What Are Competencies?

Employers will consider what behaviors and abilities are required for good job performance. These are often described in terms of competencies.

Competencies are a combination of 'behaviors' that lead to high performance in the role. To measure an individual’s competencies employers may use tests, interviews, and other assessment tools.

Remember that selection is a two-way process in which both you and the organization make a choice — and the choice has to be right for both of you.

Assessment Advice

The way people are selected varies greatly from one employer to another. The selection process may involve several stages. Every stage of the process should be designed to clearly assess your ability to do the job that you are applying for.

Applying for jobs and going through the recruitment and assessment process can be daunting, but you can take several actions to give yourself the best chance of success. Employers will assess you against other job candidates but remember that you need to make a choice too. Take the opportunity to ask questions and be sure that if you are offered a role, it is the right job and working environment for you.

Assessment Methods

Resume and Application Form
Ability Tests
Personality Questionnaires
Situational Judgment Tests
Assessment Center Exercises

Recruitment Process Tips

Spend some time carefully evaluating whether the job is really suitable for you by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are the demands and rewards offered by the job?
  • What does the job offer me in terms of my career prospects and interests?
  • When I look at the organization, do I feel comfortable with its values and image?

  • Apply in the format requested by the company (e.g. application form or resume).
  • Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Include any information specifically asked for.
  • Make your achievements and skills clear; this is not a place for modesty.
  • Draw up a list of your strengths and areas for improvement in relation to the job.
  • Ensure that you can describe yourself and your experiences in and out of work. Be prepared to give examples.

If you have special requirements, make sure the employer understands these as early as possible.

  • Make sure you understand what assessments you will be taking and what they will tell the employer about your fit for the job.
  • Prepare yourself fully using the resources on this website. Familiarization with the different types of questions and timing of the tests will help you feel more relaxed in the real assessment situation, giving you a better opportunity to show your true ability.
  • Think through what your strengths and areas for improvement are; this will be important for the interview.
  • If you consider yourself as having a disability, make sure your recruiter is aware of it so he or she can discuss any possible adjustments to the assessments with you. The SHL Talent Measurement Solutions team is committed to supporting candidates with disabilities.

  • When completing assessments online, read through the instructions carefully and complete any practice and example questions you are provided with.
  • When doing face-to-face exercises assessors will be looking at how you perform on the exercises themselves, rather than how well you understand the instructions, so listen carefully to the instructions you are given. Don't be afraid to ask if you are unsure about what you have to do.
  • Don’t make assumptions about how you should respond. If you try to guess what the assessors are looking for you may be wrong. It is best to be yourself, and respond honestly. Remember that it’s not in your interest to take a job to which you are not well suited.
  • If the assessment involves interviews, team exercises, or role-playing, pay attention to your non-verbal communication such as eye contact, facial expression, and gestures.
  • If there is more than one exercise, you will have other opportunities to show what you can do. If you feel you have performed poorly on one exercise don’t give up. Your performance across all of them will be taken into account.

Many organizations will offer you feedback, regardless of your success. This may give you an insight into your strengths and areas for improvement as well as your future development. If feedback is not offered, ask if it can be made available.

Try a Test

Take a full-length practice test to help prepare for an upcoming assessment.

Take Practice Tests