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Calm People Perform Better On Tests For Job Interviews, Study Says

Update Date: Nov 04, 2013 07:01 PM EST

Calm individuals perform better on standardized tests during the job interviewing process according to a new study.

"Candidates who experience high levels of anxiety for instance, will have low test performance while those who are motivated by tests will perform better, both on the test and on the job," Julie McCarthy, an associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough, said in a news release.

McCarthy said that employers continue to rely on tests as an indicator of how an individual will perform on the job.

"Prof. McCarthy points out that it is these types of behavioural responses that can also positively or negatively affect job performance," reported UT. "Reactions considered situational, such as general skepticism about the tests themselves or about the fairness of using these tools, are also linked to test performance but are not directly linked to performance on the job."

For the study, researchers took a look at data from studies on three continents and reviewed whether reactions relate to test performance and to the performance on the job that organizations are most interested in. 

"For organizations, the findings provide additional support for the ability of standardized tests to reliably predict job performance," reported UT. "So while the tests themselves can be a useful tool, the testing process is also important since candidates develop an impression about the organization's culture and values."

Researchers found this can influence how an individual speaks about their experience and about the organization as well.

"The findings are an important consideration both for organizations and for applicants," said McCarthy. "There is clearly value in training programs to help applicants minimize test anxiety and stay motivated."

The findings are published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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