With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our News & Blogs portal or check out our recent posts below.
Love them or loathe them, psychometric tests are now used to assess the suitability of potential employees widely in the business world and by over 75% of the Times Top 100 companies in the UK. So if you haven't already undertaken one, the chances are high that you will at some point. Knowing how to succeed in psychometric testing is your ticket to progressing in your Data or Analytics interview process.
When it comes to psychometric tests there really is a vast array available with at least 5000 aptitude and ability tests currently on the market and every year new ones are devised and added to this. Every company needs to differentiate theirs and this has produced a bewildering range of test names and acronyms.
Tests range from the more standard Personality tests through to specific Aptitude or Ability assessments, which are designed for different skill sets, including verbal ability, numerical aptitude and abstract reasoning. Some companies use a combination but all are designed to identify an individual’s aptitude, personality or ability aligned to a particular role. These tests have been established over many years and are often used with specific groups defined by educational level or job type.
Whatever type of test you experience, the majority are taken online and are generally included during the early stages of selection, as part of either preliminary screening or at the initial interview stage of the recruitment process.
The way that you are likely to perform in a job depends very much on your personality. A personality test is often used in conjunction with interviews to provide a useful insight into your personal style, personality type and how you see yourself. The results of these tests are derived from the answers to a series of multiple choice questions.
There are no right and wrong answers – this test is designed to find out how your behavior is applied to different workplace scenarios. They will ask for information about you, for example do you prefer working in a team or as an individual. You will be required to say true or false, or they may use a rating scale with 1 being what you are most like through to 5 for what you are least like. You should answer each question keeping your focus on which is most/least like you in a work context. Be prepared for anything from 50 to a much more detailed 300 questions.
The great temptation with these tests is to give the answer that you think they want, rather than the true answer, but this really does defeat the point of the test. Additionally, the more complex versions of these tests often ask similar questions in a variety of ways, looking for a trend. If you give conflicting answers to two similar questions it will look as though you have not been answering truthfully. Most people will find that their true answers will match well with what the employer is looking for, but if not then it probably means that it is not the job for you!
In direct contrast, these tests are designed to assess your logical reasoning or cognitive ability and results provide a more objective measure of your potential. They consist of a number of multiple choice questions and can be classified as speed or power tests and will be strictly timed. Speed tests, consisting of questions which are relatively straightforward, focus on how many you can answer correctly in an allotted time. A power test will present a smaller number of more complex questions and is favored when recruiting for professional or managerial level roles.
Aptitude and ability tests can include a combination of:
These tests usually consist of 30-40 questions which need to be completed in 15-20 minutes and involve grammar, verbal analogies and ask you to follow detailed written instructions. They can also include spelling, sentence completion and comprehension. These tests are widely used since most jobs require you to understand and make decisions based on verbal or written information, or to pass this type of information to others.
Verbal reasoning tests are designed to measure your problem solving ability. These questions may take the form of comprehension exercises, which are straightforward (as long as you remember to read the relevant part of the text carefully) or more complex statements where the best tactic is to make notes about what you can deduce from each part of the text. These tests usually consist of 10-15 questions which need to be completed in 20-30 minutes.
Questions could also focus on verbal critical reasoning, designed to assess your ability to use words in a logical way and measure your understanding of vocabulary and the relationship between words. Some questions measure your ability to perceive and understand concepts and ideas expressed verbally.
These tests include a combination from simple addition and subtraction through to more complex data interpretation and numerical critical reasoning, where blocks of information are provided that require manipulation and interpretation. Numerical tests are strictly timed and a typical test might allow 30-40 minutes for 30-40 questions.
Numerical reasoning tests assess your ability to use numbers in a logical and rational way, rather than your educational achievement.
These tests involve looking at diagrams, interpreting the information and understanding underlying patterns in the information. Abstract reasoning tests are thought to give the best indication of your general intelligence and are very widely used.
In this test you are presented with tables and graphs of data, and you must check them against one another. This type of test is used to measure how quickly and accurately errors can be detected in data and is a useful test for roles that deal with large quantities of data that must be read, understood and sorted through accurately.
Depending on the test/s you undertake your results will show a whole range of your characteristics. From what motivates you, your core strengths and limitations to your mental agility and lateral thinking, as well as how well you are matched to the role in question through to how quickly you learn and your ability to hit the ground running in a new job.
Your results will then be assessed in relation to other candidates applying for the role, or candidates who have applied in the past and took the same style test/s.
Psychometric tests aren't about luck; prior preparation will improve your scores and make it easier to focus on what is being sought in the testing process. It’s an old adage that practice makes perfect – but some psychometric tests are not looking for perfect – they are looking to assess your skills, knowledge and attributes against a very specific set of criteria. So the key to giving the best possible answer / score is to be prepared.
Treat this as a positive challenge rather than a potential hurdle in your job hunting and take some practice tests. There are a myriad of practice tests available, so there is absolutely no excuse not to practice and familiarize yourself with the different formats beforehand. And if there are different test ‘levels’ available, practice using the those rated as the highest level of difficulty - that way you will be ready for any level when it comes to taking the real thing! As most of the aptitude style tests are timed, get used to answering a lot of questions within a time limit and learn to balance speed and accuracy.
There are a whole range of companies that specialize in psychometric testing. For practice tests, search for the following companies: (Note that some organizations do charge for you to take practice tests)
For both the practice and actual tests, make sure you have sufficient time to complete them and you can do so in a quiet environment, with no chance of interruptions.
Secondly, it’s better to answer 30 questions correctly/honestly depending on the type of test, than to finish the test but rush so much that you make factual errors or make choices that do not reflect your personality within a work scenario.
And finally, while there are no wrong or right answers in personality tests, there can be indicators of areas in which you would benefit from self-improvement, such as training in ethics or assertiveness. And if a particular aptitude is not up to scratch – consider continuing with relevant practice tests to improve these areas.
With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.
Visit our News & Blogs portal or check out our recent posts below.
Charlotte, North Carolina known for its beer and barbeque is not the first location to jump to mind when you think digital hub. But here’s the rub, it is. In the Fall of 2019, the city and Microsoft signed a three-year digital alliance. And as the country moved from office locations to work-from-home and remote operations, Charlotte became a prime destination for tech. Four Skills for Leading in the New Normal Whether you’ve learned to balance work time with virtual schooling or have been working from home for years, there are some skillsets which set leaders apart. The first one may surprise you. Let others lead – According to our most recent salary guide, one of the main reasons people leave their jobs is due to poor management. With the rise of remote working, hierarchy has flattened to a degree as everyone must discipline themselves. Micromanagement becomes almost moot as everyone leans into this learning curve. Lead by example and let others take over the leadership driver’s seat from time-to-time. Balance both Soft and Technical Skills – While technical skills are the backbone of subject matter experience in a Digital Analytics role, it’s the soft skills which can help set you apart. Sure, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of web analytics and optimization, but you’ll also need to have the skills to explain findings and offer recommendations to address client needs. Know When to Pivot – Life throws us curveballs. Consider 2020, for example. Whether you must pivot for survival or simply need to take things in a new direction, knowing when to pivot and how to explain it to your employees is a leadership skill inherent for this new normal. Be Approachable – With open door policies moved online, leaders will want to determine the best way to recreate opportunities for employees that need to talk outside the daily or weekly staff meeting. Having insight into how your team works best, can help you guide them toward success. Programs to know and experience to have often include the technical knowledge you’ll need to ensure your client makes the most informed decisions. ‘Smart Cities’ of the Future At the beginning of 2020, as the coronavirus came to call, someone joked that in 2020 we’d hoped to have flying cars and smart cities of the future, but instead were being taught how to wash our hands. Perhaps they weren’t far off on the smart cities quip as both Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina are on the cutting edge of creating these smart cities. Things like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), LinkedIn Learning, even the Entrepreneur Store offers classes and bundles in everything from computer language learning such as C++, R, and Python to Digital Marketing and Graphic Design. But, learning these things and more on a Microsoft campus can catapult students into more jobs and helps guide cities in smart power grids, smart busses, autonomous cars, and the list goes on. Experience in a design agency who works within both the B2C and the B2B verticals helps to expand opportunities exponentially. Remote working opportunities have opened up worlds of collaboration, teamwork, and focus on the next steps into the future. Whether you’re interested in a remote working leadership role in the beachy Carolinas or looking for your first or next role in Big Data, Web Analytics, Marketing & Insight, Life Science Analytics, and more, check out our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
10. September 2020
Positions in Data & Analytics are highly sought after in the US. With a widening talent pool due to the rise of flexible working, shifting skillsets and requirements for more professionals working in data and tech, the sector continues to experience unprecedented growth; regardless of the global pandemic pulling at the very core of the business community. For candidates, the Data & Analytics job market will be more active than ever. In our most recent US Data & Analytics Salary Guide, this was clearly identified. In fact, post-COVID, more respondents were either actively seeking, or willing to move for, a new role than they were in 2019. As businesses look to streamline existing processes and establish new ones, they are more reliant on Data professionals than ever before. Yet, candidates in this market have re-evaluated their needs and the incentives they value, shifting their priorities in the wake of COVID-19. With the impact of COVID-19 felt in almost every part of our day-to-day lives, it wasn’t long until conversation turned to what ‘the new normal’ would look like once the worst of the pandemic had passed. However, for those in the Data & Analytics space, the new normal wasn’t as new as first thought - it had been gradually establishing itself over the past few years. When seeking a new role, respondents prioritized career progression over salary increases, as well as an emphasis on job security and working for a stable and growing business. The needs of the multi-generational workforce in a post-COVID world has never been more dynamic than it is today. It was evidenced that financial ambitions have decreased slightly as a result of the pandemic. Interestingly, ‘a more competitive salary’ was the top reason for seeking a new role. Post-COVID, not only do respondents seek career progression over a salary increase, they also put a significantly greater emphasis on job security and the need to join a stable and growing business. Specifically, for Data Engineers in the current market space, 80 per cent of professionals would leave their role if the right opportunity came up. This falls in parallel to digital analytics experts, of which 82 per cent would leave their role if the right opportunity came up. This is perhaps unsurprising as the full economic impact of the pandemic has yet to be established. Attracting the best hire for your business is going to be one of the core challenges of our time. Period. The focus for American organizations needs to be on hiring for the needs of tomorrow, rather than for the demands of today. A forward-thinking business will have the critical vision needed in order to keep pace with the market in its current state. Data professionals are in the driving seat; that’s a certainty. Their holistic skillset, understanding and application of core technologies such as SQL, Python, AWS, Kubernetes and Spark position them well when seeking to secure their next role. It is up to organizations to maintain their momentum as we acknowledge that for Data & Analytics, continuing on the trajectory of growth in the ‘new normal’ is something very few outside of this space saw coming. If you're looking for a new opportunity in the world of Data & Analytics or to expand your Data team, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more: For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
03. September 2020
At the beginning of every year and particularly the start of a new decade, we often find ourselves reassessing our priorities. Though this year was no different, it does have the twist of a pandemic. Businesses and individuals were forced to pivot toward a new normal. Together, we’ve moved quickly and one thing this year’s Salary Guide has shown us is that priorities have changed. In previous years, focus was on higher salaries and it was expected to stay in a position only two or three years before moving on to the next job. But this year, stability is the name of the game. And so, priorities shift. Candidates now want to stay in a role that could lead to career progression. What’s Changed? In the Data & Analytics industry, flexible working options have steadily increased, though it was already a way of life for many. Add into the mix, the increased need to work from home for employee safety or in controlled environments for those whose role did not allow for remote working such as those in the life sciences. Financial considerations were no longer top dog in hiring and retaining top talent. Longevity, career progression, and good management are highly desired. When everyone is online and flexible working options are the new normal, it’s important to have strong leadership. Four Future Changes to Come With the world online, working, and learning from home, bandwidth has become a non-renewable resource. Too much traffic. Too many people online could cause issues particularly during prime working and learning hours. Though with everything online, what does it mean to have prime hours now? Setting Priorities – Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should lock yourself in your office for hours on end. Set aside time for food, family, and fun. Elevate the Home Office - Larger, more stable devices may see a resurgence. The home office is truly just that with the standard desktop and monitor to more easily see information. For those in many industries, two screens really help set the tone. Flexible Shopping Options are Here to Stay – When you’re working and learning from home, time is of the essence. The benefits of delivery, pick-up, and even some more expanded food centers could change the way we eat and gather. Retail is being redesigned for the new normal.Logistics of Social Distancing meet Machine Learning – As we focus on social distancing, mobile applications may shift toward a more logistics focused future using crowdsourcing and Big Data. From contact tracing to food buying, it will be important to have technologies that can keep up with people at all hours of the day and night to deliver goods and services. In our recently released 2020 Salary Guide we discuss each specialism, what’s working and what isn’t. And how businesses can hire and retain top talent to keep their projects on track and their businesses running smoothly. If you’re interested in Data and Technology, Risk or Digital Analytics, Life Sciences Analytics, Marketing and Insight, Data Science, or Computer Vision, take a look at our current vacancies. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with one of our expert consultants. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
27. August 2020
Since the days of store window displays, the shopping experience has been just that; an experience. So, what happens when you want to recreate the visceral and emotional experience of shopping from within the confines of a computer screen, smartphone, or tablet? Enter Digital and Marketing Analytics. According to a recent report by Adobe, e-commerce sales have seen a 77% jump year-over-year which at any other time in history should have taken 4 to 6 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to escalate and drive these numbers leaving some businesses scrambling and others raking it in. So, what’s the difference? Data professionals. The Role of Data in E-Commerce Whether you buy online and pick up in store or have a product delivered to your door, the role of shopping has irrevocably changed. Ensuring consumers get the personalized experience they’re used to from the days of brick-and-mortar stores, retail stores have turned to Digital and Marketing Analytics to give their customers the shopping experience they’re used to within a different format. Professionals within the UI/UX Design vertical are particularly sought after. Buying habits are changing and competition is fierce. So, how does Data affect e-commerce? Here are 3 examples: Know Your Customer. No longer a lamented visage from yesteryear, knowing your customer is inherent to the survival of an online retailer. Data professionals bring to life the customer through historical data, demographics, and creates products and services which elicit an emotional response to stop, look around, and buy. And if the cart gets abandoned, follow up email campaigns to jog the memory that you were here and were thinking about buying this or that item. Get Personal. Personalize shopping has evolved into the personal shopping experience. What made someone buy a product during their last visit? Dynamic presentation and emotion-driven verbiage can certainly contribute. When an online retailer knows what the buyer wants or needs and presents it in a way that resonates. This is the personalization once the domain of sales clerks. From the Data you enter at checkout to the social media platforms and search engines with information like what you’re looking for, where you’re located, your purchase history and more can sometimes leave the personalized experience out in the cold. Bridging the old personalization with the new is the key ingredient for successful online retailers. Sell Where Your Consumers are Buying. If your customers are on Facebook looking for a product or service, sell to them where they’re looking. Though reviews are still important, even more prevalent is the range of social influencers to help buyers make decisions. Enter social commerce. Layout, design, Data gathering, collecting, and analyzing all have a slightly different flavor within this construct. Data Professionals in Demand Within the Digital Analytics and Marketing specialism are a variety of Data professionals in demand as retailers are forced online. Businesses need E-Commerce Analysts to help present the new normal for the online retailer. As buy online and pick up in store convenience increases as well as purchases made from devices such as your smartphone, there’s been a rise in demand for Web & Mobile Product Management as well. Digital Transformation is no longer at the doorstep of business, it has crossed the threshold. And rather than focus on one tool or another, the impetus is on the importance of having more than one tool at a candidate’s disposal. What candidates want has changed and evolved as well. Salary and bonuses have dwindled while the demand for experience and professional development have become rallying cries for finding and retaining top talent. For more information In our recently released 2020 Salary Guide we discuss each specialism. What’s working. What isn’t. And how businesses can hire and retain top talent to keep their projects on track and their businesses running smoothly. You can download your copy here. If you’re interested in Data and Technology, Risk or Digital Analytics, Life Sciences Analytics, Advanced Analytics & Insight, Data Science, or Computer Vision, we invite you to check out our latest jobs. If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our expert consultants: For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.
13. August 2020