How to approach a competency test

August 11, 2014 2 mins read
How to approach a competency test

A competency test is an assessment of the various skills required in order to be a competent worker. The test not only assesses whether or not an individual possesses these skills, but also the degree to which these skills have been refined.

Many modern Western enterprises have begun to integrate competency schemes into their selection criteria and performance management systems. These competency schemes serve to ensure that all employees who are responsible for making recruitment-related decisions are subject to the same set of standards. The scheme also ensures that all employees, regardless of their role, receive the same type of guidance and skills training that will help them complete tasks to the same degree of efficiency. Via competency schemes, new employees are able to attain their maximum level of productivity more quickly. Also, enterprises with competency schemes have a comparatively lower rate of resignations.

We've communicated with several of our long-term clients in order to understand their standards for competency tests. These clients generally place a greater emphasis on logic, oral expression, etiquette and social skills in regards to marketing positions, whereas where sales positions are concerned, they tend to emphasise judgement and decision-making; psychological qualities; objectives management; and self-management. I would advise any candidate who is preparing to take a competency test to first get to know the corporate culture and history of the company where they are applying, as well as the status of that company within the relevant domestic industry. The candidate must also take into account the orientation of the job for which they are applying. All of this information will allow the candidate to make a thorough evaluation of each question within the test. However, what is most important is that the candidate remain calm and concentrated.

All of the psychological aspects of the competency scheme are calibrated to a high degree of precision in order to reveal the internal thought processes and traits of each employee. This way, after a new employee enters the workplace, the company may offer training and employee development plans that are adapted to that employee's individual needs. How to allow each employee to demonstrate their individual merits is the true primary focus of competency tests.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China