by Karen Kodzik

Karen Kodzik, Career Management Consultant, Cultivating Careers


You have made it through the final rounds of interviews, you have acquired finalist status, the job offer is almost in your hands but there is just one more thing – pre-employment testing.  The words alone are enough to send a shiver up your spine.


It is not uncommon for employers to use pre-employment testing when hiring for manager, executive or specialist positions. The role of pre-employment testing varies greatly across employers.  Some employers weigh the results heavily in the decision process and others use it as a check and balance to the interviewing process.  In fact not all employers use testing in the hiring decision.


The good news is that if you are asked to undergo testing, know that you are a finalist.  Testing can be very expensive for employers so they wouldn’t ask you to go through the process unless they were seriously interested in you.


Pre-employment testing can range from an hour to a day long.  Sometimes it is all on the computer and sometimes you are interviewed by an organizational psychologist.  It can occur on site at the employers or off site at the testing agency.


The kind of test varies by type of position. There are tests for sales professionals, mid-level manager and leaders.  Each focus on different things as it relates to the job. Typically the test is a combination of aptitude tests, or general intelligence and personality tests.  Sometimes an “in-box” exercise is included which tests your decision making and prioritization skills.


Employers use the results of these tests often to see how well you fit with the role you are being considered for and how well you fit in with the team.


A few tips I offer clients who are undergoing pre-employment testing.


  • Try not to take the test on the same day that you have interviews, it can be too exhausting.


  • Do not try to outsmart the test.  There are factors built in to standardized tests to check for this.


  • Understand how much the test results are weighted in the hiring decision.


So in conclusion, don’t be intimidated by pre-employment testing, view it as just one step closer to that job offer.


Karen Kodzik, a career management consultant and founder of Cultivating Careers, holds a Master’s degree with an emphasis in Career Development and has worked with professionals in transition for over 13 years. She has worked inside of Fortune 500 companies, a global consulting firm, higher education, and a non-profit organization. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries throughout the country.