Employee Selection Tests

Organisations typically use several different methods to assess job applicants: you will usually be asked to complete an application form, send in a copy of your resume and attend at least one interview. One method that is becoming increasingly used is employee selection tests. These tests aim to provide a potential employer with an insight into whether you will be able to cope with the intellectual demands of the job and how well you work with other people.

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.

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.

For more information see - Employee Selection Tests - Aptitude Tests.

Employee Selection Tests - Personality
Personality has a significant role to play in deciding whether you have the enthusiasm and motivation that the employer is looking for and whether you going to fit in to the organization.

The principle behind personality questionnaires is that it is possible to measure your personality by asking you about your behavior and feelings. You will be presented with statements describing various ways of feeling or acting and asked to respond to them as either ‘true’ or ‘false’ or on a scale. For example:

1. I enjoy noisy parties ?

A) True B) False


2. I always trust my intuition?

A) strongly disagree B) disagree C) neutrals D) agree E) strongly agree


These tests can help prospective employers to find the best match of individual to occupation and working environment. As a recruitment and selection tool, they can be applied in a straightforward way at the early stages of selection to screen-out candidates who are likely to be unsuitable for the job or, using a more sophisticated approach, to provide guidance on career progression to existing employees. For more information see - Employee Selection Tests - Personality Questionnaires.

You may also be interested in: An Introduction to Psychometric Tests, Personality Questionnaires and Aptitude Tests.

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