5 ways to prepare well for cognitive ability questions in an interview.

August 11, 2017

Have you ever wondered, why cognitive ability questions are always part of every interview?

And, do you know the two most important things you need, to clear these tests?

Apart from your basic knowledge, logical thinking and a calm mind are the two most important things that you require for a cognitive ability test. 

Though you may find cognitive ability tests the most difficult part of any interview, however, this is a very common and widely used assessment test to adjudge your suitability for a job position. These tests are usually conducted by employers to measure a person’s cognitive capacity, related to work. The set of aptitude tests that are most commonly used are verbal, numerical and conceptual reasoning.

These tests help analyse a person’s skills that are required in a workplace, like - strategic thinking, problem-solving skills, ability to adapt to the ever-changing work environment and deal with any kind of ambiguity that may occur during decision making.

Rogers’s group states that

statistically, cognitive ability questions convincingly outperform other testing techniques for selecting the right candidates, such as unstructured interviews, years of experience and years of education.”

Here are 5 ways in which you can confidently prepare for the cognitive ability questions:

  1. Know what you are doing

Does treading into the unknown sound like an adventure? Let’s be clear, cognitive ability tests, are no adventure. Mishandling these questions can cost you your job opportunity. That’s why it is good to familiarize yourself with the type of content and the format of questions that are generally asked in an interview; you will definitely have an added advantage. On interviewfox.com you get a chance to acquaint yourself with the company’s expectations during pre- screening interviews so that you can prepare accordingly for the other interview rounds. Schedule your pre-screening interview on interviewfox.com or directly take one through the interviewfox android app.


“There are certainly no books or notes from which you can study and prepare yourself, as the questions are entirely based on logic.”


However, as the saying goes, ‘proper preparation prevents poor performance’, having an idea (albeit a rough one) can keep the odds in your favour.


Based on your profession, practice some cognitive ability questions online. When you keep practising them, you are in a way training your brain to identify the pattern or framework of the logical solutions, which will eventually improve both your speed and efficiency.


2.  Timing is the key

If you do not keep track of your time while attempting the test, time will be up even before you realise it. This is, in fact, is true for any tests that you take, and cognitive ability tests are no different.


“Since these questions are always timed and the candidate is penalized for wrong answers, it is smarter to answer lesser questions correctly, rather than answering all the questions hurriedly and incorrectly.”


 If you are stuck on a particular question, do not ponder over it much and move on to the easier ones. Once you have attempted all the questions and there is still some time available, you can go back to the harder questions or revise the answered ones.


Another important aspect that demands your attention, is the instructions that are provided to you. Once you read and understand them properly, the process becomes much easier.


3.   Keep calm and avoid stress

Logical thinking demands you to be calm and composed. A disturbed state of mind during an interview can be a very big disadvantage. Also, extreme fatigue can become a hindrance in your ability to think clearly.


“Ensure that you have a good night’s sleep and are well rested in the days prior to your interview.”


An optimistic approach can also prove to be highly beneficial in this regard. Try to keep your worries aside, if any, and focus on your goal. Remember that the opportunity you have today may not come back to you in the same way later, so give your best.


4.   Keep it real

When it comes to the personality test, it is natural that you would want to impress your employer and show your positive approach, however, going overboard with it can prove to be disadvantageous.


“The questions are designed in a way to observe your consistency in the answers that you provide and to analyse how much you have tried to show yourself as an optimistic thinker.”


 In such a situation, overdoing it may bring out an inconsistency in the answers. Signs of dishonesty will automatically decrease your potential chances of getting hired. It is advisable, to be honest, and be your own self, highlighting the strengths that you truly have.


5.  Make sure you do your homework

“Little things make a big difference.”

Small details may seem irrelevant and you may tend to procrastinate, but the truth is it can cause a lot of stress if not addressed initially. Ensure that you are well prepared before you attempt any cognitive ability test. For example, in the case of a numerical aptitude test, you may be allowed to use a calculator. If you have not used one in a long time, it is better to acquaint yourself with the operations, apart from the very usual ones before your test. Similarly, based on the job profiles that you are applying for, reading up articles related to it or the daily newspaper can increase your vocabulary. This can prove to be a great help if you have to undergo verbal aptitude questions in your interview. Also, remember -

     You can consult with other people in case you need any help. Sharing your concerns and getting other people’s opinions can help you more than you probably think.

     As cliché as it may sound, believing in yourself and hoping for the best is absolutely necessary before you attempt to do anything.


Follow the suggestions mentioned above, and you’re sure to do great in any cognitive ability test that you take at a job interview. Make your dream job a reality by updating your profile on Interviewfox and get noticed by reputed employers.