As the popularity of pre employment testing increases, so does the number of frequently asked questions.  Below are five of the most common questions.

Won’t some people be offended by being asked to complete a test?

Certainly, but if some people are offended by a company’s sincere and professional efforts to ensure the success of their employees through effective job matching, it is a small price to pay for the overall benefits to all employees in the company. Consider this – how would you as a manager treat a job candidate if he refused to complete the application or show up for the interview?  You would probably not pursue the candidate. Pre employment tests should be considered the same way.  If a candidate objects to your effort to ensure a good fit, how do you think he’ll behave after he’s hired?  First impressions do matter and are good indicators of things to come.

Our selection process is rather long now. How can we find time to fit in any tests?

The use of good assessments tends to collapse the time needed for selection decisions, not make it longer. Using a 10-15 minute instrument such as Big 5 Assessments or Elite Assessments enables an employer to effectively screen out unsuitable candidates before spending substantial amounts of interviewing time with them. By focusing the selection efforts on those candidates that are most likely to succeed, employers can not only make faster decisions but more accurate decisions. By accelerating the hiring decision, employers also become more competitive at capturing talent in their job market.

We use a customized behavioral interview system that seems to be effective. Do we also need testing?

Customized interview systems, behavioral event-based interviewing, targeted interviewing, and competency-based interviewing are all sound methods for identifying potentially successful job candidates. Several systems use bio-data surveys to profile successful employees and then attempt to match interviewees to that profile. These programs can be an effective part of an employer’s hiring process. However, they lack the objective measurement of current assessments. As more people become involved with the interviewing, the system becomes more vulnerable to the subjective differences of each individual interviewer. The process also requires a substantial amount of interviewing time to accomplish the screening that newer instruments such as Big 5 and Elite can do in a matter of minutes. These instruments even provide behavioral interview questions based on the individual characteristics of the candidates. By screening candidates before in-depth interviews, the process is made much more efficient. Big 5, Elite, and other pre-employment tests can actually provide recommended interview questions into the employee assessment reports, and then you can have the best of both worlds.


We were considering creating our own tests. Wouldn’t that be better than buying something off the shelf?

It depends on what you are trying to measure. If there is some unique skill, ability, or set of knowledge that is critical to successful performance in a particular job, and there is not an existing instrument that measures that, it may be necessary to construct one. However, if job success is more dependent upon a unique combination of fundamental characteristics of behavior and abilities, it is much better to use established tools. Many of the most commonly used assessments have been developed, validated, and re-validated over many years; tested thousands of people to participate in the normative studies; and invested tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is usually more economical and more effective to buy that level of expertise. While producing “customized” tests may offer a surface appeal, it is rarely a wise expenditure of resources with so many other options available and poses considerable risk to the business if the employer is ever challenged.

Can we use assessments with our current employees?

Sometimes.  Personality, behavior, and abilities testing generally can be used for both pre-hire and employee development as long as the reason for using the assessment is job relevant.  The same can be said for typing tests, office skill tests such as Word and Excel, data entry tests, and more. Good assessment information can help solve performance problems and improve working relationships dramatically. Honesty and integrity tests, however, are recommended for pre-employment testing only.