Pre-Employment Testing – Do they work or not?

Cornelius BookerMore companies today are requiring applicants to complete a pre-employment screening test during the application process than ever before. Pre-Employment tests are written, oral or any other kinds of tests administered as a means of determining the suitability or desirability of a job applicant. Many applicants feel that they are highly qualified for the position, but after completing the pre-employment test, they start to doubt if their application will even be considered. Sometimes, the questions asked or the task to complete does not seem relevant to the position applied for, so applicants get discouraged. Are these tests really accurate in measuring if an applicant is a good fit for the position?

One of the key challenges of pre-employment test is ensuring that they measure an applicant’s true capabilities and characteristics, but many people find themselves stressed by the idea of passing and failing and don’t do well during the test. On the other hand, some people may be great test takers but have little knowledge or skills regarding the position which they applied for. So do these tests really work? The short answer to this question is “YES and NO”.

Pre-Employment tests, like “Aptitude” tests, afford companies an opportunity to make a more informed decision when it comes to hiring. This is important when there are many applicants applying for the same job. The test assesses many factors to choose the right candidate, such as the abilities to problem solve, reason, write coherently and get along with others. Along with an interview, the test can give a very accurate picture of a candidate’s potential to be successful in the position they are pursuing. Studies have shown that overall the tests are quite accurate in predicting the potential for success. Interviews alone may not give an in depth insight on the candidate’s potential for success. Keeping that in mind, you may easily lose the best candidates if your test isn’t asking the right questions or you aren’t using the right measurements of success. There are many other disadvantages to the Pre-Employment test that we should look at. The tests are time consuming and costly to develop and administer so employers have to make sure they work before investing in them. The test must be tailored to the various positions in the company. Each job requires different skills, and the test must accurately reflect those needs. These tests may make job applicants apprehensive and stressed, so the interviewer must take into account the affect such a reaction will have on the outcome.

It is generally thought that the job applicant should be advised in advance that they will be required to take such a test. A great number of companies today are using the testing measure for screening applicants. Having advantages and disadvantages, companies should consistently evaluate whether the tests are effective in meeting company goals.

Cornelius Booker is a senior member of the Regional Navigator team and a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received his Bachelors in Marketing and later received his M.B.A with a focus on Business Marketing and Management. With his personal experience and passion for the disabled community, Cornelius’ insights are an invaluable asset to the Workforce Solutions organization.

1 Response to “Pre-Employment Testing – Do they work or not?”


  1. 1 Sherry Lindley July 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Pre-Employment test may work if the correct information is used when creating the test. The test can give a very accurate picture of a candidate’s potential to be successful but it can be discouraging to potential job seekers. Each test must be designed for the individual job that one is interested in.


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