How To Answer Talent Assessment Survey Questions

I noticed that some of the visitors to this site are searching for insight on answering talent assessment questions. Based on my experience with using the TriMetrix™ talent assessment system, for both talent decisions and executive coaching, I hereby offer my Dos and Don’ts.


  • Answer honestly
  • Read and follow the instructions carefully.  Haste makes waste.
  • Remember that when you’re asked to complete the survey, the potential employer believes you are qualified enough to make an investment in learning more about you.
  • Understand that this is an assessment and not a “test” like you would take in school where there is a passing or failing grade.


  • Try to guess what answers are expected.  You are more likely to portray yourself as a more conflicted person than who you really are.
  • Try to over-think your answers. Assuming you’ve carefully read the question, your first impression is likely the best choice
  • Believe that the system can not detect if you’re attempting to beat it.  You’re likely playing roulette with your job opportunity. The odds are stacked against you.
  • Attempt to complete the survey if you are especially stressed or anxious. Wait until you are in a normal or relaxed state of mind

I admit that as a talent evaluator, my desire is to the most accurate insight possible for talent decision making.  That said, I’ve found that people who try to beat the system by portraying themselves as someone else are setting themselves up for failure in several ways.

  • By attempting to be all things to all people, you will likely appear to be personally conflicted and thereby hinder your attractiveness.
  • The assessment results will likely used to identify your potential challenges.  If you’re somehow successful in landing the job despite skewed input, you will not benefit from the on-boarding benefits and coaching opportunities that your assessment will provide.
  • You are potentially setting yourself up for job failure. Do you really want to pursue a position where you are a poor fit?

Throughout your career you will continue to learn that honesty is the best policy.  And it applies to taking talent assessment surveys as much as anywhere else.

Why Not Be Yourself?

I have seen occasions when a candidate’s assessment results reveal that their skills and capacities are exceptionally high. While they may not be an ideal fit for the job in question, I might advise the employer work to consider either finding or creating a job where the exceptional talent potential can be realized.  This is unlikely to happen to those trying to game the system.

A Career Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

Whether you attempt to skew an assessment or over embellish your resume, you may gain short term term success. But what is the long term cost when the truth surfaces. It always does, eventually.

About Tom Lemanski

Tom Lemanski is the President and founder of Vista Development in Deerfield, Illinois. Tom works as a Business Catalyst, Executive Coach and Trusted Advisor to principals and managers in both product and service industries. Working with upper level management, he facilitates a results orientated approach to the aligning strategies, talent, leadership and execution.

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