What Is an Employment Skills Test?

Employment skills tests are used to assess the performance level of an applicant. They can measure the knowledge, competency, and aptitude of a candidate in critical areas for success in the job. The Employment Skills Test is usually conducted before the interview to help the interviewer understand the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and therefore, to judge if he or she has what it takes to do the job.

The employment skills test is generally taken either in person or online. Some companies administer the employment skills test as part of their initial screening process, while others use it as a tool for verifying an applicant’s skills and knowledge after a live audition or an interview.

What Types of Employment Skills Tests Are There?

There are many different types of employment skills tests available, but they all fall into one of two categories: job-specific or general.

Job-Specific Tests: 

Job-specific employment skills tests are designed specifically for a particular job opening. These tests assess basic or specialized knowledge associated with a specific job function, such as clerical skills for a receptionist position or computer knowledge for an administrative assistant position. 

These tests are usually to be concise and very specific in their scope. This means that there are no surprises during the testing process, and the applicant knows exactly what to expect before taking the test. For example, if an office manager position requires secretarial skills, then a skill test might include typing, grammar, spelling, and formatting tests to measure how well an applicant performs these functions. 

Job-specific employment skills tests are also often administered as part of an interview process. For instance, to help interviewers gauge if an applicant is qualified for that particular job opening.

General Tests: 

General employment skills tests are more comprehensive than job-specific tests. But less so than occupational exams. In addition, general employment skill tests may be administered by themselves; or as part of a larger test battery that includes other types of employment skills tests (such as personality assessments). 

Moreover, general employment skill tests include personality assessments like:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF)
  • Assessment of one’s ability to sell oneself like Sales Assessment Profiles (SAP)
  • 15 Factor Sales Scale (15 FSS)
  • Aptitude assessments like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

Occupational Exams: 

Occupational exams are for a wide range of jobs within a broad category. Unlike job-specific employment skills tests, occupational exams do not test the knowledge or skills that relate to a specific job opening. 

Rather, they test an applicant’s overall aptitude for a particular career. Occupational exams are to determine if the applicant possesses the necessary knowledge; and skills that are necessary to be successful in his or her career of choice.

How Can I Prepare for Employment Skills Tests?

Like many other employment tools, employment skills tests can be studied for and prepared ahead of time by anyone interested in them. However, it may be more effective to take a course that teaches you how to prepare for employment skills tests. For example, some courses offer instruction on how to study effectively and develop techniques that will help you do well on employment tests. Some courses also include sample practice tests and instructional materials that can help you apply your learning after you complete the course.

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