5 Types Of Pre-Employment Testing 

 A successful business consistently is often directly tied to wise employment choices. An organization's hiring practices will  have a significant impact on its performance. The incorrect hires can undermine employee morale, consume valuable management time, and cost money on training and development. 

Hiring managers may find it challenging to sift through the numerous applications that come in response to each job posting and choose the best applicant for the position.

One of the least productive techniques to identify qualified candidates for your open positions must be CV screening. There is no set format, candidates can exaggerate (while some might be overly modest for their own advantage), and after the tenth bullet point, your eyes start to glaze over.

A better way to screen candidates is through pre-employment assessments. All of your candidates will be subjected to the same pre-employment tests. They assist you in calculating their level of proficiency in the areas most important to your vacant position. They also rank them according to the same scale so you can see who performs best when compared to the others.

You can begin obtaining more detailed information about the profiles of your candidates by combining various (and pertinent) test types in pre-made assessments that you can distribute in bulk.

We'll go over five different pre-employment test and screening kinds, their advantages and disadvantages, why you should use them, and how to pick the ideal one for your business.

what is pre-employment testing

What Is Pre-Employment Testing?

Pre-employment testing is a common practice for evaluating a job prospect's suitability for a position during the hiring process. These can include assessments of cognitive capacity and emotional integrity, as well as examinations of software expertise and common occupational skills.

Pre-employment evaluations can assist you in making recruiting selections while decreasing the costs related to employee turnover by raising their general level of satisfaction.

By comparing a candidate's performance on various test kinds, assessments are an excellent way to determine how likely they are to succeed in the role you are interested in.

Is Pre-Employment Testing Legal?

Yes. The "yes" must be qualified, though. Employment testing is acceptable as long as a professionally created employment test is used as intended, which means that only questions that are pertinent to the job should be asked of prospective employees.

Giving a math test to accounting applicants, for instance, is completely lawful. However, using the same arithmetic test to screen out custodial personnel might be viewed as discriminatory as an accountant's math proficiency differs greatly from a custodian's.

So, the answer to the question "Is employment testing legal?" is crucial to keep in mind that the application of the test, not always the test itself, determines whether it is legal or illegal.

To rule out the potential that your tests were unlawful, you might also want to speak with experts in pre-employment testing.

pre-employment testing

Pre-Employment Testing vs. Assessment

Assessments and pre-employment testing are two distinct but connected concepts. They make the perfect combination for gathering pertinent, data-driven insight from candidates and determining whether they are the best fit for your opening.

What Is A Pre-Employment Test?

Pre-Employment tests measure a candidate's proficiency in a particular skill through a series of text-based or media-driven questions or tasks. It is thorough for that particular skill set and covers three to four skill areas.

Tests typically last 10 minutes, allowing the applicant just enough time to respond to the questions before moving on to the following one. This is done on purpose to instill a sense of urgency in the candidate and aid in their progress through the evaluation. Tests might be considered the "building blocks" of an effective pre-employment evaluation.]

What Is A Pre-Employment Assessment?

Pre-employment testing combines multiple exams to give you a wide range of information about your candidates. An assessment's main objective is to assist you in selecting the best candidate for the position. The rest is just a side note. To do this, tests should be kept uniform and distributed in bulk to candidates for easy comparison.

5 Types Of Pre-Employment Tests

Below are the 5 types of pre-employment tests including:

Aptitude Test

Aptitude Test

What Is It?

Aptitude exams gauge a candidate's capacity for critical thought, problem-solving, and the acquisition of new knowledge. These exams essentially measure a candidate's general intelligence. 

Aptitude tests can be useful in assessing these skills because they are difficult to evaluate purely based on resumes and interviews. Nearly all occupational contexts can benefit from the use of aptitude tests, although mid- and higher-level positions benefit the most from their use. It should come as no surprise that aptitude tests are the most accurate predictors of work performance since they measure the skills that are most crucial to job performance across a wide range of industries.

Cognitive aptitude tests are significantly more accurate at predicting work success than other typical hiring factors, according to research. 


Focus on Core Competencies

It takes more than just concentrating on one ability to assess human intellect. Instead, concentrating on a group of talents and abilities is more efficient. The collective term for these abilities is "competency," which is easily measurable with an excellent aptitude test. One of the main advantages of aptitude tests is that they can evaluate multiple skills collectively. Aptitude testing can therefore provide reliable assessments regardless of a company's competency structure.

Objective Assessment

A successful recruitment procedure depends on an objective evaluation of the applicants. It is challenging to measure human intelligence. However, by employing aptitude tests, recruiters may assess applicants' cognitive abilities and make sure the individual they choose is the best fit for the position. One of the main advantages of aptitude testing is objective assessment. It gets around the drawbacks of conventional approaches.

Evaluation Beyond Resumes

Even the most perfect resumes might not fully convey the candidates' varied qualities. For instance, a computer science graduate who struggles with logical reasoning would probably struggle in a position requiring programming knowledge. A candidate's potential for filling the requirements of the open position is automatically determined by aptitude tests. Due to the reliability of the aptitude tests, it is possible to cross-check candidates who overstate their skills in their resumes.

screening test

Effective Screening

For a small number of employment positions, there are thousands of applicants. Consequently, conducting effective screening can be a demanding task. As a result, the value of aptitude tests increases because they speed up the screening process by eliminating unqualified candidates early on.


Standardization And Fairness

By concentrating on pertinent mental abilities, aptitude tests are a conventional method of evaluating candidates and help save time. Due to the results being unaffected by educational and professional experiences, these exams are fair and unbiased. Also, the test findings cannot be manipulated.

Insights Into Training Needs

Since they may be used to get deep insights into the training needs and skill gaps of their existing workforce, aptitude testing is now a generally accepted practice in the majority of organizations for planning and implementing L&D programs. Aptitude exams can also be used by employees who are changing jobs to help them reconsider their choice.


Since aptitude tests may be administered through remote systems, it is both highly affordable and practical to do so. The requirement for time and resource-intensive human interaction is further diminished by their scalability and auto-grading characteristics.

Quality Hiring

Without a doubt, aptitude tests raise the standard of recruiting by giving recruiters in-depth information. By carefully comparing the two options, these insights can provide a contrast. A strong applicant would have certain theoretical understanding and cognitive skills. And aptitude tests can support a thorough evaluation of them.


No Consideration For Soft Skills

Soft skills cannot be fully measured by aptitude exams. If decision-makers only use aptitude testing to shortlist candidates, qualities like punctuality, motivation, time management, organizational abilities, social skills, etc. do not be measured or properly credited.

No Consideration For Domain Expertise

Aptitude tests solely assess mental capacity. Therefore, they don't provide a comprehensive evaluation of domain-specific skills. To better evaluate a candidate's suitability, recruiters should mix aptitude testing with other types of pre-employment exams.

Test Anxiety

One of the biggest obstacles for applicants taking aptitude exams is anxiety. Anxiety levels may increase because one is required to finish the tests within a set amount of time. And it could be possible that a candidate with higher aptitude messes up on the test owing to anxiety. Such a scenario can twist the results. Simply put, these tests may inhibit candidates from performing optimally.

No Consideration For Personality Traits

Scores on aptitude tests may not necessarily represent positive or negative personality traits that are important for a variety of job descriptions. Therefore, focused personality tests are necessary to guarantee a more thorough evaluation.

Early Judgment

A candidate's performance on an aptitude test may serve as an early indicator of their suitability for the position due to a variety of factors. Therefore, it may not be best to accept or reject someone based just on their test results unless they have also been evaluated on other important factors. These facets include things like domain, personality, soft skills, etc.

Emotional Intelligence Test

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Tests for emotional intelligence are a recently developed category of evaluations. Emotional intelligence, or EI, is a relatively new idea that gained popularity in the 1990s. The idea of emotional intelligence has grown in significance over time, especially in the context of the workplace.

Emotional intelligence has been linked to crucial professional outcomes like interpersonal effectiveness, teamwork and collaboration, motivation, and decision-making, according to research. Additionally linked to effective management and leadership abilities is high emotional intelligence. Organizations are therefore becoming more and more interested in evaluating EI during the employment process.

Compared to cognitive ability or even personality, emotional intelligence as a notion is less well-established. However, studies have shown that emotional intelligence can be compared to cognitive ability as a skill. This makes it possible to evaluate EI using an evaluation that is based on aptitude. For instance, the capacity to effectively sense and comprehend emotions is assessed using Emotify, an ability-based emotional intelligence test.

When it comes to the utilization of emotional intelligence tests during the hiring process, Criteria suggests giving them to candidates for jobs that demand a lot of interpersonal interaction. Sales or customer service, management or leadership positions, human resources, and more are examples.


Emotional intelligence allows you to test for the following:

  • Communication skills and preferences
  • Ability to express feelings and opinions
  • Strategies for managing stress and job pressure
  • Approach to conflict resolution
  • Level of maturity and responsibility
  • Work ethic and job dedication


When reporting their own EI skills, people don't always speak the truth. You can enlist the help of specialists or observers, but be aware that the process will cost extra money and time.

Job knowledge test

Job Knowledge Tests

A candidate's technical or theoretical expertise in a particular sector is assessed through job knowledge tests. An accountant, for instance, might be questioned about fundamental accounting principles. These assessments are especially beneficial for positions requiring a high level of competence or specific knowledge.


Reduce Turnover

The inability to carry out job duties is one of the typical causes of turnover. Before hiring someone and discovering they are unqualified for the post, thoroughly testing every applicant's aptitude and expertise will help you save on this expensive price.

Better Appraisal Of Skills

A candidate is less likely to try to talk his way into a position if he knows up front that his expertise in the field will be evaluated during the employment screening process. A knowledge assessment test that includes both true-false and multiple-choice questions often provides a clear indication of a candidate's skill level. Even if some employees do not test well, requiring an applicant to take a test gives you a glimpse into his capacity to handle pressure and hardship while also revealing some of his knowledge. Finding these attributes through an interview alone is challenging.

Team Placement

Knowing which precise role or team the applicant will fit into best may be determined via knowledge testing. A better selection is made when a team has to fill a skill gap by evaluating a group of candidates to see which one has gained a stronger understanding of the weak area. You could not have a complete picture of the applicant's ability by simply inquiring about the skill in the interview.


  • It doesn't consider other aspects like emotional intelligence etc
  • May require frequent updates to align with current job responsibilities, and are time-consuming and costly if developed in-house

Personality Test

Personality Tests

Personality tests are becoming increasingly popular among HR professionals, yet there are still quite a few misconceptions about what personality tests are and how they should be used.

Will the candidate be at ease in this role? This is one of the questions that personality tests aim to address. Are the candidate's behavioral characteristics consistent with success in this position? There are no right or incorrect answers on personality tests, unlike aptitude tests. These exams instead gauge how much a person possesses relatively enduring behavioral features. By analyzing whether a candidate's behavioral patterns match both the role and the corporate culture, these attributes can help employers forecast job fit.

Although personality assessments can measure a wide range of characteristics, the "Big Five" or "Five Factor Model" is the most well-known framework for personality assessments. These five personality traits—agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, openness (to experience), and stress tolerance—regularly show up in empirical studies. 

An older paradigm of personality "types" that originated with Carl Jung and relied on a view of personality that classified people into one of two distinct types, such as introvert or extrovert, thinker or feeler, Type A or Type B, is being replaced by the concept of personality "traits," which is now fairly widely accepted. The traits model is gaining credence in personality research because of growing evidence suggesting that a strict dichotomy between two distinct types does not sufficiently describe the nuances of human personality.


Reduce turnover

A more informed recruiting selection reduces the possibility of selecting a candidate who isn't compatible with the culture or job requirements. When a candidate is given the incorrect position, they could be dissatisfied, less effective, and more prone to burnout. When a new hire is placed in the appropriate role, they will be more content and effective at work and less likely to leave the organization.

Improved communication

Employers and job candidates will connect more effectively and effectively if they are aware of each other's communication preferences. For instance, a candidate with a DISC C personality might value more formal communication, whereas a candidate with a DISC I personality would benefit from more informal conversation. Candidates will feel more at ease and be more likely to accept an offer if you communicate with them in a style that they can relate to.

A better understanding of job candidates

Employers will be able to conduct a more thorough examination of candidates' actions, motivations, stressors, and other factors thanks to the results of the personality test. The cultural fit and soft skills of a candidate should never be overlooked even if they have the expertise and hard abilities required for the post. Employers can choose individuals who best fit the position and the culture by using insights, such as those from personality tests.


Social desirability bias plays an important role in self-reported tests. People tend to answer based on what they think you want to hear and end up misrepresenting themselves. Make sure the test you choose is designed to catch misrepresentations. Some candidates might also find personality questionnaires invasive, which could hurt the candidate experience. So, be careful how and when you use them.

Medical Examination

Knowing an employee’s general health status before taking up a job role is not just desirable, it is integral. So, how do you get to know the baseline health status of a prospect you are looking to hire? The answer is pre-employment medical examinations (Also called pre-placement medical examinations).

After a conditional job offer has been issued, pre-employment medical exams are performed. Pre-employment medical examinations focus on the existence or absence of certain medical issues prior to accepting a job role, whereas fit-for-work testing stresses the individual's functional capabilities regarding the responsibilities and danger of the specific job. It reveals whether the applicant has any underlying medical issues that might limit their ability to perform effectively at work or hinder their effectiveness on the job.

In the end, this aids in making sure that the worker, their coworkers, and their health and safety are optimal and not jeopardized. Employers can eventually save money by doing this. Pre-existing injuries can also be found during pre-employment medical examinations. Some of the tests conducted as part of the pre-employment assessment are also the basis for continuous medical monitoring and perhaps regulatory requirements for high-risk professions.

In order to make sure a candidate is both physically and intellectually capable of performing their job, the majority of pre-employment medical examinations frequently include a drug test as part of the medical examination.


  • A more secure work environment
  • Decrease in occupational accidents
  • Reduced downtime, lower expenses for insurance and WorkCover claims
  • Matching the employee's skills to the job, as well as overall cost and risk reduction in the hiring process


  • Some medical examinations are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This could lead to litigation if not properly handled, as affected candidates can claim they were discriminated against on a health basis.

Why Use Pre-Employment Tests

We’ve provided some top reasons to consider utilizing pre-employment tests including:

To Make High-Quality Interviews

By gathering sufficient data on applicants, employers can use the results from the test to ask you specific questions related to your skills and work experience.

To Make The Hiring Process Easier

Employers may use these tests to quickly narrow down the number of applicants they're trying to hire, especially if they have a lot of resumes to sort through.

To Test The Applicant's Skills

Pre-employment exams are administered by employers to see whether your talents match those listed in the job description. For instance, if a company is hiring for a copywriter position, they might give you a writing test to see whether your abilities match what they are looking for.

 If an employer hires someone who succeeds on a skills exam because it demonstrates how a candidate can use their knowledge, their company's turnover rate may reduce.


Pre-employment tests are a great way to ensure that the right kind of applicants are selected for open roles in an organization. Since the success of an organization depends a lot on the quality of hire, this is something that should be handled carefully. 

While pre-employment tests can be very helpful, they can also lead to litigations if not properly handled. You may want to speak with pre-employment test professionals who can help you strike out the possibility of these risks while increasing the quality of hire.

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With Opusuna, you can attract, identify, recruit and coach team players. Build and lead highly effective teams with confidence and ease.