A growing number of companies are subjecting would-be leaders to tests, simulations and interviews to assess their ability to make executive decisions under pressure. The daylong assessment exercises and probing psychological interviews make it harder for prospective CEOs to conceal their true management styles or to present themselves as having skills or philosophies they lack, recruiters say. "The best thing you can do is not fake people out,'' says Steve Kelner, who runs executive-assessment exercises for Egon Zehnder International.

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