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Newsletter Archives

Reality Check
What Gets You to Your New Job?

Dress to Impress
Dressing for Interview Success

Are You Ready . . .
For Your Job Winning Job Search?

Preparation for the Interview
Toughest Interview Questions

Resume Presentation
Tips to Look Good and Stand Out

Reinventing Your Workself
When Circumstances Change

Pep Yourself Up for the Interview
Getting Psyched for the Big Opportunity

Make the Most of the Interview
Interview Questions for You to Ask

Your Job Search Is Your New Job
Spending 8 Hours a Day on Your Job Search

Frequent Resume Missteps
What Does Your Resume Say About You?

Employment Testing & Assessments
How Do They Enhance the Interview Process?

Casual Interview Discussions & Informal Questions
Stay Conscious and Interview Focused

Handling Job Search Rejection
Another Networking Opportunity

Stay Positive During Your Job Search
“Best Practice” Tips for Remaining Optimistic

Salary Negotiations
Be Prepared, Positive and Open

Reference Checks
Detailed Assessments Are Now the Norm

Writing Thank You's
Make a Noteworthy Impression

Cover Letters
Make a Good First Impression

Working with Recruiters
What Recruiters Want You to Know

Common Resume Mistakes
Is Your Resume Promoting Your Talents?

Know the Company
Do Your Homework

Employment Testing & Assessments

How Do They Enhance the Interview Process?

Employment assessments are used for career evaluations, reducing employee turnover and leadership development. The pre-employment assessment is successfully utilized as a tool in applicant screening and to supplement the interview and background checks.

Since the dawn of the interview process, employers have tried to learn more about candidates — who they are and how they will perform on the job. This newsletter is designed to provide you with information on pre-employment assessments and how evaluations serve both the employer and the candidate. Whether or not you believe assessments are worthy interview tools, every day thousands of additional companies sign up to administer such tests.

If Companies Don’t Pay Attention to History, It Repeats

Studies show when used for screening applicants, testing provides a more predictable outcome for employment situations. Structured interviews and / or *behavioral interviewing are subjective processes. By using validated employment tests and assessment tools, a company adds a much sought after element of objectivity, especially in management evaluations.

*Behavioral interview questions are matched to the position requirements and ask candidates in-depth to explain how they reacted and / or handled similar situations in the past.

Assessments, Another Interview Tool

The assessment is another interview tool. Job fit is very important and many companies use behavioral interview questions to try to match the candidate with the job. Companies want to know that candidates have certain skills, which are difficult to measure when interviewing a well-seasoned, well-coached interviewee. Hence pre-employment testing is becoming more prevalent.

What Do “They” Want to Know?

Employers like to use assessments because they screen out candidates. Some reveal whether you really have the skills you say you do. Others show whether you will fit in with the culture of the organization. Still others indicate whether you are fit for the job.

First-rate pre-employment assessments and sales aptitude assessments are conduct-based tests, as opposed to standard personality tests of the past.

There are a variety of pre-employment tests. What is being evaluated? The following is a list of criteria that are being evaluated in the pre-employment processes. Of course, there are more areas that can be included in testing, but this is an “in general” listing.

Many pre-employment assessments provide the company with a report on the communications skills, management skills, leadership skills and even the sales skills of the candidate. The report even provides personal development suggestions as well as other training and development recommendations.

How Do Assessments Work?

Assessments are designed by a multitude of PhDs who specialize in analysis and testing. The tests have elements of “how would you handle a situation” and “would you rather do this or that” questions. Most questions are multiple choice or have only two choices for your answer and you must pick one of the two which closely matches or exactly matches your answer.

“Mean” or Norm Scores

In several cases companies have calculated a “norm or mean” score for the assessment. These companies test the top current employees and / or the best employees and come up with an acceptable low and an acceptable high. When you are evaluated, your score is put up against the “mean” score and if you fall in the acceptable range, this is considered to indicate you are more likely to do well and will fit into the company. Mean scores are also used to rule out candidates. If your score falls above or below the company’s mean, you may not be considered for the position.

Off the Shelf Assessments

Not every company tests their best employees to come up with a norm. There are standard assessments that evaluate several components of skills or behaviors. These tests have been validated through many components of success and PhDs and / or experts are paid handsomely to write and certify the tests.


Assessments have a component that validates your answers. This is really a score to determine whether you answered similar questions consistently (honestly). In some tests, high scores show that you tried too hard to answer the questions correctly and low scores indicate you are not consistent in your answer to the questions. To achieve a good Validity score, we suggest you answer the questions honestly and not try to figure out what the company is asking and why.

Skills Measurement

A newer component of assessment is the skills test. These assessments determine whether you have the skills to handle the job. In the market, there are assessments from typing tests all the way up to microscopically detailed expertise evaluations, there are even skill measurement tools that determine whether the physician / surgeon / scientist is skilled and knows their profession.


Management, leadership and sales potential can also be measured in an assessment. These tests evaluate your aptitude for success in several categories. Whether used in pre-employment or during your employment, they ask questions to determine your ability to succeed and thrive in certain conditions.


There are even assessments that determine your intelligence. They evaluate your actual brainpower and wisdom. These tests usually have you read through a scenario and then ask several questions to see how you retain and use knowledge. Some companies have designed their own assessments. We have found that these companies use their tests to evaluate your fit. Some are as simple as a spelling test, all the way up to making sure you suit the company culture. No matter what type of test is placed before you, the company will use the assessment to evaluate your candidacy.

Do You “Have to” Take the Assessment?

You do not have to take tests — you always have a choice. If you refuse, you may not be offered that particular job but you may decide you don't want to work there anyway. If you do take a test, just do your best and relax. What will be, will be.

How to Take an Assessment. How Do You Complete an Assessment?

We get this question quite a lot. When presented with a pre-employment assessment, answer it honestly. Honestly. Put your best foot forward, don’t try to read “into” the test and don’t answer the questions “as you believe” the interviewer wishes you to answer. Also, read all the instructions before starting the assessment. After all, if the company determines that you “don’t fit,” do you really want to work there?

In Summary . . .

We are not trying to convince you assessments are a good tool; we are hoping you now have more information on how these tests work and why companies utilize assessments.

For the interviewer, using the results gives them the ability to know more about the candidate and may provide new questions or discussions for the interview. Interviews often start by having applicants tell the interviewer something about themselves. Often, the candidate may be better prepared for the interview than the person conducting the interview! Having assessment results available can help keep the interview focused on the important issues.

As a candidate, you want your next position to be a “fit.” The result of your assessment is another tool to ensure your next job is right.


We wish you great success in your job search!

1StopResume.com utilizes several sources to bring you revolutionary and fundamental job search wisdom. While we would like to acknowledge individually those websites, books and articles, authors, and masters, this list would be extensive. We thank these sources for their contributions.