Getting Tested for Work

A straight forward explanation of the pre-employment assessments that recruiters are increasingly using

Not every company can go to the extremes of a twelve week job interview like Sir Alan Sugar in the BBC television series The Apprentice, but many employers are still trying to find out more about candidates during the recruitment process and improve their hiring decisions.

Increasing costs of recruitment

But as recruitment becomes increasingly expensive employers are increasingly willing to spend time and money on ensuring that they hire the right person in the first place.

Traditional methods have their drawbacks

The traditional CV and interview have their place, but as everybody knows, a CV can be written to hide a multitude of sins and a well rehearsed interviewee can deliver a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination.

When it works these traditional approaches can be beneficial to both employers and employees, but making sure that they do work is easier said than done. If they don’t work the consequences can be disruptive for employers and destroy the careers of employees.


Even though many more employers are asking candidates for references it is unlikely that any candidate is going to provide a referee who is going to provide a bad reference.

So even if a prospective employer checks your references they are unlikely to that they will be provided with a warts and all reference.

You also need to be aware that your referees are under no obligation to provide a reference and many former employers will only y confirm contractual details.

Testing more common

Candidates are also likely to face a barrage of different interviewers and interview styles.

But the reality for many candidates is that they are increasingly likely to face a selection test or psychological assessment as part of the recruitment process.

Test for any Skill or Knowledge

Selection tests can cover numeracy, literacy, or manual dexterity, but to work effectively they should be designed to assess your competency at skills that are important to successfully fulfilling the responsibilities of the job that you are being considered for.

Different forms of assessment

Case studies are often used as assessments for professional and managerial positions. Sometimes it might not be whether or not you reached the right conclusion that is important, but the thought processes that you followed and the questions that you asked.

Test for competence in work tasks

If the job you are applying for will involve making presentations to other employees or customers, don’t be surprised if part of the selection process involves having to give a presentation. Take a tip from the acting profession and have a couple of audition pieces prepared.

Good for candidates

From a candidates perspective these tests are intended to assess your suitability for the job. If they show that you are a poor fit, then you have been saved from a job in which you will not be successful.

Only one way to win at selection tests

Although daunting for many candidates there is essentially no right or wrong answer, for a psychological assessment.

The aim is to find a candidate whose profile closely matches the profile of the job and organisation.

If your profile is not a good match then just as with the selection tests, it likely that the job is not right for you, and you would be happier in another position.

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FutureLearn Limited
FutureLearn Limited
FutureLearn Limited
FutureLearn Limited
FutureLearn Limited
FutureLearn Limited