Types of Employment Tests
Hundreds of tests are available to help employers in making decisions. In the section on Information to Consider When Creating or Purchasing a Test there is a discussion of what one needs to consider in choosing what test to use. In this section, general types of tests are described and their general pros and cons related. Tests discussed in this section are ones for which some general evidence of validity has been provided. A test is valid if the inferences made based on the test score are accurate (e.g., if we are correct in concluding that how well the individual does on the test tells us how well he/she will perform on the job). Some tests, such as graphology and polygraphs, have little evidence of validity for employment decision-making purposes and thus are not discussed here. All of the tests discussed here have been demonstrated to relate to one or more critical employment outcomes.
Before deciding that a particular type of test is what you want, however, you should first establish a) does testing make sense (see section on Employment Testing Overview) and b) what it is you want to assess (see section on Establishing an Effective Employee Testing Program). The determination of what it is you want to measure with the test should precede the determination of how you are going to measure it.
1. Assessment Centers
Assessment centers can be designed to measure many different types of job related skills and abilities, but are often used to assess interpersonal skills, communication skills, planning and organizing, and analytical skills. The assessment center typically consists of exercises that reflect job content and types of problems faced on the job. For example, individuals might be evaluated on their ability to make a sales presentation or on their behavior in a simulated meeting. In addition to these simulation exercises, assessment centers often include other kinds of tests such as...