How to Better Employee Testing and Selection

Employee testing is the practice of administering written, oral or other tests as a means of determining the suitability or desirability of a job applicant. The premise is that if scores on a test correlate with job performance, then it is economically useful for the employer to select employees based on scores from that test.

A test can be defined as a standardized series of problems or questions that assess a persons knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics. The use of tests and other selection procedures can be a very effective means of determining which applicants or employees are most qualified for a particular job. However, no test or assessment can be used as the sole reason to hire or not hire and employee.

Employee Selection Tests:


Employee selection tests can be split into personality tests and aptitude/ability tests.Employee Selection Tests – Aptitude and Ability
Aptitude and ability tests consist of multiple choice questions and are administered under exam conditions. These types of test can be broadly classified onto the groups shown and you may be asked to sit a test which consists only of ‘numerical’ questions or these may form part of a test which consists of questions of different types.

ability test
This will depend very much on the job you are applying for. For example, jobs that require you to handle figures on a day to day basis may have a higher proportion of numerical reasoning questions, whereas tests used for information technology jobs tend to have a higher proportion of abstract reasoning questions.Verbal Ability Tests – Includes spelling, grammar, ability to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions.

Numeric Ability Tests  – Includes basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. In more complex numerical critical reasoning questions, blocks of information are provided that require interpretation.

Abstract Reasoning Tests
– Measures your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution. They are deliberately designed so that the visual problem-solving strategy will work better than any other approach.

Spatial Ability Tests – Measures your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or to visualize three-dimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures.

Mechanical Aptitude Tests – Designed to assess your knowledge of physical and mechanical principles.

Data Checking Tests – Measure how quickly and accurately errors can be detected in data and is used to select candidates for clerical and data input jobs.

Work Sample Tests – Involves a sample of the work that you will be expected do. These types of test can be very broad ranging. They may involve exercises using a word processor or spreadsheet if the job is administrative or they may include giving a presentation or in-tray exercises if the job is management or supervisory level.


Employment testing can be a valuable part of your interview and hiring process. There are many types of employee tests you can use to gain important data. The use of any job testing tool will depend on your need, your budget and the availability of a valid and reliable test.

Article Editing by: Asad Saimon