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Executive Talent Assessments

Performance Synergy Insights

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 some Dos and Don’ts along with some added insights. 

This is NOT a "Test"

The proper term with the way we utilize assessment information is “Talent Survey” not test.  

Our experience in the education systems leads us to believe that there are right and wrong answers and the goal is to get enough right answers to pass.  Talent Assessment for job fit should not work that way.  Yes, it is true that your survey responses (when compared to other candidates) may make you appear like less of a fit.  The same is true for your interview answers. But unlike the interview, a talent assessment survey is not something you can prepare for. 

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Your survey results do provide insight for the interviewer to enable deeper exploration of how your talent aligns with the requirements of a specific job.  The goal of both you and your prospective employer is to avoid a situation where your talent is misplaced and thereby wasted.   


  • Answer honestly
  • Read and follow the instructions carefully.  Haste makes waste. Once you demonstrate that you don’t follow instructions, your candidacy is likely doomed.
  • 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.
  • Relax. Avoid being overcome by testing phobia.
  • 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

More Talent Survey Advice

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?  What will happen when your shortcomings are discovered when you lack what it takes to excel in the job?

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 often advise the employer 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.

Your Career is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Do you really want to begin the next chapter of your career with an act of deceit or deception?

Whether you attempt to skew an assessment or over embellish your resume, you might beat the odds and gain short term success. But what is the long term cost when the truth surfaces? It always does, eventually.  Then what?  You have a failure on your resume that you’ll need to explain. 

A Word from our Sponsor

Yes, a career is a terrible thing to waste.  And, why not be yourself?

If you lack direction and clarity about the best fit for your talent, here’s a possible solution that puts talent assessment insight to work for your benefit.

Career Direction Coaching

Career Direction Coaching is a proven, collaborative process that asks and answers this critical question… 

What is the best and highest use of YOUR TALENT?

We utilize the same multi-science talent assessment insights as the top hiring decision makers to help you discover your answers to this question.  With this discovery, you gain newfound clarity, confidence and commitment to pursue true career success. more effectively.  

Career Direction Coaching is a service from Chicago Executive Coaching. Rated “5 Best Executive Coaching Programs in Chicago

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