Employers use a wide range of assessment methods with which to evaluate a candidate’s potential suitability for a job role. These may include looking at the behaviours, abilities and personality traits of an individual that are important for the job role and may be assessed through psychometric testing, interviews and other selection methods during a recruitment process. Below are some of the more popular assessment tools that are used.
Ability tests are designed to measure specific abilities relevant for success in a particular job role; for example, your verbal, numerical, mechanical or spatial reasoning abilities.
Personality questionnaires identify behavioural preferences. For example, they might measure how analytical, flexible, conscientious and/or extravert candidates are. They are called questionnaires because there are no right or wrong answers, although some behaviours may be more or less appropriate to job roles or certain situations.
Situational Judgement Tests
Situational Judgement Tests (SJT) assess the ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations. These tests present candidates with different situations that they might experience in the job they are applying for. For each situation, a number of possible actions are presented. The candidates are required to choose between the possible options presented and decide which is the most effective course of action to take. SJT’s are designed to assess how candidates would handle situations that they could encounter in the job they are applying for.
Most employers have an interview within their recruitment process, whether it be an unstructured/informal interview or a more structured competency based interview. All interviews are a good method for the employer in getting to know a candidate and in assessing aspects of an individual which may be difficult to assess by any other means. Structured competency based interviews are designed around the key abilities and behaviours required for the job role. Employers will explore a candidate’s previous experiences from their home, social, educational or working life and discuss specific situations that relate to the key abilities being assessed for.
Assessment Centre Exercises
Assessment centres involve a combination of tasks and activities that test candidates’ suitability for the job. These exercises are usually used to simulate aspects of a task or scenario relevant to the target job. They are likely to vary from one organisation to another; however, below is an overview of the type of exercises you can expect to encounter as part of an assessment centre:
- Ability tests
- Personality questionnaires
- Situational judgement tests
- Group exercises
- Role plays
- In-tray exercise
Employers will ask assessors to observe the candidates’ performance during some of these exercises. The assessors then rate the performance of each candidate against the key skills/abilities required for the job.