The Pro & Cons of Aptitude Tests in Interviews

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Many employers rely on aptitude tests with interviews in their hiring process to select the best candidate. Aptitude tests assess IQ, verbal reasoning, logic, mathematical skill and an applicant's personality type.

The outcome of an aptitude test demonstrates how an applicant performs in different tasks and reacts to different situations. It identifies strengths and weaknesses and the appropriateness for the position of interest. While an aptitude test with an interview is designed to select the right candidate, it has benefits and concerns.

Advantages to the Interviewer

With an aptitude test and the interview itself, the interviewer does not need to use any other method to screen applicants, saving valuable time. The tests are difficult to cheat on and, therefore, interviewers consider them reliable. If there is more than one open position for the same job, the test can be cost-effectively reused. An aptitude test in an interview accurately helps an interviewer determine the right applicant for the job.

Disadvantages to the Company

There are disadvantages to aptitude tests as part of the interview process for the company. If a company is structuring interviews for various positions, it can be costly to provide aptitude tests because the tests are designed for each job. The test is based on a person's experience and, therefore, cannot be used for applicants who do not have work experience. While the tests are generally accurate, the interviewer is aware that candidates can react to the stress of the test, which could affect its reliability.

Less Pressure for the Applicant

An applicant could feel less pressure with an aptitude test if he is made aware of it in advance to give him a chance to prepare. Tests are available online for the applicant to become familiar with the types of questions and methods of answers. The verbal tests allow the applicant to practice reading carefully to find the obvious answer. An aptitude test is not about finishing all of the questions but getting as many right as possible. As a small but important detail, the applicant has the advantage of bringing a calculator that he is familiar with.

Technique Can be Developed

With aptitude tests becoming more common as part of an interview, you have the advantage of practicing to increase your skill. Number and word puzzles help to develop comprehension and mathematical skills. You can develop your exam technique of speed and accuracy by calculating the number of questions and the allotted time for the test to gauge how much time to allocate per question.