7 Types Of Pre-employment Testing With Examples

Pre-employment tests have become the norm for the human resource department when hiring for any position. Usually, the HR department relies on face-to-face or calls to conduct interviews.

However, pre-employment tests have become an integral part of the hiring process. 
Since the traditional approach has become more flawed due to various bad hires, many have switched to this new model. 

However, it is more than vital to use the pre-employment screening properly to hire the best candidates. To help you out, we will discuss the seven types of pre-employment testing. But before that, let's understand what pre-employment testing is.

What Does Pre-Employment Testing Entail?

Pre-employment testing is a process that helps you get all the relevant information you need about a candidate. The testing process can help determine if the candidate is the right fit for the position you have in mind. 

Employers can take a wide range of tests to know how well a candidate can perform a certain task. Some organizations have a prerequisite of conducting pre-employment testing before the interview.

Why is Pre-Employment Testing Becoming More Popular Among Employers?

According to a study, companies receive nearly 250 resumes for each job opening. Going through all of them is not an easy task, since the last thing you want is to hire the wrong candidate. Therefore, companies want to ensure they have a good selection process that helps them find the right candidate. 

That is where the pre-screening tests come into play. Companies use pre-screening tests for the following reasons: 

  • To speed up the recruitment process: The pre-screening test can help you quickly narrow applicants to find the best ones. 
  • To check the applicant's abilities: Employers can test the skills and abilities to know if the applicant is the perfect candidate for the job. For instance, if the company is looking for a writer, they can administer a writing test to know if they have the relevant skills to match their expectations. 
  • To bring down the company's turnover rate: A company can also bring down its turnover rate since it'll hire the right candidate for the job. 
  • To enhance the interview's quality: Having sufficient information allows employers to ask you relevant questions about your skills, abilities, etc.

What are the Types of Pre-employment Tests?

There are various types of pre-employment tests that your company can conduct. Let's go over the most common types and how they apply to a particular industry.

Job Knowledge Tests

Job knowledge tests help organizations to assess the theoretical or technical skills of a specific field. Industries requiring candidates to have specialized skills or have improved expertise can take advantage of these tests. For instance, coding assessment can help an IT company evaluate the candidate’s knowledge and proficiency in a particular programming language.  

Another example can be that if there is a vacancy for an accountant, you can conduct a test to assess their knowledge of accounting principles. While the test can help you determine the candidate's knowledge about particular theories, it doesn't tell if they are fast learners. 

Integrity Tests

Another important pre-employment assessment for companies is the integrity test, which tells if the candidate is honest, reliable, and disciplined. These tests can help you uncover traits linked to integrity, such as conscientiousness. As a result, employers can ensure they find an honest and reliable candidate for the job. 

An example of this can be a test for salespeople in the retail industry. Companies want to hire reliable and honest people that do not mislead customers about their products. One of the limitations of the integrity tests is that there is no way to tell whether the candidate is answering your questions correctly.

Cognitive Ability Tests

The cognitive ability test assesses the candidate's mental capabilities and decision-making skills. It is an important test for various fields, such as pilots, doctors, etc., since it helps assess how employees will react to different situations. 

Therefore, it is an ideal test for a job that requires complex planning. Applicants would have to answer various questions from topics, such as numerical, logical, verbal, etc.

Personality Tests

Assessing an individual's personality traits can help employers know if they are an ideal fit for the business. Having the right traits allows the candidates to perform their job well. That is where personality tests come into play. 

An example of this can be found in the retail industry, where the salespeople who do well on the assertiveness test can be an ideal fit for the job. The motivation tests can also be a great assessment, which most career counselors use in educational institutes. 

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Emotional intelligence tests go over a person's ability and behavioral competency in assessing how well they can understand other people's emotions. Some jobs require building strong relationships and properly understanding the emotions of others. 

For such jobs, the EI tests can measure how a person will perform in a particular job. However, some people might not be honest about their EI abilities. Therefore, it can lead to difficulties in assessing whether or not the person has the right abilities for the job.

Skills Assessment Tests

Unlike personality and job knowledge tests, skills assessment tests focus on measuring the actual skills of the candidate. The company will assess soft skills, such as attention to detail, or hard skills, like command over computer tasks. For example, if there is a vacancy for a secretarial position, then the typing test can help assess their speed. 

Additionally, it can be an ideal choice for roles such as team leaders which require specific leadership skills. One drawback of skill assessment tests is that they can be time-consuming. Even managers would need time to evaluate the results and find the right candidate.

Physical Ability Tests

Finally, some professions require you to have increased physical strength and stamina. For instance, construction workers or firefighters should have some physical abilities to do their job properly. Companies can conduct physical ability tests to assess the strength of the candidates. 

This test is critical for some professions, and employers should not ignore it. They can ensure that the workers can perform their tasks, reducing worker's compensation claims. The best thing about physical ability tests is that candidates cannot fake the results.

What is the Best Way to Determine the Right Pre-Employment Screening Method?

Employers should consider their needs and requirements when deciding which pre-employment screening process is ideal for them. This allows them to ensure they can choose the right screening method for their organization. 

For instance, if you feel that the new hires don't have the relevant skills, then the skills assessment test can be an ideal choice. On the other hand, if you want to build a positive cultural environment, you can use emotional intelligence tests to find the best cultural fit. 

You can either use pre-employment screening methods or merge them. For instance, you can conduct an integrity test and a skills assessment. In a nutshell, the best testing method would vary from company to company.

Why Should You Use Online Proctoring When Conducting Online Pre-Employment Tests? 

As most processes in a business are automated, the pre-employment testing process is also held online. However, it will increase the chances of candidates using different tricks to pass the test. So, the best way to deal with this problem is by using online proctoring. 

Online test proctoring can help you prevent cheating and find the right candidate for your company. You can monitor the entire testing process through video for a perfect hiring process. By using online proctoring when giving online pre-employment tests, you can: 
  • Prevent cheating or unethical practice
  • Set the duration for the test 
  • Avoid any legal complications
  • Evaluate all candidates with the same criteria


Pre-employment screening is ideal if you want to ensure that your company finds the right candidate for the job. It reduces the turnover rate and ensures that you find the candidate likely to stick with your company in the long run. Therefore review your requirements and then choose the right screening tests. 

However, ensuring that the pre-screening test shows you authentic results is more than vital. So, you can enlist the help of online proctoring when giving online pre-employment tests for more transparency.


What Does Pre-Employment Testing Entail?

The pre-employment test is a standardized process that allows employers to evaluate a candidate's skills before recruiting them. There is a wide range of tests, such as cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, etc., that employers can choose from. 

Which one is the most common type of pre-employment test?

IQ tests are the most common type of tests for employers to measure general mental capabilities. Other than that, aptitude tests and physical tests are also very popular.

How do employers use pre-employment tests?

Pre-employment tests allow employers to set criteria to assess all candidates. They can evaluate the results to find the best applicants for the position.