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7 types of interview tests that companies can give to candidates

Written by Bruno Boksic

Resume screening is outdated and increasingly being replaced with pre-employment tests. The latter are more effective, eliminate bias from the hiring process, and are a more scalable solution that can deal with hundreds of applications to a single position. 

But what kind of tests should a company use, when should they give them to their candidates, and how many tests should they give to their candidates?

To help answer these questions, this article will explore seven different types of interview tests your business can use. But first, let’s start by defining what interview tests are.

What are interview tests?

Interview tests, or pre-employment assessments, are evaluations that companies use to review their candidates before they’re invited to a formal interview. Interview tests help companies determine which candidates have the necessary skills for the job and should be invited for a job interview. 

Why do companies use them?

There are various reasons why companies use pre-employment tests: 

Three benefits for companies using interview tests
  • They save time. If every candidate were invited to an interview, then hiring managers would have to deal with thousands of interviews every month. With pre-employment tests, hiring managers only invite those candidates who performed well on relevant tests, indicating they have the right skills for the job. 

  • They provide a good candidate experience. Candidates no longer wonder why they weren’t invited for an interview. Either they score well on the tests and get invited to an interview or they didn’t perform well enough to receive an invitation. 

  • They eliminate bias from the hiring process. Candidate shortlists can often reflect hiring managers’ unconscious bias. But pre-employment tests are objective and focus on demonstrable skills, as you simply shortlist the candidates who got the best scores from the tests. In other words, bias doesn’t play a role in hiring decisions.  

7 types of interview tests that companies should give to applicants

To ensure you properly evaluate your candidates in the pre-employment phase, you should consider giving them a selection of relevant pre-employment tests.

The following seven categories are the most important types to choose from, depending on the role you’re hiring for: 

7 types of interview tests companies should give to candidates

1. Cognitive-ability tests

Cognitive-ability tests will help you evaluate your candidates’ numerical abilities, problem-solving skills, or mental-reasoning skills. A candidate needs good cognitive abilities because they will face daily challenges and issues that need solutions. 

Tests such as the Problem Solving test, Numerical Reasoning test, or Critical Thinking test can be given to your candidates to assess their cognitive abilities. 

2. Language tests

Language tests will help you see if your candidates have the necessary language proficiency to succeed in the role. Language tests are imperative for functions like customer service reps or salespeople who are expanding the product into an area where a different language is spoken. 

Language tests evaluate candidates in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. The CEFR has six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. You should make sure to give your candidates a language test at a level appropriate for the position. 

You can choose tests such as the Swedish (proficient/C1) test, Spanish (upper intermediate/B2) test, or Italian (intermediate/B1) test to assess your candidates. 

3. Personality & culture tests

Personality tests analyze the personality and character of your applicants. The point of these tests, other than getting to know the person more, is to determine if a candidate would be the right culture add to your company. 

Tests such as the 16 Types test, Enneagram test, or DISC test will help you examine your applicants’ values and assess whether their values converge with those of your organization. 

4. Programming skill tests

Programming skill tests help hiring managers analyze candidates’ programming skills to see if they’re at the right level for the position. 

Programmers are in high demand today and companies need every help they can get in properly evaluating candidates for those roles. That’s why organizations should give their candidates tests such as the HTML5 test, PHP (coding): entry-level algorithms test, or the C# (coding): data structures test.  

5. Role-specific skill tests

Role-specific skill tests enable hiring managers to evaluate candidates on their specific, hard skills fundamental for the role. 

Tests in this category will evaluate technical knowledge (and experience) for jobs such as an electrician, bookkeeper, accountant, or warehouse manager. Many technical skills tests are available, including the Fundamentals of Electricity test, Bookkeeping test, or a Technical SEO test

6. Situational-judgment tests

Situational-judgment tests help you assess how your candidates react in specific situations. These tests show you whether candidates deal with the problems in the right way or if their judgment may be compromised in some way. 

These tests can review candidates’ skills in leadership and management situations, business ethics, and stress management in the workplace. Situational-judgement tests include those such as the Business Ethics & Compliance test, Negotiation test, or Account Management test

7. Software skill tests

Software skills tests evaluate how well candidates use specific programs and platforms. They differ from programming tests since they don’t evaluate how well the candidates know programming languages, but how well they work with specific, non-programming, software. 

This includes CRM platforms, MS office tools, or specific advertising platforms, such as Facebook’s or Google’s ad services. You can give your candidates tests such as the Facebook Advertising test, Google Ads test, or Microsoft Excel (general) skills test to see how well they handle this software. 

Evaluate your candidates the right way

Evaluating your candidates shouldn’t be left to chance; you should use pre-employment tests to ensure you hire the best possible candidates. That’s why you should pick out your pre-employment tests from our Test Library.  We have over 300 scientifically created tests to help you choose the right candidate from your hiring process.

 Register for free today and start making better hiring decisions, faster and bias-free.


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