What are pre-employment tests?

Pre-employment tests are designed to give you, the employer, more confidence in knowing that you’re hiring someone that’s right for the job. Personality tests are designed to pull out specific elements of a candidate’s character by asking them a series of multiple choice questions. They tend to require you to tick a pre-set scale, usually labelled: Strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree and strongly agree.

Typically, these types of tests can be quite long as they’ll often ask a question in several different ways to try and test the candidate. However, because of this, it can help you find out how a candidate will behave under pressure as well as give you a good insight into someone’s personality. It can also help you create an unbiased, positive recruitment process which you can find out more about here.


Job Personality Tests: Do They Work?

At a basic level, personality tests require a certain amount of concentration which alone can showcase candidates’ focus on an unfamiliar task. But, if you look further at the results it can help you decide if a person is going to be right for a job role. Personality tests pick out attributes and behaviours in a candidate that are vital in certain job positions, such as leadership and emotional intelligence. Essentially, this means you can choose questions that are focused around highlighting the behaviours you need your employees to have to help make sure the candidate is the right cultural fit.

Another great benefit for you and the candidate is that these tests can help you stay unbiased during the hiring process. With extra chances for candidates to prove themselves in both the interview and personality test, it can help build up their case to why they should be hired.

Although a personality test may not be able to solely define if a candidate is going to be successful in a role, it will highlight any major red flags. This is useful as it means you can totally avoid them failing their probation, which in turn will save you time and money in the process.


So, what are the downsides?

One of the main concerns with personality tests is that they require you to trust the candidates. This is because these type of tests require them to be truthful in their answers. Some candidates may alter their approach with what they think the competencies you’re looking for are. To try and combat this, you should choose a test that asks about a certain competency in different ways. For example, these questions are focusing on a flexible working style:


  1. I like to focus on one task at a time.
  2. I am good at multitasking.
  3. I work best when I’m in control of a project.
  4. I find it exciting when plans change last minute.


By answering strongly agree to question one, the candidate should answer strongly disagree to the second question if they are answering totally truthfully. Personality tests can never be 100% accurate but it does give an indication into how a candidate may behave in certain situations.

If the questions are too complicated they could be interpreted differently from person to person. This could give inaccurate results which may cause you to overlook the best cultural fit for the business. The best way to look at personality tests is to look at the candidate as a whole. Consider their experience, their interview and their personality test results to help you get the best person through the door.


Key takeaways

Whether you’re asking candidates to prepare a presentation for the interview or asking them to complete a relevant pre-assessment task; there is no better way to get to know someone than to offer them a chance to prove themselves.

More often than not, a pre-employment task can be a fairer approach to judging how well someone will work once they’re hired. You’ll be able to understand and see practically if they’re going to be a qualified cultural fit for your business.


Here are some key takeaways to remember when using personality tests during your interview process:

  • Personality tests can help you stay unbiased during the hiring process.
  • Tailoring the test to personality traits that are relevant to the job role can help you make the most out of the test.
  • You’ll need to trust that the candidate will answer truthfully, otherwise, it’s just a time-wasting exercise.
  • Although personality tests are a useful tool, they shouldn’t be used as the sole decision maker for hiring someone.