Pre-Employment Tests

Pre-employment tests have increased in popularity in recent years as a way for employers to screen potential candidates for open job positions.

The tests administered by a company can encompass a variety of tasks you will need to complete to prove your physical and mental capabilities. The pre-employment tests must be implemented properly to ensure the results gained from the test are reliable. There are a few key things you will need to know about pre-employment tests before choosing to take one for a job position.

What is the purpose of a pre-employment test?

Pre-employment tests are used as a way for companies to screen applicants for open job positions. The test can be comprised of a number of tasks you will need to complete to prove you are qualified for the role for which you applied. The tasks provided on a pre-employment test can screen you on:

  • Your cognitive ability.
  • Your skills in the workplace.
  • Your physical abilities.
  • Your mental abilities.
  • Your emotional intelligence.
  • Your level of knowledge.
  • Your personality.
  • Your language proficiency.

You may need to complete a drug test or a background check during the pre-employment test period as well, depending upon the process used by the company with which you are seeking a position. The results concluded from your pre-employment test will help a potential employer to determine whether you are the best fit for the position that caught your attention during your job search. If your cognitive, emotional, physical and mental abilities are on par with what the position calls for, you will likely pass the pre-employment test phase of your application process. Companies most often resort to testing prospective candidates when they are attempting to weed out unqualified applicants after multiple people have applied for the same position.

Types of Pre-Employment Tests

Pre-employment tests can reveal a great deal about a potential employee. However, depending on what the employer is screening for, the tests can be different from one company to the next. Some tests will test for personality, which could tell the employer how well the candidate will get along with others. Another type of assessment test is the talent assessment test. This is where candidates are given an actual skills-based test. Last, you may be given a type of pre-employment test that assesses your level of expertise on a subject.

What are the benefits of using pre-employment tests?

For those who are looking to administer pre-employment tests for their company, there are numerous benefits to choosing this option. Primarily, you will be able to remove those unqualified candidates before having to interview them. By establishing in the test phase whether an individual is capable of handling the duties of the job he or she applied for, you will save yourself the trouble of having to fire someone further down the line. Likewise, it saves time in the interview process by only presenting you with potential candidates that meet certain expectations. Pre-employment tests will help you to ensure you are selecting the right candidate the first time, and can lead to decreases in the turnover rate at your company. Additionally, your existing team will respond better to the addition of a new employee if the individual is qualified, and can integrate easily into his or her new role.

If you are taking a pre-employment test to secure a job opportunity, this process can prove beneficial for you, as well. The test period allows you to prove your skills and knowledge to a prospective employer, and will help to increase your chances of being selected for the role. The results of your pre-employment test can impress your boss in the earliest employment stages, and can increase the likelihood of your success within the company once you begin to work there. If you do not typically do well in an interview setting, a pre-employment test can provide you with the opportunity you need to prove your qualifications.

What are the issues with using pre-employment testing?

While there are many benefits of using pre-employment tests to screen job candidates, there are some issues with the process, as well. If the test is not designed to specifically challenge a potential employee on tasks he or she will be completing once on the job, the validity of the test results can be questionable. For example, if you are applying for a secretary position and are asked to complete a test about the Quickbooks application, this is not an accurate way of judging your secretarial skills. If the pre-employment test includes a typing portion or a role-playing situation where you must respond to a client, these are more accurate ways of determining qualifications for the role of secretary. Companies choosing to utilize pre-employment testing will need to create specified tests for each role type contained within the business. Distributing one, generalized test will nullify the validity of the test results you receive from each candidate.

An additional issue that can arise with pre-employment testing is the level of dependability provided by the results. Some candidates who score highly on the result may go on to be useful employees, whereas others may prove to be disappointments. Similarly, someone who scores poorly on the test could potentially become an exemplary employee if given the chance to prove himself or herself. A candidate may score well on the exam the first day it is administered, but may not score as well if he or she is given the test again further into the hiring process. It would be difficult to rely on the results of a pre-employment test, alone, when determining which candidate you want to hire, and which candidate you want to let go.

You will need to comply with the standards set in place by the Equal Employment Opportunity to ensure the pre-employment test you are distributing falls within the approved regulations. If you are found issuing a pre-employment test that violates EEO laws, you can suffer a debilitating loss for your company. Additionally, you will need to comply with any federal or state testing laws for your area to be deemed in compliance with all rules and regulations.

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