Guidelines for Taking Online and Paper Pre-employment Tests

More and more companies are using pre-employment tests in their hiring process to help them determine which candidates have the skills and personality traits they require.

In fact, a survey conducted by a popular organization revealed that as many as 41% of employers test job applicants in basic literacy and math skills, 20% utilize cognitive ability test, and 13% employ personality tests.

Pre-employment testing can be conducted either in the employer’s office or online. Many companies are opting to administer the assessment online for convenience purposes.

However, there are still employers who want to administer the test in their offices to ensure accurate and honest results.

Types of Paper Pre-employment Tests

Pre-employment screening exams generally use different employee assessment tools. The most  commonly utilized tools fall into the categories of: personality tests, skills tests, aptitude tests, integrity tests, job knowledge tests, and psychological tests.

As with other kinds of tests, knowing what to expect will give you an advantage. Understanding what these commonly used tests are designed to do will definitely improve your results.

Personality Tests

Generally, personality tests measure traits that are critical in work settings such as extraversion, diligence, optimism, sociability, openness to new experiences, stress tolerance, and initiative.

They are used to assess whether or not you have the potential to be successful in the job you are applying for, particularly if the position requires a lot of interpersonal interaction. This evaluation can be administered on paper or taken on a computer.

Refer:- Test your personality

Skills Tests

Based on a study, 34% of applicants tested lacked adequate skills for their target positions.

Majority of employers use pre-employment skills tests to help them determine which applicants have the set of skills they need.

This kind of assessment can range from simple typing tests to the more intricate mechanical construction.

Candidates may be asked to develop a marketing strategy, write a report, or demonstrate physical strength—anything that can genuinely assess the skills essential for job performance.

Aptitude Tests

This type of test is designed to determine if the candidate has the ability to perform the job effectively. These tests may be written or oral and often include an assessment of the applicant’s reasoning capacity, written and verbal skills, and numerical ability.

This kind of test differs from skills tests in the sense that aptitude tests determine the applicant’s potential for learning the required skills while skills tests evaluate the candidate’s existing skill level.

There are general aptitude tests such as intelligence or IQ tests, and there are tests designed for specific aptitudes.

Many employers use general cognitive ability tests or mental ability tests to measure their candidate’s ability to quickly acquire knowledge needed to accomplish job-related tasks.

Such tests evaluate job-related cognitive abilities like problem-solving ability, vocabulary, arithmetic ability, grammar and spelling, and ability to handle tasks with speed and accuracy.

Refer:- 10 Tips to Pass any Aptitude Test

Integrity and Honesty Tests

As the name suggests, integrity tests are used to evaluate a candidate’s honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, and reliability.

Such tests typically ask questions regarding past experiences related to ethics and integrity or questions about  preferences and interests which can infer future behavior.

Employers use integrity tests to avoid hiring individuals who are likely to engage in dishonest or inappropriate behavior at work.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Psychological pre-employment tests are designed to compare several factors, such as the candidate’s personality traits, intelligence, aptitude, and other essential skills required for success.

According to a survey by an organization, 33% of employers surveyed utilize psychological testing.

Through this type of test, employers are able to gauge a candidate’s emotional intelligence (EI) or the ability of a person to understand his or her emotions as well as the emotions of others.

This type of test provides employers with information about the applicant’s decision making ability. Pre-employment psychological testing has become an integral part of every company’s pre-hiring process.

Job Knowledge Tests

Job knowledge tests can be multiple choice questions or essay type items. They are designed to evaluate your technical or professional expertise and knowledge of the specific position.

Some examples of job knowledge tests include Net+ programming, blueprint reading, and accounting principles.

Pre-employment Testing Tips

To help you effectively handle your pre-employment test and improve your score, we listed some practical tips and techniques. Before the test, to do the following:

Get everything readyIf the test will be conducted in the company office, ensure you have a couple of pencils ready. Also, don’t forget to pack your eyeglasses if you need them and some identification documents, as the test administrator will likely check  your identification before the exam. Make sure you dress appropriately and comfortably as well.
Get a good night’s sleep before the actual testTry to go to bed early the night before your test. You won’t be able to focus if you lack sleep. Also, arrive early so you won’t be stressed out rushing to make it on time.
Eat breakfastOn the day of your exam, eat a healthy breakfast, even if it’s not your usual habit. Your cognitive ability will be sharper if you have food in your belly.
Allot sufficient timeFind out how much time you need to allocate for the test so you won’t be worried about missing another scheduled meeting or appointment. If the test will be administered in the company office, find out the exact location of the building. This will help you determine how long it will take to get there. If the test will be conducted online, ensure that there will be no interruptions such as an unstable connection.
PrepareIt is recommended to take practice pre-employment tests beforehand. This will help you become more comfortable and familiar with different types of tests. To prepare for skills test that involve typing, creating a spreadsheet, or editing, you can take advantage of  available online resources. Simply search for the appropriate tests you need to practice.

During the test, here are the things to keep in mind:

Avoid test anxietyThe best way to approach a pre-employment test is to stay calm and confident. There are a lot of factors that will determine your suitability for the job, so remain composed throughout the exam. Avoid appearing overly nervous. If the employer sees that you are upset, it may raise concerns about your ability to handle job stress. Maintain a positive energy as this will help you come up with the best answers, as well as convey a good first impression.
Make sure you understand everythingApplicants are often in a rush to answer the questions even if they do not understand everything. Make sure you know how to answer the questions and how you’ll be scored. See to it that you fully understand all the requirements and read all the directions carefully. If the test is administered in the office, do not hesitate to ask the administrator for clarification before the test begins.
Read each question carefullyAfter you read the instructions, read all components of the test question as well. Although your problem-solving and analytical skills may be tested, try not to over-analyze the questions. Pre-employment tests are generally not designed to be tricky. Also, make sure you have marked the appropriate box for your answer. You don’t want to fill in the wrong circle if you know the right answer.
Do not rushAlthough it is essential to be aware of the time, try not to rush as this will just increase your chances of committing careless mistakes. If you have some time to spare at the end, it is best to double check your answers. Also, as most of the tests have a time limit, try not to get stuck on any question. Make an educated guess and come back after you are done with the other questions, if time permits.
ConcentrateIgnore distractions while taking the test. If your test is administered in the office, try not to be distracted by people tapping their pencils or with those who are turning in their materials before you. Remain focused on your own paper. If you take the test online, refrain from taking it in places with loud sounds or anything that may prevent you from fully concentrating.
Don’t sweat the personality testThere are no “correct” answers for the questions on personality tests. Some applicants try to fake or tweak their answers in a way that they feel the employer wants. This approach won’t work; the assessment has an internal validity scale that can determine if you’re being dishonest. If you are able to fake your way through the test, chances are you’ll be looking for a new job after a few weeks or months, as you are probably not compatible with the position.

Taking online and paper pre-employment tests can be stressful if you don’t understand what to expect or how they work. If you follow the tips and guidelines above, you’ll do just fine.

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