9 Tips for Passing a Pre-Employment Assessment

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Since employees are critical to the success of your organization, your recruitment strategy is crucial to your company’s business strategy. An objective, scientifically developed pre-employment assessment, or pre-hire test, is a popular approach to selecting the right talent for the right role in an unbiased way.

Continue reading to understand what a pre-employment assessment is and, if you’re seeking a new job, how you can pass one with flying colors.

In this article, we’ll cover:

This article was contributed by Amrit Acharya, founder of Xobin. More than 600 companies use Xobin’s pre-employment tests to screen over 1 million candidates with a bias-free approach every year. You can reach out to Amrit on Twitter or LinkedIn.

What Is a Pre-Employment Assessment?

Pre-employment tests are used for assessing the competency and skill level of job candidates.

It’s easy for candidates to apply for a massive number of jobs. This has resulted in companies facing an avalanche of applications. According to CNBC, “78% of job seekers lie during the hiring process.” With statistics like these, it’s important not to rely on a resume or interview alone but to screen candidates effectively with tools that can’t be easily cheated.

Pre-employment assessments are the perfect tool. They test candidates on the skills and abilities needed for the unique job you’re hiring for.

Types of Pre-Employment Assessment Tests

There are many types of pre-employment tests, each with its own purpose. Here are 5 common types.

1. Cognitive Aptitude Test

Cognitive aptitude tests assess your candidates’ thinking processes. These tests measure problem-solving, critical thinking, verbal reasoning, math ability, and more.

2. Psychometric Test

Psychometric tests measure a candidate’s personality traits to gauge how well the candidate will fit into your company culture. It assesses how well a candidate can adapt to new situations and estimates how productively they will be able to work in your company. The most popular psychometric tests are scientifically-backed, like the Big Five personality test.

3. Skill Assessment Test

This test measures the candidates on the skills necessary for a particular job. For example, a person applying for a content writer’s role will be assessed on their writing ability and SEO knowledge. Research by the Aberdeen Group of Study reveals that skill enhancement tests reduce employee turnover by 39%.

4. Emotional Quotient Test

This test measures the emotional intelligence of candidates. These tests allow you to measure candidates’ soft skills including empathy, listening ability, open expression, propensity to take initiative, flexibility, and creativity.

5. Video-based Assessment

A pre-recorded video assessment consists of a set of questions. Candidates record a video of themselves answering each question you program into the test. Candidates typically record videos using a webcam or mobile camera. These tests allow hiring managers to screen candidates quickly for traits like energy, positivity, communication style, and motivation.

Learn More: What Is a DiSC Personality Assessment? DiSC Profiles Explained

Tips to Clear a Pre-Employment Assessment

If you’re looking for a new job, clearing a pre-employment test will open up fantastic opportunities. Here are the top tips you can use to ace your pre-employment tests.

1. Research about the Job Role

No two jobs are identical. Read the job description to understand what skills are most important to the hiring manager. Familiarize yourself with the company and job requirements. If you want to receive a job offer from a tourism company in the Netherlands, you must have extensive knowledge about all tours in Amsterdam.

Ask yourself if you are really a good fit for this company, or if your time could be better spent applying for other opportunities. If you decide to apply, you now know what skills and aptitudes you need to demonstrate to the hiring manager.

2. Identify the Industry and Domain

Certain job descriptions specify the need for an applicant to possess domain knowledge in a particular industry. A person applying to an auto company must understand terms like AMT (automatic manual transmission), while a person applying to a telecommunications corporation will need to know acronyms like ARPU (average revenue per user).

Spend time working in your industry or studying to familiarize yourself with terminology, skills, and other domain expertise.

3. Speak to the Hiring Team

The hiring team likely will not disclose the contents of their test, but they may provide pointers on what you can expect if you ask.

You can ask the hiring manager questions about:

  • delivery format (Is the test video based or multiple choice?)
  • length (How long is the test?)
  • preparation (Is there anything I might do to prepare for the test?)

4. Use Mock Pre-Employment Tests

You can practice for a pre-employment test by taking a mock test in a similar environment, and with similar time time constraints, as your actual test.

5. Check System Requirements

Most pre-hire assessments are taken online. Confirm the computer processing requirements and preferred web browser. Check whether you need to download any software, and whether the test requires a microphone or webcam.

6. Stay Calm

The night before your test, take time to relax, and go to bed on time. On test day, take a few deep breaths before your test starts.

Stress can harm your performance. Taking these steps to intentionally relax can make a huge difference in your performance outcome.

If you’re taking a multiple choice test, and you have adequate time, you can focus on the questions you know first and then move back to the questions you don’t know later.

7. Be Aware of Job Context in Your Answers

Consider why an employer is asking you certain questions, and give serious and meaningful answers that address their concerns.

If you’re applying for a sales job, your answers should demonstrate your sales skills, including your communication style and closing ability.

8. Read Questions Carefully

Read each questions fully before attempting to answer it. Small words (like “not” or always”) can completely change the meaning of a question, and the question’s answer.

A common mistake is to rush through a pre-employment test, assuming the test is easy, only to find that you’ve made silly errors. In many cases, there’s no bonus for finishing early, so take your time.

9. Be Your True Self

Be yourself while interacting with the recruiting staff. Of course, show the professional side of yourself. But don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Showing your personality will demonstrate confidence and genuineness. These quality both help to establish trust with the people evaluating you.


These were some of the top 9 tips for passing a pre-employment assessment test. A pre-employment assessment is gradually becoming a norm in the recruitment process. It goes without saying how important it is for someone to crack these assessment tests.

We hope this blog was able to help you learn all about pre-employment assessments, and you found these tips informative and that they’ll work well for you.

Remember that Pre-employment tests are a way to benchmark applicants. It pays to be stress-free and confident while sitting for them. Believe in yourself and believe that you’ll get the job if you have the necessary skills and abilities.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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