If you use operating system software, office productivity software, or programming languages in your career, do not be alarmed if an employer asks you to demonstrate your skills in a skill testing interview. The same can be said for people who produce a great deal of written communication in their current or previous position. It is very easy for people to embellish their skills on their resumes. Some job applicants may even have good supporting evidence listed to confirm why they possess a particular skill; however, time and again employers hire people who tell good stories and can sell themselves, but then learn that just because someone has the gift of small talk–and can evidence how they have performed certain skills–does not mean they are as proficient with the tools as they have stated. Thus, employers have become savvy and incorporated the skill testing interview into the hiring process. A skill testing interview is a fantastic way for employers to distinguish the people who can proficiently execute a hard skill from those who only say they can.

Another type of skill testing interview may be scenario based, especially if the position you are vying for is upper-level management. In a scenario-based skill testing interview, the employer may have you read a scenario and then state how you would handle the situation. You may even be required to role-play a scenario with the interviewer. Basically, be prepared for anything.

Finally, some federal agencies and unions for example will have job applicants endure a rigorous multi-interview process that includes an intelligence test. This intelligence test is often reminiscent of an LSAT or an IQ test and will attempt to reveal an individual’s critical thinking skills, logical reasoning skills, spacial recognition, or written comprehension skills. When you reach a level in your career where you are conducting adjudication, applying law, interpreting policy, analyzing and weighing complicated evidence, and implementing lawful decisions it is important for the employer to ensure they hire appropriately the first time; and who knows, their new hire might be you!