assessments typically fall into two categories. The first area is 
skills assessments. These
are tests that measure cognitive capabilities. They determine if candidates
possess the basic aptitudes required to accomplish the job – mechanical
ability, mathematical skill, or specific operational requirements like typing
or the ability to construct a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

The second area of
testing is potentially more problematic. Psychometric assessments,
commonly called personality tests by nervous applicants, are indicators of
behavioral tendencies in an employment context. Many of these tests use a
personality model (called the five factor model) that analyzes major
personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion,
agreeableness, and neuroticism. You’re not alone if you think that this kind of
pre-employment assessment test is just a little creepy.

Some ways to scale
through this test includes:

vVerify the

that the test captures the information you need to make an effective decision
regarding the given job opening (for example, skills vs. personality vs. sales
aptitude). Make sure the test matches your needs.

vTest the
track record

sure the test has a track record that proves it will measure what it says it
will. There should be technical materials supplied with the instrument that
will make you feel confident about this.

test reliability

sure the test is reliable. The test's vendor should be able to provide evidence
that proves the test's accuracy and validity.

vVerify the

that the test is legal to use by federal guidelines. Be sure to have a lawyer
or consultant who specializes in employment discrimination review the test
questions before using them.


is critical to the hiring process, so apply the same standards and criteria to
all applicants for one job. For example, you may have every candidate complete
a test, but submit for analysis only those applicants that make it to your
"short list." For more on hiring strategies."

your result

the results analyzed by a highly trained individual (for example, an industrial
psychologist) or an employee selection and management firm. Be sure you can
speak one-on-one with an expert who will explain the results, answer any
questions and provide a hiring recommendation.