How To Judge Aptitude with a Job Assessment Test

Job applicant having an interview

Everyone in the area of human resources personnel knows that the hiring process is almost as hard for them as it is for the job applicant. It is quite a challenge to determine which people are in fact suited to the job and would be able to fit in the company’s working environment as well. 

Thank goodness for job assessment tests, which enable you to judge a potential employee’s personality, abilities and aptitude not just on their say-so (via the interview process), but also through a more quantified, paper-based measurement. So how can you judge aptitude with a job assessment test?

  1. Know which test to administer. What the test results would reveal about an employee (or a potential employee) largely depends on the kind of aptitude test you deliver and what it is designed to measure. For instance, you could administer a career aptitude test, a career personality test, an integrity test, a cognitive ability test, and so forth. You have to choose which of the available options would be most compatible to your business’ needs and requirements. Know also which results you are looking for. For example, if your business were about sales and marketing, you would likely need a career personality test more than a cognitive ability test. You would also need to hire candidates whose test results show them to be confident, outgoing and credible.
  2. Know the limitations of the test. Expect that the tests have limitations. For example, if a job applicant is taking an integrity test, know that just because he chooses the correct choices doesn’t mean that he would definitely do the right thing when he is faced with that same situation. That’s why when judging aptitude in this case, you might need to conduct other means of judging the applicant’s integrity in combination with the paper-and-pen integrity test. One option is to conduct a background check on the applicant, or to ask his job references about his previous work performance.
  3. Know the validity of the test. Validity means that the inferences and conclusions derived from the test results are indeed accurate. This means that if an applicant scores high on the test then he is expected to perform well during his actual employment. There are several ways to do a validity test on the job assessment: one is to check the relationship between test scores and the actual performance on the job; another is to assess the relationship between the test questions and the job characteristics desired of an employee. By knowing how valid a test is, you could know if it is enough to judge an employee’s aptitude for the job.
  4. Know how to administer the test. The test should be delivered in a way that adheres to standard procedures; this ensures  that the testing is conducted consistently among different applicants and therefore would avoid bias and partiality.
  5. Know how to assess the score. As mentioned, an applicant who has high assessment scores should mean that he has a high aptitude with regard to job performance. However, this may not provide a very detailed interpretation of the aptitude of the applicant (for example, what if he scored an average score? Or for that matter, what is a high score, a low score, and a medium score?) To address this, score assessment could be done in light of the distribution of scores of a sample group in order to determine the range of scores that would fall within the categories high, average and low (or non-pass). Also, a score need not be interpreted in isolation; it can be assessed in a holistic manner. For example, you should also consider other factors such as the applicant’s education, previous job experience, training, and his previous employer’s recommendations, as you form a picture of the applicant’s aptitude for the job. In other words, a job assessment test should not be your sole basis for judging the person’s aptitude, but should be used in conjunction with other data.


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