Human Resources News & Insights

Latest hiring trend: Testing before interview

A lot of interviews include some kind of test for the candidate. But some companies have started testing applicants before they even set up an interview.

That’s the word from a recent article in Forbes magazine, anyway. Some employers are using in-depth tests as part of the online application process. Assessments include personality tests and skills evaluations.

In many cases, only those who pass the test are brought in to interview. In others, the candidate’s answers give HR and the hiring manager a better idea of what they should focus on in the interview. Those who use pre-interview tests say it’s improved the quality of interviewees significantly.

How about your company? What methods do you use to screen out applicants before you meet face-to-face? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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  • Milton Mitchell

    Prior to interviews for Correctins Officer candidates, we have them to take an oral directive and writing test. We are considering using a Corrections Officer Video Test in the future that is more concentrated on the skills necessary to perform the CO’s duties.

  • R. B.

    We aren’t using an actual assessment tool up front, but we have recently started building job-specific qualifying questions into the application process. This has helped us evaluate the skill set of the candidates to determine whether they meet the minimum requirements of the position for which they’ve applied. Every position has its own qualifying questions. It’s turning out to be a real time-saver in terms of how quickly we are able to evaluate the applicant.

  • Bob

    I started pre-interviewing assessment testing, about a year after taking this position and the the interviewing process time has literally been cut in half. We get a better qualified candidate and reduce the time wasted on those that look good on paper an/or fake it thur the interview process.

  • JVN

    At my previous employer, a large distribution center, we used a test to determine applicants’ ability to read and differentiate numbers quickly and accurately. It was a very good predictor of success in order filling positions, as all of our product was stocked and picked according to part number.

    The hardest-working, most eager person in the world wouldn’t have been able to do the job if they weren’t able to work quickly and accurately with numbers. Doing the test first saved a lot of time for us and the applicants.

  • After a review of applications, we bring them in for a pre-employment test which contains math, space relations and mechanical reasoning we tell them to allow for one hour. If this test is passed we immediately send them for a pre-employment drug test. This narrows my applicant pool quickly and saves me time on interviewing those who can’t pass a drug test!

  • R. B.

    Better be careful on conducting that drug test pre-offer. In some states, that’s illegal. Often, the pre-employment testing such as drug tests and physicals have to be done after you have already extended an offer of employment, so I would caution others to check their state laws.

  • Drug testing is for illegal drugs only and goes through an MRO (Medical Review Officer) prior to the results being reported to me. No physical examination is being performed.

  • JVN

    Wow. Yes, be very careful about conducting pre-offer drug tests. It is illegal in my state, and I didn’t realize it was legal anywhere.

  • R. B.

    I know it’s not legal in most states…don’t really know if there are any where it IS legal. Doesn’t matter what substances you test for. In most states, it’s illegal to use drug tests as an applicant screening tool.