Employment Testing in Human Resource

Employment testing in Human Resource 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.

Employers often use such tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire. The types of tests and selection procedures utilized include cognitive tests, personality tests, intelligence tests, Job-knowledge tests, Situational judgment tests.

Types of Employment Tests

Hundreds of tests are available to help employers in making decisions but a test is valid if the inferences made based on the test score are accurate (e.g., if we are correct in concluding that how well the individual does on the test tells us how well he/she will perform on the job). All of the tests discussed here have been demonstrated to relate to one or more critical employment outcomes.

Before deciding that a particular type of test is what you want, however, you should first establish

  1.  Does testing make sense
  2.  What it is you want to assess

i.e., the determination of what it is you want to measure with the test should precede the determination of how you are going to measure it.

Following are types of employment tests conducted. They have been explained in details from another section.


Assessments centers can be designed to measure many different types of job-related skills and abilities, but are often used to assess interpersonal skills, communication skills, planning and organizing, and analytical skills.  The assessment center typically consists of exercises that reflect job content and types of problems faced on the job.  For example, individuals might be evaluated on their ability to make a sales presentation or on their behavior in a simulated meeting.  In addition to ...
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The content of biographical data instruments varies widely and may include such areas as leadership, teamwork skills, specific job knowledge and specific skills (e.g., knowledge of certain software, specific machine tool use), interpersonal skills, extraversion, creativity, etc.   Biographical data typically uses questions about education, training, work experience, and interests to predict success on the job.  Some biographical data instruments also ask about an individuals attitudes, personal assessments of skills, and personality. Advantages of Biographical Data ...
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Cognitive ability tests typically use questions or problems to measure the ability to learn quickly, logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and other enduring mental abilities that are fundamental to success in many different jobs.  Cognitive ability tests assess a persons aptitude or potential to solve job-related problems by providing information about their mental abilities such as verbal or mathematical reasoning and perceptual abilities like speed in recognizing letters of the alphabet. Advantages of Cognitive Ability Tests ...
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Integrity tests assess attitudes and experiences related to a person’s honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, and pro-social behavior. These tests typically ask direct questions about previous experiences related to ethics and integrity OR ask questions about preferences and interests from which inferences are drawn about future behavior in these areas. Integrity tests are used to identify individuals who are likely to engage in inappropriate, dishonest, and antisocial behavior at work. Advantages of Integrity Tests
  1.  Have ...
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Interviews vary greatly in their content, but are often used to assess such things as interpersonal skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills, and can be used to assess job knowledge.  Well-designed interviews typically use a standard set of questions to evaluate knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualities required for the job.  The interview is the most commonly used type of test.  Employers generally conduct interviews either face-to-face or by phone.  (For more information on this ...
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Job knowledge tests typically use multiple choice questions or essay type items to evaluate technical or professional expertise and knowledge required for specific jobs or professions.  Examples of job knowledge tests include tests of basic accounting principles, A+/Net+ programming, and blueprint reading. Advantages of Job Knowledge Tests
  1.  Have been demonstrated to produce valid inferences for a number of organizational outcomes, such as job performance.
  2.  Can reduce business costs by identifying individuals for hiring, promotion ...
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Some commonly measured personality traits in work settings are extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to new experiences, optimism, agreeableness, service orientation, stress tolerance, emotional stability, and initiative or proactivity.  Personality tests typically measure traits related to behavior at work, interpersonal interactions, and satisfaction with different aspects of work.  Personality tests are often used to assess whether individuals have the potential to be successful in jobs where performance requires a great deal of interpersonal interaction or work in ...
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Physical ability tests typically use tasks or exercises that require physical ability to perform. These tests typically measure physical attributes and capabilities, such as strength, balance, and speed. Advantages of Physical Ability Tests
  1.  Have been demonstrated to produce valid inferences regarding the performance of physically demanding tasks.
  2.  Can identify applicants who are physically unable to perform essential job functions.
  3.  Can reduce business costs by identifying individuals for hiring, promotion or training who possess the ...
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These tests typically focus on measuring specific job skills or job knowledge, but can also assess more general skills such as organizational skill, analytic skills, and interpersonal skills.  Work samples and simulations typically require performance of tasks that are the same or similar to those performed on the job to assess their level of skill or competence.  For example, work samples might involve installing a telephone line, creating a document in Word, or tuning an ...
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