How to succeed in interviews after a soft skills assessment?

4 tips to successfully interview after a soft skills assessment

PerformanSe|5 min read|14 December

While we all go through them multiple times in our lives, job interviews are often an uncomfortable undertaking, and sometimes downright stressful. We agree to be challenged and examined from every angle, in the hopes of being chosen for our much-coveted job.

Today, more and more frequently, recruiters are bringing psychometric tests into the process. Why?  To make successful hires and ensure that the candidate they choose will be the right fit. Drawing on algorithms, these tests help reveal the soft skills of those assessed, by bringing to light their personality, motivations, behaviours or such factors as their cognitive potential.

The ability to assess candidates’ soft skills is of fundamental importance in a professional environment where the nature of a job and the responsibilities it entails are constantly shifting. In the long run, these soft skills can even prove more important than technical skills !

There comes the point in the recruitment process when the results of these tests are reported to the candidate, creating a new medium for discussion in an interview. By combining the two approaches -- recruitment tests and a structured interview -- recruiters are able to more easily uncover the best talents and secure their hire.

We have picked 4 helpful tips for candidates to maximise the benefits of this crucial stage, and, in fact, of any recruitment process!  By applying them, you will be sure not to be thrown off balance during this results-reporting interview.

I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.
Bill Gates

Remember: there is no such thing as doing well or poorly on a soft-skills test!

Before getting started, let’s make one thing clear: psychometric tests, whether behavioural or cognitive will not produce an  immovable, final picture of you. And above all, you cannot score  “well” or “poorly”. The selection process fortunately does not revolve around these tests. The main purpose of soft-skills assessment is to create a medium for discussion, which can be very useful in breaking the ice between the recruiter and you.

The report issued after your psychometric tests will facilitate discussion during the results-reporting interview . As a candidate, never lose sight of your results’ sole purpose: to be turned into powerful talking points, by you! With this mind-set, you will have the necessary drive to develop a narrative in which you can showcase your strengths with ease.

This is why it is crucial, in advance of the interview, to read and understand the data in the report, turn it to your advantage and show off your personality with your strengths and points to watch, in a fully transparent manner.

These results will, for example, be very useful in dealing with (or better, replacing) the traditional (and dubious) question “Can you tell me your three main qualities and flaws? ” known to come up at most job interviews.

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Put the results in perspective

Remember to take a step back. The idea is to put the results of the report in perspective, by tying them in with real-life experiences. In so doing, you will brilliantly connect your theoretical talents up with your hands-on experience.

The results of this test offer a picture of your personality and your potential. The missing link here remains the way your orchestrate that personality within your professional activities. Feel free to illustrate your results using examples of past work situations so as to astutely reveal these talents.

 Three of the soft skills most sought after by recruiters in France are:

  • team spirit
  • the ability to adapt
  • organisation

As an example, if the report reveals that you have a knack for communicating with others and team spirit, step in decisively. Explain simply why you agree with this finding, by connecting this strength up with a professional situation in which it has served you: managing a project with multiple parties, onboarding an employee, implementing constructive feedback to move projects ahead, etc.

And if, in contrast, you do not identify with certain findings, have no hesitation about challenging them during the interview, using example(s) to back up your statements! This will show that you know yourself well, that you are well-aware of who you are. The recruiter will understand that you are not afraid to assert yourself and speak up when you have not been properly understood

It’s about preparedness!

Get ready! This general piece of advice, which may seem hackneyed, obviously applies to any important action, whether in your professional or personal life. However, we thought it would be good to emphasise the need to take your time to anticipate this results-reporting interview as much as possible.

In the context of an interview following the completion of a personality, behavioural or even cognitive questionnaire, your interviewer will have much more specific information about you than usual... And as a result, will probably more questions as well!

For example, one of the first questions is often: “ Did you recognise yourself in the results? ”. This is a question on which you will want to have reflected, to have a detailed and substantiated answer, rather than just an assertion or denial.

Consequently, to prepare as best possible for this interview:

  • Read the report in full (not just the numbers!)
  • Identify the positive points, those that could prove to be red flags with respect to your application, and those in which you do not recognise yourself
  • Anticipate the list of questions you might be asked
  • And prepare the points you will use to answer, illustrating as much as possible with concrete examples!
the office interview gif

Asking questions

During a recruitment process, curiosity remains the best of “flaws” ! By nurturing your curiosity through questions you will be able to easily build from what you hear and explain your point of view to the recruiter.

The terms used to report findings from these types of tests are derived from the fields of psychometrics and psychology, where the meaning and definition of each word is carefully delineated. These technical terms can, amongst other things, be difficult to understand and conceptualise in the everyday working world.

Consequently, rather than guessing at what a sentence is supposed to mean, don’t hesitate to ask your interviewer for clarification! During the interview, it is essential that you ask questions about anything you do not understand in the results, or which may have caught you by surprise… This will show your interest in the assessment tools and recruitment process, as well as your desire to understand yourself.

That’s right: psychometric tests are not just tools reserved for recruiters and organisations. They are also created for the candidates who use them, to improve self-knowledge and help make the best career decisions !

To sum up, your best weapon during an interview is: being yourself!

You will gain nothing from changing your personality for a job, an employer or anyone else. If you do, you might quickly end up feeling like you are swimming upstream, constantly attempting to sustain the (false) image you initially gave off.

We’re not judging you -- we’ve all done the same to varying extents, in our professional or personal lives. While it may seem the easier way to score the job of your dreams (or perhaps get on your mother-in-law's good side!), though, it will never prove a good strategy for your career in the long run! Because when you try to fit into the mould, you are not putting forward the unique qualities and resources in you that make your profile so strong!

So… in order to successfully interview  after completing a psychometric test: get ready, and stay yourself!

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