Types of Test for Employee Selection

Various kinds of tests are used for selecting employees. The types of test or a combination of tests that is ultimately used will depend on a number of factors, including the budgetary constraints of the organization, the complexity and difficulty of the job, the size and quality of applicant population and of course the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristic required by the job (Ivancevich, 2001:224).

(1) Achievement or Proficiency or Knowledge Test: This test is undertaken to measure the depth of job relevant knowledge possessed by the candidates. It is taken as written or oral test. It verifies the claim made by the candidates about their acquired knowledge or achievement or proficiency in any particular area of discipline.

(2) Aptitude or Potentiality Test: This test is undertaken to assess the candidate’s ability to learn new skills which includes short term memory test, spatial perception test, discrimination test, and motor ability test.

(3) Mental Ability or Intelligence Test: This test will assess person’s abilities with words, numbers, logical reasoning and spatial relationships. Generally it is known as intelligence quotient (IQ).

(4) Personality Test: This test is undertaken to construct a profile of a person’s attitudes, behaviour and habits. It gives candidate’s level of introversion, stability and motivation.

(5) Interest/Knack Test: This test is undertaken to discover a person’s likenesses and dislikenesses and gives an interest profile of the candidate that enable the recruiter/management to place him in best-fit position. This also ensures success of the candidate in his/her new job

(6) Physical Ability Test: This test is undertaken to assess the static strength, dynamic strength, body coordination, stamina, reaction time and other body traits.

(7) Substance Abuse Test: This test is undertaken to measure the presence of illegal or performance affecting drugs into the candidates. It is usually done by urinalysis. In recent years, more and more organizations have required applicants to be tested for substance abuse (French 1997:233).

(8) Work samples: This is undertaken to measure the practical work performance ability of the candidate in a real world situation. Work samples are miniature replicas or simulations of actual on-the-job behaviour such as shorthand, work processing (Milkovich and Boudreau, 1997:271). This improves selection and also provides a realistic preview of the job and saved training cost to a large extend.

(9) Polygraph Test: The polygraph or lie detector is an instrument used to record bodily changes that take place when an applicant is subjected to pressure. Stressful questions such as ‘Do you take drug?’ and ‘Have you ever stolen anything?’ are interposed with neutral questions. The test is undertaken to measure truthfulness of a person regarding his/her given information. It is also known as honesty test. It helps to identify habitual liar. But it is now severely restricted in many countries by the law and by the verdict of the court.

(10) Honesty Test: Honesty test is a written test to evaluate a candidate’s honesty and integrity. It is undertaken after curtailment of polygraph test. Honesty test is designed to ask applicants about their attitudes towards theft and dishonesty or about admissions of theft or illegal behavior. A study shows that professionally developed honesty tests are valid predictors of dishonest and counterproductive behavior in the workplace (Murphy and Luther, 1997:17).

Organization may select the test method or methods on the fair analysis of the job requirements, company policy and financial capacity. Whatever the selection method is or methods are; it is a wonderful mechanism to identify the right traits of the candidates that fulfills the job specification.

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