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The Pre-Interview Test Most Miss; And How To Pass It - Part 2 of 2

The Pre-Interview Test Most Miss; And How To Pass It Every Time Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of How To Pass The Pre-Interview Test Most Miss.  Now that I’ve spent some time demystifying what is happening behind the scenes, it’s time for you to understand what the Pre-Interview Test typically looks like.  Keep in mind, this really isn’t an identifiable “test”, rather it is a process that most companies follow in some form that I’ll describe.

As a result of the sheer number of responses to openings, Companies are now typically sending out a Pre-Interview Test that comes in the form of an email or voicemail that could say something like:

“Thank you for your Resume submittal.  We are currently reviewing your information and would like to ask you a few follow up questions.

1.    Do you have experience with ______________?

2.    Have you ever ________________?

3.    When is the last time you ________________?

4.    Write a short paragraph of why you want to work for us.

Please provide us with the answers to these questions and please do the following:

A.    Reply back with a Word version of your Resume attached.

B.    The subject line of your email should read:  Answers To ______ Questions

C.    Reply back to:

D.    Please call (555) 555-5555 and leave a brief message with:
    a.    your name
    b.    your number
    c.    the position you applied to
    d.    the date you replied back
    e.    good days and times for us to get back in touch with you

Thank you and we look forward to your reply.

If you are at all interested in the opportunity, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to all the requests they’re asking of you.  Each layered request is a test. Do not be fooled by the simplicity in what they are asking for.  Here are some HINTS on how to best respond to the various questions and requests.

1.    HINT:  Don’t answer with a yes or no.  Please understand you are being evaluated.  Don’t show you are lazy or in a hurry with a one word answer.  Be concise, to the point, but give a solid answer showing your experience.
2.    HINT:  Again, don’t just answer with a yes or no.  Respond and then tell them when.
3.    HINT:  When answer something like this, don’t stop at the date, but tell them the results.  Remember, you are selling yourself as a candidate.
4.    HINT:  This is important!  Make sure you have a well written paragraph that shows you have done your research and give real reasons why you would want to work for this company.  Don’t be generic and just respond with how much the industry interest you, make sure you are being specific to their company when you give your answer.  You are being judged on your written communication; as well as content of your response.

A.    HINT:  Vista is not compatible with earlier versions of Microsoft.  I suggest playing it safe and send a Word (97-2003) version. If you want to include a .pdf that’s fine, but make sure it is in addition to not instead of the Word version they asked for.
B.    HINT:  This is huge!  Most people just hit reply and never change the original subject line of the email.  This shows the employer you were not following directions.
C.    HINT:  Again, this is huge.  The person who originally sent the email may not necessarily be the one that needs these responses.  Make sure you are following their instructions very specifically.
D.    HINT:  They are testing your phone presence, your energy level, and your verbal communication skills.  They are listening to make sure you answered all the questions they asked, and quite honestly, they are listening for if they like you.
As you can see, this is not rocket science, but it is easily dismissed as not being important.

If you are not completely following each step, even just missing one thing, you’re going into the “not a fit” pile.  I’m very serious.  No matter how qualified you may be, a filtering mechanism is needed and although it may not be perfect, it does weed out a high percentage of “prima donnas”, “non detail oriented”, and “really were never interested in the position in the first place” candidates.
These tests are purely a simple set of questions or actions for you to follow; precisely, as a pre-screening tool.  Pay attention to the details and follow any instructions you are given during the interview process!  Here’s what’s interesting:  About 70-80% of applicants get eliminated right away because of their inability to follow simple instructions such as the ones in my example.

HINT:  I routinely use these tests for my own internal Hiring and I can attest to 80% of the applicants are filtered out right away.  It’s always so alarming to see.  Follow my simple tips and you will be part of the 20% that’s still going to move forward through the process.

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