Recruitment tests - an introduction

An introduction to some of the recruitment tests you may come across when applying for a job.

A row of people standing side by side with a lady holding a sign saying 'Hire me' Throughout the recruitment process there are a number of ways you can be tested by a prospective employer. Such tests allow the employer to identify and recognise your potential and help you to identify and develop your specific skills to match job requirements. Here is a quick introduction to some of the tests you may come across.

Ability and aptitude tests

Ability and aptitude tests measure specific skill sets and the resultant score gives an indication of existing ability or potential to learn skills required for the job. They evaluate a particular ability such as numerical, verbal, diagrammatic etc. Often the tests are multiple-choice and administered under exam conditions. Practicing tests will help to increase your familiarity with them and can be found on the Internet. These tests get more difficult towards the end, so it is important not to rush them, to think carefully and to go back to those you cannot answer.

Psychometric and personality tests

Psychometric and personality tests assess individual preferences in behaviour, attitude and values by your responses to questions or statements.

These tests are un-timed and have multiple answers with each of the questions relating to different aspects of your personality, such as team-working ability, leadership preferences. The tests must be answered honestly as they are trying to fit you into a job role and if you try to guess what the employer wants, you may find yourself in a job that does not suit you.

For any of these tests the key is to remain positive. Whether or not you are offered the job isn’t solely based on these tests - they are only used as one part of the recruitment process.

However, they should be treated and approached like any other assessment you encounter: prepare thoroughly, follow the instructions carefully and read the question.

Finally, always ask for feedback as this can give you an opportunity to develop your weak areas for the future.


With thanks to TipTopJobs