Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Pre-Employment Tests: An Awareness Raising Exercise

Tharwat M. EL-Sakran

Abstract


In today’s world, jobs have become very competitive and demanding in terms of some companies’ requirements. It often happens that an unlimited number of individuals may apply for an announced vacancy. To screen and filter out the many interested applicants, a great number of companies no longer solely rely on a well designed CV, an appealing job application letter (JAL) and good performance in an interview. In addition to the above, many companies all over the world necessitate that prospective job applicants sit for personality attributes tests. Such tests supplement the initial assumptions made about the applicants’ capabilities through the CV, the JAL and the interview. This study reports on the use of one such tests in a professional communication skills course for engineering students at a private English-medium university in the United Arab Emirates, and how it is utilized to better prepare students for workplace requirements and enable them to negotiate test results and refer to them as evidence for possessing highly requisite personal attributes. Pre- and post- test survey results point to students’ gains in understanding test purposes and how these can be geared towards self-marketing.


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