the type of tendencies you may have.  Are you a careful introvert or a sociable extrovert?  Are you self-absorbed, frivolous or serious?  How will you react in certain situations?

The trick here is to answer as honestly as you can (there are no right or wrong answers) and be consistent.  Some questions tend to be repetitive so be careful with these.

The Essay Test
Most job qualifying exams end with the essay test.  The essay test is often judged by its content and form.  It’s a means to determine how well you can communicate your ideas and feelings. 

Essay tests are very personal, so again – there’s no need to worry about being wrong or right.  Very often, you will be asked to describe a personal or professional experience.  In many cases, you will be asked to describe yourself.  Whatever the question may be, make sure to write your thought truthfully. 

Some tips on answering the essay test:

– Write in complete sentences.

– Make sure thoughts are clear but concise.

– Don’t be afraid to use paragraphs.  They break down your thoughts in a more organized manner and make your essay easier to read.

– Do not start any sentence with ‘Well…
(As in ‘Well, all I can say is…’ or ‘Well, my experience on this matter is…’)  As in NEVER!  ‘Well…’ is used for casual conversations and doesn’t belong in your test answer sheet.  Remember high school essay tests?  The use of ‘Well…’ at the beginning of a sentence was often not well received.  There’s a good chance the sentiment hasn’t changed.

Furthermore, ‘Well…’ is considered as a stall tactic.  Watch any beauty pageant and you’ll see what I mean.  ‘Well…’ can also sometimes make it sound as if you have nothing meaningful to say.  Just avoid it, please.

Worried over grammar?
I once read an e-mail forwarded by my sister which was forwarded to her by a friend.  The e-mail came from a person in the Human Resources department of a certain company in Makati.  The e-mail came with two attached files, I think.  The files were scanned copies of someone’s job application exam form and an essay test. 

For some reason, the papers managed to escape the hands of the HR people and land on a scanner to be forwarded God knows how many times.  The answers provided by the examinee were honest, all right but the grammar was pretty bad.  I say ‘bad’ because it wasn’t particularly hideous.  The ideas of the writer were rather clear although sentence construction and verb agreement needed some improvements.

The idea of the person who sent it originally was to make people laugh.  Although the name of the examinee was omitted (how thoughtful of the source), the answers on the paper were kept as is.  It was cruel and thoughtless, careless and very arrogant.  Aren’t people in HR supposed to keep their records confidential? 

And by the way, the essay portion included a sentence that began with ‘Well…’

So… on to grammar worries…

Many people are very conscious about grammatical rules and spelling.  If you’re one of them, it’s best that you don’t worry about them too much.  Try your best to answer the questions but avoid focusing on grammar too much.  If you do, you’ll find it difficult to write.  Besides, it’s rather too late now for taking remedial grammar classes or berating yourself for not listening to your grammar teacher, right?

If writing in English proves to be difficult for you, consider asking if writing in Pilipino or your local dialect is okay (some companies allow this).  Then write what you can, be honest but not vulgar, avoid too much information and do your best.



1. enilnad - January 23, 2012

Thank you for the tips you post…this is so helpful…
hope you post more tips….

god bless you…..

2. Anonymous - February 11, 2013

thank you, I may now answer the essay test without worry in grammar…


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