You thought when you finished school you were done with tests, right? Well, when job searching, one of the most stressful parts of some interviews can be a Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) test. Don't let the name fool you, this is a very basic testing tool that helps employers gain insight into the behaviour and psychology of prospective employees. Basically, it's a fancy name for a job placement, counselling or training tool, and can be navigated with relative ease -- if you follow a few basic tips.
Get comfortable and relax. The test is only about seven or eight minutes long, so you won't be forced to focus or stress for too long.
Focus on the job you're interviewing for, or the reason for the test, and answer the questions honestly from that frame of reference. Chances are they just want a better idea of how you function, especially under pressure, in determining if the position is a fit for you and vice versa.
Use a computer, pen or pencil to complete the questionnaire. Depending on whether the test is given in an online or paper format, you will need a pen, pencil or computer -- any of which will probably be provided for you by the test administrator.
Read each question carefully, think of your behaviour and self-image, and be honest in your analysis, perspective and answers. Remember, you don't want to waste your time or theirs if the job is not a good fit.
Inform the test administrator when you are finished, if your time is not already up. Ask when you can expect the results and request a copy. Whether you are hired or not, discuss the reasons behind the decision in relation to the test, as it may help you gain even more tips for next time.
Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to a test such as the PPA. Measuring and honestly assessing your behaviour, psychology and self-image is crucial for employers and other training or counselling professionals. You would be doing them and yourself a disservice if you cloud or alter your answers with untruth. If nothing else comes of it, at least you'll have a deeper look into your own psyche -- from a test that is a certified psychology tool by the British Psychological Society.