How to Use Different Types of Candidate Assessment Tests


“Pre-employment screenings” is the term used to describe various employment assessment tests that are used to help learn more about an applicant’s skills and abilities. The exact timing of a candidate assessment test can vary, with some companies preferring to use them before the final interview and some using them before the first, for instance. Regardless of when an assessment test is used, the reason tends to be the same. Getting an idea of what a candidate’s abilities and personality are like can reveal things that might not be apparent from reading a resume.

Candidate Assessment Options for Better Hiring

The number and type of tests used for a given applicant will depend on the position involved and the level of emphasis your company places on various traits. Broadly speaking, assessment tests fall into one of five categories.

Hard Skills Tests

These are tests used to determine solid skills that will be used in the position for which you are hiring. You might give a language test, a math test, offer a coding problem to be solved, or issue a sample assignment as part of how you administer this type of test.

Job-Related Soft Skills

These are conducted to determine an applicant’s sales ability, communication skills, ability to work in a team, time management, or other types of soft skills. Devising tests for these traits can be tricky since there is more subjectivity involved, but the insights gained can be well worth it.

Integrity Tests

These are when a candidate is given questions that are meant to probe various elements related to ethics and trustworthiness. Questions tend to be direct and involve either hypothetical scenarios or asking about past experience in situations that brought up ethical quandaries. As a bonus, such tests also send the message to candidates that you take employee integrity very seriously.

Personality Tests

These are meant to get a general idea of the kind of personality a candidate might possess as well as similar psychological traits. The most famous example of this type of candidate assessment test is arguable the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; however, others do exist as well.

General Reasoning or Cognitive Tests

These are a type of analytical assessment that looks at how well a candidate can analyze situations, handle new information, and otherwise read and adapt to the needs of different situations.


Employer Benefits From Candidate Assessment Tests

It can sometimes seem wasteful to spend time and money administering tests and evaluating results for a large number of candidates when only a small number of positions actually exist. However, there are very real benefits to making this commitment that will lead to a stronger hiring process and more effective new employees.

Saves Time

Although it can feel time-consuming to look over a large number of test results, the alternative is spending even more time in interviews with everyone who applies. Tests allow you to add extra filters to the hiring process and mean that only the most promising applicants get your full attention.

Saves Money

Training a new hire is not a cheap matter. If the hire doesn’t work out, all of that investment is suddenly for naught. Testing makes sure only the best candidates make it to the final interview and will act as a form of insurance that makes sure only the most qualified join your team.

More Insight into Candidates

Testing lets you get additional insights into a candidate’s abilities and who they are as a person while also adding extra context to the descriptors and skills listed on their resume. Many of the ways a people describe themselves on their resumes—such as “fast worker” or “good problem-solver”—sound nice but lack the sort of specificity and context that employment assessment tests can provide. This lets you make a more informed decision when hiring.

More Objectivity

Relying on interviews alone for hiring can work, but the approach suffers from flaws inherent to the interview process itself. Remember, an interview is as much a sales pitch by the candidate as it is an assessment by the interviewer. An applicant’s charisma and personality can sometimes allow them to ace interviews even when they possess potential skill deficits or flaws. These can easily be exposed by candidate assessment test.

Resolve Recruit is one of the leading employment agencies in the Mississauga, Brampton, and Toronto areas. We match skilled workers with employers across a variety of industries, with an emphasis on bilingual talent. Learn more by contacting us at or call (905) 568-8500.