How to Prepare for an Employment Assessment Test

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Preparing for a pre-employment assessment test involves knowing the requirements of the position, having a sense of the corporate culture and studying the background of the company. That gives you the best chance to display your qualifications for the position.

Why Companies Test

Each time a company hires a new employee, it’s a big investment. In addition to costs associated with recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training, it can take a new employee time to come up to speed and be productive. If it turns out the new staffer isn’t a good match, the process has to be repeated. Pre-employment assessment testing can help improve the odds for success by identifying key personality characteristics, measuring job knowledge and assessing whether a prospect has the talents and skills necessary to the job.


Assessment testing may be done electronically, in person or via a written questionnaire.

Know the Company and the Job

Regardless of the position you’re applying for, it’s vital to educate yourself about the company culture. Search news topics about the company online, read through materials on the company website and get familiar with staff bios. Learn about key clients, the company’s products and services, charitable programs and the state of the industry. If you don’t already have it, ask for a job description that details what you’ll be responsible for if you get the position. All of this will help you answer assessment questions with in-depth knowledge.


Don’t be shy about asking for background information about the company before your interview or employment testing.

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Recognize Common Test Ploys

While employment assessment tests aren’t necessarily meant to be misleading, they may pose questions in a roundabout way to assess your true personality and work ethic. For example, a test isn’t likely to ask you outright if you plan to show up for work on time, but it may seek the same information using related questions. For example, “What do you consider a legitimate excuse for tardiness to work?” or, “Would previous colleagues and employers say you were reliable all of the time, most of the time or infrequently?” Consider each question fully to get a sense for what the hiring manager is really looking for.

Role Play

If your assessment will be conducted in front of a panel or hiring manager, ask a trusted friend or family member to conduct a mock session with you in advance. Record yourself to assess body language, eye contact and clarity of speech and presentation. You’ll be judged on your personality and charisma, your ability to engage and the way you interact with interviewers. Being calm and collected can help you put your best foot forward.

Be Honest

Ultimately, you can’t “fool” an assessment test, especially if it’s designed for a specific position like sales or customer service. Tests are worded in such a way that evaluators can identify if a candidate is giving answers they think the company wants to hear. For best results, be smart but honest in how you respond. If you get a job through trickery, it probably won’t be a good for you or the company in the long run.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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