Definitions and examples of effective pre-employment testing
Pre-employment testing is a process by which hiring managers and other personnel evaluate the desired attributes of a candidate by having them complete one or more examinations.
- Integrity test
- Job knowledge test
- Skill test
- Physical strength test
- Personality test
- Emotion intelligence test
- Cognitive ability test
1. Integrity test
An integrity test can be used to gauge a candidate’s likelihood of being honest and accountable in the workplace. This form of pre-employment testing consists of a number of questions regarding workplace ethics and can be used by hiring managers to determine whether or not a candidate would uphold company policies and confidentiality agreements.
2. Job knowledge test
A job knowledge test includes questions about specific technical skills and industry topics that contribute to a candidate’s readiness for employment in a job position. An example of this could be a digital marketer’s understanding of the marketing funnel, differences between direct and indirect marketing or how marketing has changed in the past ten years.
3. Skill test
A skills test includes questions regarding a candidate’s soft skills, also called interpersonal skills. You can use a list of questions that ask a candidate to identify whether they consider themselves weak or strong in a particular area. For example, a question on a skills test reads: ‘From 1-10, 1 being the least, and 10 being the greatest, how well do you multitask?’ Additional soft skills could include attention to detail, written communication, problem-solving or creative thinking.
4. Physical strength test
Physical strength tests can be used in professions that require strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. This can include firefighters, police, EMS, military or maintenance-related positions that require physically-fit individuals.
5. Personality test
Personality tests can be helpful in assessing how a job candidate would fit in with the existing personalities within a department or organization. They can also be used to gauge how well a candidate’s personality type will align with a job position. For example, if a candidate is applying for a position as a salesperson, you’ll want them to score higher on the extravert scale and low on the introvert scale as their job will require engaging in conversation and using persuasive language.
6. Emotion intelligence test
Emotional intelligence tests can be a great way to measure how a candidate will interact or contribute to your company. This test uses a system of questions to determine how well a person develops interpersonal relationships as well as their tendency toward traits such as empathy, leadership or team-oriented behavior. For example, a candidate’s test results displayed a tendency toward enthusiasm for cultivating professional relationships with coworkers.
7. Cognitive ability test
A cognitive ability test can be useful in measuring a candidate’s mental capacity and ability to use reasoning to solve a problem or come up with an innovative idea. For example, a hiring manager reviews a candidate’s test results to determine that they are extremely skilled in numerical reasoning.
Related: How to Find Good Employees
Best practices for hiring managers
There are three factors that are important to consider when trying to determine the best method and testing provider to evaluate your candidate pool. Taking the time to select a well-structured test can help ensure that your candidates are being fairly evaluated.
- Compliance: When trying to decide on a test to include as part of a candidate’s application process, you should consider its adherence to laws and regulations that protect against discrimination in the workplace and review the testing materials to ensure there are not any areas that could be perceived in a negative way.
- Validity: Ensuring the overall credibility of a test and its provider is extremely important in making well-informed assessments of your candidates. Make sure that the test you are using is accredited by other businesses.
- Reliability: In order to gauge the accuracy of a test, you should conduct multiple practice examinations wherein participants enter the same information each time. This can help you determine if the test is actually an accurate method to evaluate candidates. If you get different results from the same answers, you might consider choosing a different testing option.
The least you should know about employment tests
Although job-related skills are important, another equally important factor you should consider during the hiring process is how candidates scored in terms of personality traits and soft skills. You want to make sure you are hiring someone who not only fulfills the expertise you need, but also fulfills the personable needs that help cultivate a welcoming and communicative workplace.
When in doubt, the best way to evaluate a candidate’s value to your company is by interviewing them in-person and making observations about their character or overall demeanor. By doing this, you can make sure you are hiring personable individuals who interact well with your existing team and add to a motivational work environment.
Related: How to Use Indeed Assessments
Frequently asked questions about employment testing
Here are some frequently asked questions about testing:
When and how can pre-employment tests be administered?
This can depend on the type of examination you plan on using within your hiring process, but there are multiple areas in which you can incorporate pre-employment testing. You can include a pre-employment test as a part of a candidate’s online application process, using a software program to record and calculate their data results.
You can also allow candidates to take a pre-employment test in an online or paper format while they are interviewing at a company location.
What are some additional testing options that can be put to use?
Drug testing, background checks and even credit score evaluations can be used in certain industries and situations. However, it is important to note that lie detector testing is not allowed at any stage in the employment process, and it is considered an illegal act for an employer or potential employer to submit a candidate to a lie detector test.