If your job search is a tall, spiral staircase, then skills assessment testing is one of the last steps before you reach the top and snag that job offer. Everything leading up to this point — your resume, interviews, and references —describes your work style and past accomplishments. Skills assessment testing is where you can really shine and show your next boss what they can expect once you’re on the job.
PMs are known for wearing many hats at LSPs, and for liaising between linguists, clients, and other stakeholders. Ideally, skills assessment testing will address several of these responsibilities. To test interpersonal skills, for example, employers might ask the candidate to draft a response to an email from a confused freelancer. A mock client call for a project estimate can also allow the candidate to show their attention to detail and customer service skills.
In some ways, testing the abilities of tech professionals is easier, or at least more straightforward, than testing other candidates. Software engineers may code, in real-time, to solve a given problem. Employers who want to understand candidates’ thought processes might ask IT support professionals to troubleshoot a common challenge employees encounter.
Degrees, certifications, and professional memberships can all attest to a translator’s knowledge and dedication to the profession. But sometimes language service providers (LSPs) want more tangible evidence of a linguist’s specific abilities, whether handling highly technical subject matter, using certain translation productivity (a.k.a CAT) tools, or coming up with creative translations that honor the spirit of the original content. Tests conducted remotely can also simulate the typical conditions for assignments, including turnaround time, TMS platforms, and communication with PMs.