How to prepare for interview and aptitude tests

Some employers request that candidates take an interview test as part of the interview process. In this article we outline different types of interview tests and provide advice on how you can prepare for them in order to improve your chances of success.

Types of interview test

There are several types of interview tests that you might be asked to take as part of the interview process. These tests can include one or a combination of tests such as:

  • Numeracy or Numerical Reasoning
  • Language or Verbal Reasoning
  • Personality-Based Tests
  • Skills-Based or Competency Tests

How are interview tests scored?

Most interview tests are multiple choice. This means that you will need to select an answer from a selection of answers provided.

Skills-based tests are slightly different as you will be tested on specific skills. For example, a secretary may be tested on their typing speed by being asked to type a document in a given amount of time.

Why do employers test applicants?

Interview tests are useful as they give employers the ability to objectively score and compare candidates. Interview tests are often referred to as aptitude or psychometric tests.

How to prepare for interview tests

  1. Practice: There are many free online practice tests that will help you to practice in order to improve your test score. You would be surprised how much you can improve your skills with a little practice.
  2. Interview: Treat the interview process like a normal interview. This means preparing in advance, dressing appropriately, ensuring that you turn up in good time and have everything that you might require for the test.
  3. Read the instructions: Before starting the interview test ALWAYS read the interview instructions. This will ensure that you are aware of important aspects of the test such as the time available and the scoring system.
  4. Be accurate. Sometimes accuracy is more important than speed. Tests can be designed so that very few candidates actually finish. Tests can also be marked negatively which means that you could lose marks for incorrect answers. Negative marking is used to ensure that candidates do not simply guess answers.
  5. Be honest: If you are required to take a personality-based test be honest with your answers. Personality-based questions ensure that you have the right personality for the role. This is important to know for BOTH you and the employer.

FREE Resources

Below are links to sites providing free online interview tests for you to try:

There are also lots of free apps that you can download for your tablet or smartphone. These can also be useful for improving your numeracy and literacy skills.


Interview tests help employers as part of the interview process. If you prepare for an interview test you will dramatically increase your chances of passing the test. Interview tests may be just one part of the interview process so it is important to prepare for all the other aspects of the interview process as well. To find more interview tips visit: Interview Tips

Further Information

To find more free careers advice in Zambia just visit: Careers Advice

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