Passing pre-employment tests advances you into the next stage of the hiring process. Employers use pre-employment tests to know if you're the right fit for specific job openings. Learning about the different types of pre-employment tests helps you prepare for the steps you need to get a job that aligns with your career path.
In this article, we describe what pre-employment testing is, why employers use it and the seven types of pre-pre-employment tests you can take.
What is pre-employment testing?
Pre-employment testing is a centralized method to acquire and document information about you during the hiring process. A few of these tests can detail if you can perform tasks effectively in the workplace. Some employers may have a pre-employment test be a requirement before they can interview you.
Why do employers use pre-employment testing?
Employers have many reasons to use pre-employment testing, including:
To accelerate the hiring process
Employers may use these tests to quickly narrow down the number of applicants they're trying to hire, especially if they have a lot of resumes to sort through.
To test an applicant's skills
Employers give pre-employment tests to see if your skills match the requirements within the job description. For example, if an employer is hiring for a copywriter position, they might administer a writing test to find out if your skills match their expectations. An employer may decrease their company's turnover rate if they hire someone who passes a skills test because it shows how an applicant can apply their knowledge.
To increase the quality of interviews
By gathering sufficient data on applicants, employers can use the results from the test to ask you specific questions related to your skills and work experience.
7 types of pre-employment tests
Here are some pre-employment tests you can prepare to take the next time you apply for a job:
- Job knowledge tests
- Integrity tests
- Cognitive ability tests
- Personality tests
- Emotional intelligence tests
- Skills assessment tests
- Physical ability tests
Job knowledge tests
Employers give job knowledge tests to identify your knowledge about the job you're applying for. For instance, if your prospective employer is hiring a managerial accountant, you might receive a job knowledge test on the employer's internal accounting processes. Getting tested on specific job elements helps determine if you can apply the expertise you earned from previous accounting positions. Ask the hiring manager about the subject matter of the test and read the questions thoroughly to improve your chances of passing it.
Integrity tests are one of the most objective tests employers can administer, and they help measure the reliability of applicants. Employers gear the questions to the degree of integrity and ethical guidance you have when encountering certain situations in the workplace. Your integrity may prove that you're a match for the employer's culture and show you can work well with coworkers. Answer these questions honestly to give the employer an accurate description of the type of employee you'll be if you're hired for the position.
Some questions an employer may ask on an integrity test include:
- Do you have the same core values inside and outside of the workplace?
- How would you act if a manager or a coworker gave you a task that violates company policy?
- Is it ethical to publish work samples on your website?
- Have you lied to your manager in a previous role?
- If a client asks you to do something illegal, do you do it?
Cognitive ability tests
Cognitive ability tests ask questions about your mental capacity to work in a position. The answers you provide help employers predict your job performance since they'll then know more about how you handle complexity. One of the common cognitive ability tests is the General Aptitude Test (GAT), which highlights your ability to use logical, verbal and numeric reasoning to approach tasks. Take practice tests to prepare yourself for potential questions and answers you'll see on your test.
Personality tests indicate to employers if you fit within the company's culture and if your personality leads to an increase in productivity. Test results might help employers evaluate your engagement level and if they think you're interested in a long-term career with the organization. Review the different types of personality tests to understand the format and the questions asked so you can properly represent your personality to employers.
Some pre-employment personality tests you might take include:
- The Caliper Profile
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- The SHL Occupational Personality Questionaire
- The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
- The DiSC Behavioral Inventory
Read more: Personality Assessments for Jobs
Emotional intelligence tests
Emotional intelligence tests analyze your relationship-building skills and your knowledge of emotions. Having high emotional intelligence shows how you can defuse conflicts and relieve the anxiety of coworkers if they're frustrated or disappointed. Some employers may use the Berke assessment to review the range of your emotional skills to see they fit for the position you applied for.
A few skills that can be revealed during your emotional intelligence test include:
Employees with teamwork skills can succeed if they can collaborate with coworkers of different backgrounds and personalities. By working with your team, you have a better chance of accomplishing your goals and getting a promotion to a high-level role.
Adaptability displays how you can change to meet the current demands of your company. For instance, if you're a project manager and a client needs to alter the deadline of a project, you need to reprioritize your tasks to meet their expectations.
Empathy is the way you understand the feelings of others in a given situation. This trait underscores that you're compassionate and willing to help coworkers improve their mindset and achieve their goals.
Skills assessment tests
Skills assessment tests overview your soft and hard skills. Employers test for these skills once they're in the later stage of the hiring process to understand who they might want to hire. For example, if an employer wants to hire you for a public relations coordinator position, they might administer a writing test to see how many words you type per minute, if you can write newsworthy content within a given timeline and how well you proofread your content before submission. Additional skills assessment tests may require you to demonstrate your research skills, presentation or leadership skills to advance in the hiring process.
Physical ability tests
Physical ability tests feature your strength and stamina. They also reveal if you're capable of performing in roles that require physical work, like a firefighter or a police officer. Testing for physical competencies adds another step to the hiring process for employers so they reduce the chances of workplace accidents in addition to finding a qualified candidate.