5 common mistakes jobseekers make during online tests

There are many people currently searching for employment, so having the right skills to fit your perfect job is vital. Not only this, but jobseekers must have the skills required to pass the recruitment process. A key part of this process is online testing, which is becoming increasingly difficult.

We asked The Test Factory, a provider of bespoke online assessments, which are the five easily avoidable mistakes jobseekers make when completing online tests :

Skim Reading

One common mistake that jobseekers make is to skim the online recruitment test quickly instead of taking the time to read through the questions slowly and digest all of the information. In doing this, it is easy to make mistakes and choose incorrect answers, or misread the information on screen. It sounds obvious but in the panic of completing an online test it is easy to rush. To avoid this there is one simple solution. Slow down your reading pace by reading the words on screen out loud. Another way to avoid misreading information is to write down each question on a notepad to make sure the meaning is understood.

Careless Spelling

Some jobseekers don’t spend enough time thoroughly checking the correct spelling of the words typed into their online tests. This is a huge mistake as any potential employer will think the applicant doesn’t pay attention to details. To avoid making spelling errors, don’t rely on the test to recognise any mistakes and check the dictionary. Read through your answers carefully, paying close attention to every word. Reading out words as they are typed can also help with spelling.

Grammatical Errors

When recruitment tests require typed responses, some jobseekers are so concerned by the content of their answers that they forget to follow the correct rules of grammar. This can be a disaster as with such strong competition employers are looking for reasons to filter out applicants. If you cannot express yourself in writing, you are unlikely to make it through to the interview stage. Employees reflect on their employers, and they are looking for someone they can trust to send out written information on their behalf. To avoid grammatical errors, write in straightforward sentences that aren’t too long or overcomplicated. Reread each sentence after typing it. Look specifically for missing punctuation, sentence fragments, capitalisation errors, sentence run-ons, or wordy sentences that could be interpreted in different ways.

Nerves Can Ruin Concentration

Many jobseekers are nervous when they have to take online recruitment tests, and this is understandable. They want to do their best which can mean putting stress on themselves to get through to the next stage. The inevitable competition also causes anxiety. Sometimes, when nerves take over, it’s hard to answer the questions to the best of your abilities. In a stressful situation, the answers you choose may not be the answers you would have chosen if you were relaxed and clear-headed. While it may seem impossible to stay calm, find a way to gain control so that nerves don’t affect the outcome of the test. One tip is to eat before taking the test to make sure that you have plenty of energy. You should visualise performing well on the test, and think positively throughout. Deep breathing can also help to calm nerves. Try to read each question in depth, which will take your mind off the anxiety and keep you focused.

The Right or Wrong Answer

Another common mistake is to worry more about what the employer wants to hear or what the right answer is instead of concentrating on gut instinct. Some jobseekers doubt themselves and believe their own answers are wrong or not good enough. Then, they start thinking about what answers employers would perceive as correct. This leads to not answering a question honestly, which is perhaps the most important thing you should do. After all if you answer honestly and you don’t get the job, then the company or position wasn’t right for you. There is nothing worse than getting a job for the wrong reasons, so be yourself.

Hopefully following these tips will help you avoid the pitfalls of online tests and increase your chances of success in your next job application.










  • Webmaster

    No matter how careful I am doing these online tests, I can never seem to pass them. The retail ones are especially tricky. I honestly don’t know what these employers want.

    Disgusted Mersey Job Hunter

  • Ruthben-or

    I would have taken correct spelling and grammar when applying for any sort of job as a given, but obviously, I’m showing my age!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CS3NOBOKOO6MITVRTLGDQN2FAY Guitar Boy Blue

      Wbhy should you have to worry about showing your age?  You’re only as old as you feel!  I am 50 and reasonably fit and active.  My Work Programme Centre said “I stil have a good 15 or 20 years work in me yet!”

      • Tony

        Sadly there is a lot of ageism out there.  I look 55-58 I am told, but am 65 next month.  I don’t put my DOB/age on any cv/ application.  Thankfully no one wants or reads your early stuff on you cv chronology, so I just summarise it and don’t give dates I got [older] qualifications.  Don’t make it easy for them to be prejudiced against you!!  Once you’ve got there interest, attending an interview there’s plenty of time for them to find out how old you are, AFTER they’ve seen how good you are etc.  PS they won’t have to pay any NI contributions either once I’m 65 – a small saving on their overheads. 

  • Grazynacheshire

    Above comments are interesting. It is a good idea to talk to your friends explaining your reasons for getting any particular job.
    I try to introduce myself to some new people as a professional.The questions are flowing and i have to give reasonable answers.
    This is a dummy practice for an interview. We need to get into a 21st century mode to present, wrap up and sell ourselves.
    Methodical Grace

  • Christine Simpson64

    i have been on alot of jobsites looking for a job i am eager and keen to get back to work but like some people say age does go against you i am 57 and can do just as much if not more than a younger person it is so hard for my age group who dont want to sit at home and wait for old age to catch so come on employers if you want respect give us some too !!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/JobsInRail Sean Durrant

    All good points – Re spelling mistakes and grammar – If you have the time, typing your responses onto a word document first will show up any spelling or grammatical errors.

  • Alrick Grey-Nichols

    Thank you for your help