pre-employment tests

Avoid Hiring Mistakes: 4 Pre-Employment Tests That Can Help

Relying solely on traditional hiring tools such as resumes, cover letters, and interviews can lead to expensive hiring mistakes. But the four pre-employment tests described here can help.


Does it surprise you to learn that resumes and other traditional hiring tools can be unreliable? Resumes, cover letters, education history, and interviews have been core parts of the hiring process for a long time. But despite their longevity, these tools have drawbacks. That is, they don’t always provide the most reliable insights into candidates’ true abilities.

For example, in-person interviews can be biased and subjective. Nonetheless, they can still at times fail to predict future job performance. Relying solely on conventional tools can lead to hiring mistakes, which can be costly to the company and add costs to the talent acquisition budget.

What’s a Hiring Manager to Do?

There is a different strategy that can eliminate these problems. For example, when trying to understand what job candidates can do, using pre-employment tests can produce better results than just relying on resumes, cover letters, and interviews alone. These tests can bring objectivity to the recruiting process. This can lead to more data-driven hiring decisions.

Pre-employment testing, unlike face-to-face interviews, helps hiring managers objectively evaluate a wide range of abilities and personality traits. This is because these tests measure a wide range of a candidate’s abilities and skills.

For example, various tests can measure:

  • cognitive ability
  • strategic thinking
  • subject-area knowledge
  • confidence
  • problem-solving ability
  • leadership skills
  • organizational skills
  • analytical skills
  • risk-taking
  • productivity
  • people skills
  • reliability
  • positivity
  • collaboration

There are pre-employment tests for other skills and qualities as well.

Pre-employment testing can also help save hiring time by screening candidates earlier in the selection process. This is because these screenings will advance candidates who meet the score ranges. Traditionally, hiring managers have taken the time to interview nearly all applicants in person, even unqualified ones. Reducing the time of the hiring process will enhance the company’s bottom line by increasing staff productivity and lowering attrition.

Employers can use a variety of tests depending on their hiring needs. Here are four types of pre-employment tests that can help avoid hiring mistakes.

1. Microsoft Excel Pre-Employment Tests

Your company can lose thousands of dollars because of a preventable Excel mistake. For example, an incorrectly used formula will provide inaccurate data. This can significantly affect your business decisions. Make an Excel error with a price quote? You can lose current customers and fail to win new ones. A simple strategy to avoid errors like these is to evaluate job applicants’ Excel ability before hiring them.

2. Microsoft Office Pre-Employment Tests

The Microsoft Office Suite is one of the most widely used tools in the workforce today. Although your job positions may require it, not all applicants will be familiar with Microsoft Office programs such as Word or Outlook. Most work positions do not require a high degree of Office expertise. However, applicants should be able to perform basic and intermediate level activities across the programs.

If an employee lacks these skills, the company’s overall efficiency and productivity will suffer. What’s more, if you hire a candidate without these skills, he or she may require additional costly training. It’s best practice to administer an Office skills test to ensure your applicants have the required knowledge to work effectively.


3. Cognitive and Reasoning Pre-Employment Tests

Research shows that cognitive and reasoning abilities are accurate determinants of job success and job suitability. Most occupations today require a basic level of thinking skills, and these tests will disclose a candidate’s mental aptitude. These assessments assess candidates’ ability to learn, think critically, and comprehend both simple and complicated concepts.

Applicants who perform well on these tests are likely to be quick learners who can follow a logical path to a conclusion. They’re also likely to be good at defining complex challenges and producing a variety of solutions.

4. Attention-to-Detail Pre-Employment Tests

Attention to detail is a necessary skill in all industries and government agencies. It will be frustrating for you as a manager as well as your team if employees don’t have this core ability. Basic errors will reflect poorly on your team, not just to your internal workers but also to your customers. Every applicant you interview will claim to be meticulous. However, only testing will reveal what they are capable of. There are different types of attention-to-detail tests so be sure to select one that matches the needs of the job.


Using pre-employment tests to determine if candidates have the required skills for the job can prove vital to your company’s growth. Using any of these pre-employment tests, no matter your industry will help avoid hiring mistakes. This will improve the company’s bottom line, reduce turnover, and maintain employee satisfaction.

EmployTest specializes in helping hiring managers and talent acquisition teams use pre-employment tests to make smarter hiring decisions. With more than 6,000 customers around the world, their test list covers a wide range of skills, aptitude, and behaviors. They can be used in any industry or government sector. With so many tests to choose from, every organization can find and choose the ones that work best for their hiring needs.