How to Prepare for a Pre-employment Test?

Taking the Pre-employment Test

The pre-employment assessment test can be administered by pen and paper on location, but you will most likely be asked to complete it online from your computer.

Most tests have multiple-choice questions, but some, like SHL’s general ability test, have an interactive version, and in recent years there has been an increase in popularity in the format of game-based assessments like HireVue, Arctic Shores, and Pymetrics.

 Types of pre-employment tests 

Cognitive ability Tests

Cognitive ability tests, also called aptitude tests or psychometric tests, assess your critical thinking, problem-solving, and ability to learn and apply new information.

Aptitude tests are applicable to a wide range of jobs but are particularly useful for mid- and higher-level positions. They are one of the most accurate predictors of job performance because they assess abilities crucial for success across various fields.

Cognitive ability tests come in various types, including verbal, numerical, and logical reasoning. Depending on the job, they may also include mechanical or spatial reasoning. These tests measure your capacity to acquire, process, and apply new information, like standardized tests like the SAT.

Among all candidate data, cognitive ability stands out as the top predictor of job performance. This knowledge empowers employers in their hiring decisions.

While cognitive ability tests are powerful, they should be used in conjunction with other pre-employment assessment tests, such as behavioral assessments or integrity tests. This ensures a balanced and fair hiring process, providing reassurance to hiring managers.


Pre-employment Cognitive Tests

Personality Tests 

Personality exams for employment are used to determine if you will be comfortable in the role and if your behavioral traits align with success in the position and the company culture.

Unlike aptitude tests, personality tests have no right or wrong answers; they measure relatively permanent behavioral characteristics. The most common framework for personality tests is the "Big Five" or "Five Factor Model," which includes Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Openness (to Experience), and Stress Tolerance, and the Situational Judgment Test (SJT), which measure how you will respond and behave in work-related scenarios.

Some more popular Personality tests you may encounter include DiSC, Hogan Personality Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment.

Personality tests are favored among pre-employment assessment tests because of their low-risk nature and strong predictive power when combined with traditional criteria like resumes and interviews. Employers seek specific behaviors or characteristics in candidates, and personality traits are considered good predictors of behavior, such as communication or decision-making.

Pre-employment Personality Tests

Emotional Intelligence Tests 

Emotional intelligence (EI) tests are designed to gauge your abilities to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, particularly in workplace settings.

Research links emotional intelligence with crucial work outcomes like interpersonal effectiveness, collaboration, motivation, and decision-making, as well as effective leadership and management skills. Consequently, organizations increasingly value assessing EI during the hiring process.

Thus, emotional intelligence tests are particularly useful for significant interpersonal interaction roles, such as management, sales, customer service, and human resources.

Although emotional intelligence is less established than aptitude or personality assessments, it's seen as an ability similar to cognitive skills. This allows for the development of ability-based assessments, like Revelian’s Emotify Test, to accurately measure your capacity to perceive and understand emotions.

These tests also assess your ability to build relationships, understand emotions, and show empathy, traits vital for defusing conflicts and relieving coworker anxiety. For instance, the Berke assessment evaluates emotional skills to determine if they match the job requirements, and Arctic Shores' Face Game assesses your ability to identify emotions in pictures, offering insight into your emotional understanding.

Overall, emotional intelligence tests measure your ability to build relationships and understand emotions, traits essential for professions involving frequent interpersonal interactions and leadership roles. These tests can, to some extent, predict job performance.

Integrity Tests 

Integrity tests are highly objective assessments used by employers to measure the reliability, ethical standard, and ethical and moral compass, particularly for roles where honesty and trustworthiness are paramount, such as sales or banking. of applicants.

These tests are tailored to evaluate how you handle ethical situations in the workplace, providing insights into your integrity and ethical guidance, and aim to help safeguard against internal theft by identifying individuals with questionable integrity.

When well-constructed, integrity tests can effectively predict job performance and demonstrate lower biases compared to other assessments, as there are minimal differences between age groups or races.

By assessing integrity, your employers or recruiters can determine if you align with the company's culture and can work effectively with coworkers. It's crucial to answer these questions honestly to portray the type of employee you'll be if hired accurately. 

Integrity test questions can include:

  • Do you maintain the same core values inside and outside of the workplace?
  • How would you respond if given a task by a manager or coworker that violates company policy?
  • Is it ethical to showcase work samples on your personal website?
  • Have you ever lied to your manager in a previous role?
  • If a client asks you to engage in illegal activity, how would you respond?

Skills Assessment Tests 

Skills tests evaluate both soft and hard skills. They are typically administered in the later stages of the hiring process to determine a candidate's suitability for a role. They range from broad skills like verbal and math abilities to specific ones like typing or software proficiency. They reflect the knowledge and expertise candidates have acquired through education and experience rather than innate aptitude.

For instance, if you're applying for a content editor, you might be given a writing test to assess your ability to craft newsworthy content and attention to detail in proofreading, or for a software developer position, you might be given a coding test to assess your programming skills, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail in writing clean and efficient code.

Hard skills, which are technical competencies crucial for specialized roles, can be evaluated through job knowledge tests. Soft skills, on the other hand, encompass non-technical abilities like collaboration, decision-making, and leadership. These are typically evaluated during interviews, primarily through behavioral interviews that probe your communication style, leadership approach, and decision-making process. Additionally, culture interviews can assess how well a candidate aligns with the organization's values.

To enhance the effectiveness of pre-employment testing, many employers use a combination of tests, such as aptitude, personality, and skills assessments. This multi-test approach provides a comprehensive view of each candidate's capabilities, aiding in informed decision-making.

Physical Ability Tests 

 Physical ability tests assess your strength, stamina, and physical capabilities, particularly for roles that involve manual labor or require specific physical skills, such as firefighting, civil service, army, and police work. These tests are an additional step in the recruiting process for these positions, aiming to ensure both the workplace's safety and your qualifications.

The physical ability tests can include assessments like balance tests to measure body stability, cardiovascular endurance tests to evaluate walking, climbing, or running abilities, flexibility tests to assess body flexibility, and muscular tests to gauge strength in lifting objects or using tools.

Incorporating physical ability tests into the hiring process ensures you possess the strength and stamina for physically demanding roles. This not only reduces the risk of workplace accidents but also helps prevent worker's compensation claims. Moreover, physical ability tests provide a more accurate assessment than other tests, making it harder for candidates to fake results.




What is a screening test for a job?

A pre-employment screening test is an assessment tool used in the hiring process to evaluate candidates' capabilities and suitability for a role.

These tests measure cognitive abilities, personality traits, emotional intelligence, and specific skills. They help employers and recruiters make informed decisions by providing insights into candidates' potential job performance and fitting in with the organization's culture.

Physical ability tests are also common, assessing candidates' strength and stamina for physically demanding roles like firefighting and police work.





What are the most common types of pre-employment tests?

The most common types of pre-employment screening tests include cognitive ability tests, personality tests, emotional intelligence tests, integrity tests, and skills assessment tests.

Cognitive ability tests evaluate critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning abilities, often assessing verbal, numerical, logical, and spatial reasoning.

Personality tests measure behavioral traits to determine job fit and cultural alignment, while emotional intelligence tests assess emotional perception and management skills, which are crucial for interpersonal interactions and leadership.

Integrity tests evaluate ethical standards and moral compasses, which are especially important for roles requiring honesty and trustworthiness.

Skills assessment tests measure both soft and hard skills, evaluating proficiency in specific job-related tasks, such as writing or coding, as well as non-technical abilities, like collaboration and decision-making.

Physical ability tests are also common, particularly for roles like firefighting and police work, assessing strength, stamina, and physical capabilities to ensure workplace safety and qualification.












How can you prepare for a pre-employment test?

To prepare for a pre-employment test, it's essential to understand the purpose and format of the exact assessment you will take. These tests are administered during the hiring process to evaluate your capabilities, personality traits, and suitability for a role.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of tests, such as cognitive ability, personality, emotional intelligence, integrity, and skills assessments, and review sample questions to get a sense of what to expect.

Additionally, maintain your strength, stamina, and overall fitness levels to ensure you're physically prepared if the role requires physical ability testing, such as firefighting or police work.








Can you fail a pre-employment test?

Yes, you can fail a pre-employment assessment test. These tests, administered during the hiring process, evaluate various aspects, such as cognitive abilities, personality traits, emotional intelligence, mechanical knowledge, and specific skills.

Depending on the requirements of the job you’ve applied for, failing to meet certain criteria, such as cognitive aptitude, personality fit, or physical abilities, could result in being deemed unsuitable for the role.


























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