Pre-Employment Assessment Tests – Everything You Need to Know

Pre-employment assessment tests are known as accurate predictors of your job performance and training success in almost every occupation. They are powerful employment tools that measure various aspects of your mental abilities such as:

  • numerical reasoning
  • logical reasoning
  • verbal ability
  • memory
  • spatial reasoning
  • reading comprehension

If you are applying for a position, the recruiter might ask you to take one or more pre-employment assessment tests.

Test scores calculated via standardized tools and therefore, are valid and reliable enough to make an unbiased judgment on your candidacy. The information gathered on your cognitive abilities and overall aptitude is incredibly accurate and insightful, something that is impossible for a resume alone to convey.

There are different types of pre-employment assessment tests, and they are broadly classified into three main categories: (1) Aptitude tests (2) Personality tests, and (3) Skills tests.

There are many kinds of pre-employment assessment tests such as Matrigma Test, Wonderlic Personnel Test, Revelian Cognitive Ability Test, PI Cognitive Assessment Test,  McQuaig Mental Agility Test, Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, etc. Although all of these tests measure your mental abilities, their features do vary, including structure, content, time duration, style of questions, scoring system, and administration mode. For example, the Matrigma Test, which measures your problem-solving, logical ability and ability to draw conclusions, is distinguished for its high dependability due to its randomized items and responses. The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test focuses more on your logical and math, verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning to determine success for various types of jobs. Similarly, Object Recognition Test is unique in assessing your visual abilities through complex x-ray images of luggage.

The pre-employment assessment tests are categorized into three main groups:

  1. Aptitude tests – measures your general mental intelligence and predicts your suitability for any particular mid or senior level position
  2. Personality tests – assesses your behavioral tendencies and indicate whether or not you are a good fit for the position.
  3. Skill tests – measures the knowledge you have acquired from previous work experience and/or education.

What are the Tests Used For

Pre-employment assessment tests are extensively used to gauge your mental potential in dealing with problems at the workplace before hiring you as an employee. Generally, such tests, especially the cognitive ability tests, assess various aspects of your mental abilities such as:

  • Reasoning
  • Perception
  • Memory
  • Verbal ability
  • Logical ability
  • Problem-solving

They have a standardized and reliable way of scoring for all different types of formats, including true-false, short answer, and multiple choice.

Some tests assess your more specific mental abilities like:

  • Spatial relations
  • Number series completion
  • Reading comprehension
  • Verbal analogies

The pre-employment tests enable recruiters to get to know your abilities in a way that resumes and interviews cannot. In addition, if you are assessed through one or more of such tests, you are less likely to be prone to any kind of subjective bias when hiring decisions. It is because they have all the objective and reliable information gathered with the help of standardized tools. All of these things mean the best hiring decisions and huge saving for the employers.

Tests Categories

Pre-employment assessment tests are of different kinds and they are broadly classified into three main categories: (1) Aptitude tests (2) Personality tests, and (3) Skills tests.

(1) Aptitude Tests:

Aptitude is considered the most accurate predictor of your job success. Pre-employment aptitude tests emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to learn new things and apply new information. They are used to test your general mental capabilities. They are especially beneficial if you are applying for mid- or higher-level jobs.

Qualities like problem-solving skills and the ability to learn new concepts are especially valuable to most employers but they can’t assess these qualities via a resume. Pre-employment aptitude tests do all this for employers, giving them accurate insight about your aptitude through a report that is two times as powerful in predicting job success as a job interview, three times as powerful as your previous work experience, and four times as powerful as your education record. An example for one such known test is the Criteria Cognitive Ability Test.

(2) Personality Tests:

If you are applying for a job, you may be asked to take a pre-employment personality as personality tests are becoming much more popular among recruiters today. Unlike many other pre-employment assessment tests, these tests have no right or wrong answers. However, they are powerful recruitment tests that reveal whether or not you will be comfortable in a particular role and have the necessary behavior traits required for the position. In other words, they are indicators of how good a match you are to not only the job role, but also a company’s overall culture. Big Five or Five Factor Model is the most widely used personality test which measures five aspects of your personality: (1) Agreeableness, (2) Conscientiousness, (3) Extraversion, (4) Openness, and (5) Stress Tolerance.

Personality tests seek to find out whether you are comfortable in doing a job rather than whether you are capable of that.

For instance, if you are applying for a sales or customer service position, it might be expected that you will score high on extraversion and openness and low on stress tolerance and agreeableness. Personality tests seek to find out whether you are comfortable in doing a job regardless of your capabilities. Customer service personality tests and integrity tests are two popular kinds of personality tests.

(3) Skills Tests:

Throughout your education and career, you have amassed a number of skills. Skill tests gauge the kind of knowledge you have gained through experiences, such as verbal skills, math skills, communication skills, and even typing, printing, office skills, etc. Most often skill tests assess your micro skills such as typing speed or ability to use specific software, which indicates your readiness skill or competency for the job. However, such skill tests, unlike aptitude tests and personality tests, never predict your job performance in the long run.