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Types of Pre-employment Tests for Effective Candidate Evaluation

Published: March 09, 2023 In: Candidate Experience

Types of Pre-employment Tests for Effective Candidate Evaluation

The hiring process is crucial for any organization, and it is essential to find the right candidate for the job. Pre-employment tests helps employers to evaluate candidate's suitability for a specific role. These tests serve as powerful tools, offering a window into candidates' capabilities and potential contributions. They delve beyond resumes and interviews, providing nuanced insights into candidates' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and suitability for the roles they aspire to fill.

What are Pre-employment Tests?

Pre-employment tests are assessments that employers use to evaluate a candidate's potential to perform well in the role they are applying for. These tests are designed to measure various aspects of a candidate's abilities, including their cognitive skills, personality traits, job-related knowledge, and relevant competencies. Through pre-employment tests, organization aim to identify individuals who possess the requisite qualifications and capabilities essential for effectively performing.

Why are Pre-employment Tests Important for Effective Candidate Evaluation?

Pre-employment tests are crucial for effective candidate evaluation. These tests help employers to assess a candidate's potential to perform well in the role they are applying for. They also help to reduce the risk of a bad hire, which can be costly for companies. According to a study by CareerBuilder, 74% of employers reported making a bad hire, and the cost of that bad hire was an average of $14,900.

What are the Different Types of Pre-employment Tests?

Pre-employment tests come in various forms, each designed to assess different aspects of a candidate's suitability for a job. These tests serve as valuable tools for employers to evaluate candidates objectively and make informed hiring decisions. Some common types of pre-employment tests include aptitude tests, personality tests, cognitive ability tests, behavioral tests, and skills tests.

1. Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests are indispensable tools for evaluating a candidate's potential to excel in specific areas, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning. Particularly beneficial for technical or specialized roles, these tests offer valuable insights into a candidate's abilities.

Types of Aptitude Test

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Mechanical reasoning

Advantages of Aptitude Tests: Aptitude tests can help employers to identify candidates who possess the skills and abilities required for a specific role. These tests can also help to predict a candidate's potential for success in the role they are applying for.

2. Personality Tests

Personality tests are instrumental in assessing a candidate's personality traits and characteristics, providing valuable insights into their behavior and communication styles. Employers use these tests to identify candidates whose personality aligns well with the requirements of a particular role.


Advantages of Personality Tests: Personality tests provide employers with a deeper understanding of a candidate's character and behavioral patterns, which can help predict their performance and potential fit within the company. Employers can use personality tests to determine whether a candidate's personality aligns with the role and team culture. Additionally, personality tests can provide valuable insights to help with coaching and development of employees.

3. Cognitive Ability Tests

Cognitive ability tests evaluate an individual's mental capacity to process, understand, and apply information, focusing on reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Employers rely on these tests to predict a candidate's job performance, as these skills are fundamental for success in various roles.


  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Abstract reasoning

Advantages of Cognitive Ability Tests: Cognitive ability tests are a reliable predictor of job performance, as they assess the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in many roles. These tests can help employers make informed decisions and reduce hiring bias.

pre-employment test

4. Behavioral Tests

Behavioral tests assess how candidates respond to various work scenarios and challenges, providing insights into their problem-solving abilities and compatibility with a particular team or company culture. Employers use these tests to determine a candidate's suitability for a role.


  • Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs)
  • Behavioral Interview Questions
  • Role-Playing Exercises

Advantages of Behavioral Tests: Behavioral tests can provide employers with valuable insights into a candidate's problem-solving abilities, work style, and team fit. These tests can also help identify any potential issues or concerns with a candidate's behavior or attitude.

5. Skills Tests

Skills tests evaluate a candidate's practical abilities and knowledge in specific areas essential for the role they are applying for. These assessments provide employers with valuable insights into a candidate's capabilities, ensuring they have the necessary skills for the job.


  • Technical Skills Test
  • Writing Skills Test
  • Language Skills Test
  • Typing Test

Advantages of Skills Tests:

Employers benefit from skills tests as they provide an objective assessment of a candidate's ability to perform tasks required for the job. These tests also help ensure that candidates possess the necessary skills and expertise to excel in the role.

6. Linguistic Tests

Linguistic tests assess a candidate's language proficiency, including grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. These tests are particularly relevant for roles that involve communication, such as customer service, translation, or teaching positions.


  • Grammar and Vocabulary Test
  • Reading Comprehension Test
  • Listening Comprehension Test

Advantages of Linguistic Tests: Linguistic tests ensure that candidates have the language skills necessary to perform their job effectively, especially in roles that require frequent communication with clients or colleagues. They help employers assess candidates' ability to convey information accurately and professionally.

7. Technical Tests

Technical tests evaluate a candidate's proficiency in specific technical skills required for the job. These tests are commonly used in industries such as IT, engineering, and healthcare to assess candidates' ability to apply technical knowledge to practical tasks.


  • Coding Test
  • Database Management Test
  • Mechanical Aptitude Test
  • Medical Knowledge Test

Advantages of Technical Tests: Technical tests provide employers with a clear assessment of candidates' technical skills and abilities, helping to ensure that they have the expertise required for the job. They help identify candidates who can quickly adapt to new technologies and workflows.


Pre-employment tests play a significant role of the hiring process, helping employers evaluate candidates' suitability for the specific roles and make cautious hiring decisions. Understanding the different types of pre-employment tests available enables organization to tailor their assessment processes effectively to assess candidates' skills, abilities, and fit for the job. It's essential for employers to use pre-employment tests responsibly, ensuring that they are fair, valid, and relevant to the job requirements, to avoid potential biases and discrimination in the hiring process.

Tags: Candidate Experience, Assessments, Talent Measurement, HR Technology, Data-Driven Hiring, Candidate Evaluation, employment test

Written by: Team Talview

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