Most companies first interview job candidates and only then (if then), administer screening tests related to skills or personality (i.e., psychometrics). However, research suggests a more efficient approach is to test first, then interview.

Why test first?

  • In a survey of hiring managers by CareerBuilder.com, 58% of the respondents said they have caught a lie on a resume.
  • Web-based psychometric tests are becoming less expensive and more convenient.
  • Skills testing before interviews can reduce the possibility of personality rather than competency driving a hiring decision.

Below, you’ll find five types of tests or assessment questionnaires that can help you determine the correct candidates to interview for a job opening.

Tip: Search online for “pre-employment tests” to find various examples of tests or testing providers.

Important: Before administering any testing related to hiring employees, be sure they are legal and non-discriminatory according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Skills Tests

There are tests for just about any skill: math, writing, proofreading, or specific skills necessary in your industry or for the position. Unlike their resume or CVs, job candidates can’t inflate their competency on such tests.

Personality Inventories (Psychometrics)

Not actually a test, more an questionnaire, such assessments as the Myers-Briggs indicator help reveal personality traits that may have an impact on the candidate’s behavior at work, interpersonal reactions and her or his satisfaction with job performance. Such is especially helpful when you have very-few employees or when you are considering a senior-level hire.

Integrity Exams

These tests can reveal such factors as the candidate’s attitudes about theft, dishonesty, violence, absenteeism and other counterproductive behaviors. Such tests are essential for those employees whose work includes handling money or sensitive information.

Background Checks

You’ll want to investigate some aspects of a potential employee’s history before hiring them. To obtain credit information requires the applicant’s permission. Criminal-background check laws vary from state to state. (See: SmallBusiness.com’s Guide to Pre-employment Background Checks.)

Create Your Own Test

While difficult to create, developing an evaluation test and assessment screening package specific to your business and staff positions, the longrun result will a better and more cohesive staff.