How to assess candidates’ intermediate math skills objectively

How to assess candidates' intermediate math skills objectively
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Math skills are important in many fields and roles nowadays. They assist with data-driven decision making, such as calculating probabilities, assessing risk, or preparing budgets. 

Engineers, accountants, researchers, and programmers all need a solid understanding of key math principles – but even marketing managers and HR staff members need some math skills. 

So how do you test your candidates’ math skills during recruitment? 

The fastest and simplest way to do this is with a math skills test like our Intermediate Math test.

Skills testing gives you an objective measure of your candidates’ abilities and enables you to make the right hiring decisions. You can complement a math test by asking math skills questions during interviews.

Why are math skills important in the workplace? 

Employees with strong math skills are better prepared to make good business decisions to support your operations and growth. They’re able to understand and analyze numerical data, make logical conclusions, assess results, compare outcomes, and evaluate risk. 

Intermediate math skills are related to and support many other crucial skills, such as: 

roles that require strong Math skills

Strong math skills are necessary in many different fields, such as: 

  • Engineering

  • Programming

  • Science and research (especially STEM fields)

  • Finance and economics

  • Statistics

  • Sociology

  • Management

  • Analysis

  • Consultancy

As you can see, there is a wide range of fields in which math skills are not only useful but often required – which makes it important to assess applicants’ math skills objectively during recruitment.

How can you evaluate candidates’ intermediate math skills during recruitment?

Employees usually evaluate applicants’ math expertise with the help of math tests, which provide an accurate indication of candidates’ skills. Additionally, targeted interview questions can give you a deeper understanding of applicants’ abilities. 

How can you evaluate candidates' intermediate math skills during recruitment?

Let’s look at the different options you have to evaluate candidates: 

1. Create and administer custom math tests

This option is also the most resource-intensive since it requires you to follow several steps to get the best outcome:

  1. First, you need to prepare the tests

  2. Make sure all questions are correctly formulated 

  3. Administer them to applicants (either at an office location or online)

  4. Try to prevent the possibility of cheating

  5. Grade the tests manually and analyze the results

Preparing your own custom math tests might be necessary for specific roles or fields (like those involving research), but there are usually faster and more efficient ways to test candidates’ math skills. 

Some large organizations, like McKinsey and IBM, have the resources to retain full control of their skills evaluations. However, this would be counterproductive for most smaller companies, given how time-consuming the process of creating custom tests is. 

2. Look at your candidates’ education and experience

You can also look at applicants’ previous work experience, education, or academic achievements to see if they indicate strong math skills. 

Although a candidate with a degree in statistics or financial modeling is likely to have at least intermediate math skills, how can you tell if someone with an unrelated degree does? 

Even if a candidate spent the past five years of their career working with data, how can you know the exact level of their knowledge or expertise? How about a recent graduate or someone who is changing careers?

You may gain some insight into applicants’ math knowledge by examining their previous education or experience, but this often leaves the door open for unconscious biases and even discrimination.

Therefore, you shouldn’t base your hiring decision solely on candidates’ experience or educational background. It’s usually best to use this approach in combination with other assessment methods.

3. Use automated skills tests

The next option is to choose a skills-testing platform that offers ready-made aptitude tests, such as our Intermediate Math test. You can also use automated skills tests to assess skills like basic double-digit math or triple-digit math for roles that require an understanding of elementary-level math. 

TestGorilla’s pre-employment tests have several advantages. All of our tests are: 

  • Objective: All candidates receive the same test with the same questions and are graded objectively based on their performance.

  • Accurate: Tests are created by subject-matter experts and rigorously assessed by other specialists, which makes them accurate and reliable.

  • Easy to administer: Regardless of how many candidates you want to assess, you can administer a skills test with a single click.

  • Automatically rated: The platform calculates test scores automatically, which makes it easy to evaluate candidates’ skills. You simply need to compare applicants’ results to find the top performers.

Our Intermediate Math test assesses applicants’ capacity to solve intermediate math problems involving percentages, fractions, decimals, ratios, and time calculations. 

Candidates who perform well on this test are capable of manipulating numbers and analyzing numerical data to draw conclusions and solve problems. These skills can be particularly valuable if they need to create budgets, analyze metrics, assess risk, calculate salaries, interpret financial data, or perform other tasks that involve math calculations.

4. Use math interview questions

A good way to gain a deeper understanding of applicants’ knowledge is to use math questions during interviews. This technique is best used in combination with others, such as skills tests. We advise you to use it late in the hiring process to interview a few shortlisted applicants. 

You can tailor your math interview questions to the role for which you are hiring and use structured interviewing to further reduce bias and make candidate evaluation easier and more objective.

How do you test intermediate math skills during hiring? A step-by-step guide

In this section, we’ll give you a quick guide to testing applicants’ intermediate math skills, regardless of the role you’re looking to fill. From our (and our clients’) experience, this is often the most efficient method, but you can adapt this process to your own hiring needs as needed.

1. Define which skills are essential for the role.

First, define the skills that any successful candidate must possess to perform well, including intermediate math skills. Put them down in order of importance. 

2. Write a job description and post a job ad.

Based on the skills you listed in the previous step and the role’s requirements and tasks, write a detailed job description for internal use and a job ad to publish on job boards and social media. Collect applications.

3. Create and administer a skills assessment.

Now that you know which skills your applicants must possess to be successful in the open role, the next stage is to create a skills assessment to evaluate those abilities. 

With TestGorilla, you can combine an Intermediate Math test with up to four other tests and then invite applicants to complete the assessment. You don’t even need to screen resumes: You can simply use skills tests to evaluate applicants more objectively and accurately.

4. Analyze the results.

Applicants’ results are shown to you as percentages, making it simple to see who performed best on the Intermediate Math test and other skills tests. You can easily compare applicants and filter those who don’t meet your criteria.

5. Invite your best performers to an interview.

Interview your top performers to see who is the best fit for the role and the team. Use targeted math questions and other interview questions relevant to the role.

6. Make a hiring decision and inform applicants.

With all the data you’ve collected from skills assessments and interviews, it should be easy to make a hiring decision. Remember to also inform all unsuccessful applicants to provide a positive candidate experience and polish your employer brand.  

Test intermediate math skills quickly and efficiently with a skills test

Intermediate math skills are crucial for many roles, but not all companies have the resources to create custom math assessments – which is why using a skills-testing platform like TestGorilla can be a particularly efficient way to assess math expertise. 

Our Intermediate Math test enables you to scale your hiring and make it more objective by giving you accurate and reliable information on applicants’ math skills. Try out our math tests and simplify your recruitment strategy with TestGorilla today.

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