INTERVIEWS / JUN. 07, 2013
version 35, draft 35

Types of Tests to Use at Interview Stage

When preparing an interview, it is important to establish exactly what information you need to obtain from the interviewee. Some job vacancies require a specific level of skill or intelligence and this may be difficult to ascertain by simply asking the standard interview questions to the candidate. It is therefore useful to consider one of the following tests that can be given to candidates at interview stage to evaluate their suitability to the role on a more qualitative and quantitative level.

It is important that candidates are informed that a test will be given during the interview to allow them to prepare for the test, where appropriate. You should describe to the candidates, the type of test given, its structure and the criteria assessed. The below tests are some of the most frequently used by interviewers.

Aptitude tests

Aptitude test are among the most popular interview tests given to candidates as they help to identify and effectively measure a candidates reading, writing, verbal reasoning and numerical ability skills. These forms of tests, like many others, can be tailored to suit your company requirements, or can be purchased in a standard format. One of the main advantages of using aptitude tests as part of your hiring strategy is that is reflects an accurate account of an individual’s skills and can help you to filter a short list quickly.

Personality tests

Introducing a personality test at interview stage is effective only where you fully understand the exact job specification, personality traits and skills required to succeed in the role. The test can be a combination of writing, reading, or verbal analysis, and the results can help you identify a candidate’s suitability to the role.

Psychometric test

This type of test is used to measure a person’s mental ability in relation to the job vacancy. These tests allow interviewers to evaluate each candidate’s reaction to certain situations, while also being able to closely observe a candidates behavioral pattern.

Technical tests

Unlike aptitude tests which can be effectively used at the beginning of the hiring stages to filter out unsuitable candidates, technical tests are more practical to use towards the end of the hiring process. A technical test is useful when recruiting for job vacancies that involve a high level of skill or specific technical knowledge.

Intelligence tests

An intelligence test, or IQ test as it is commonly referred to, is a sophisticated format by which verbal, abstract and numerical reasoning. This type of test is particularly effective when interviewing graduates or a group of similarly skilled and qualified candidates.

Situational tests

If you want to observe how a candidate will perform in a real job related situation, you can introduce situational tests to the interview. This is where a work situation is simulated and the candidate is required to act in a way that they would if it was a real situation. This type of test is best used towards the very end of the hiring process, as it will help you to decide between your short list of suitable candidates as to which one will perform best in the role. By simulating work situations, you can observe how each candidate reacts and uses their initiative to assess their overall suitability for the job.

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