The term assessment refers to the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs. Career assessments are tools that are designed to measure how a variety of potential attributes, such as interests, preferences, values, motivations, aptitudes, and skills, impact a person's potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments. An assessment can consist of aptitude tests, behavioral tests and/or assessment centers and is usually part of a pre employment test.
The pre employment tests are often (but not always) the final stage in the application process. The pre employment tests can take place at the employer’s offices, or at a private assessment center. Pre employment tests are used to measure an applicant’s true capabilities and characteristics. By helping companies identify the candidates that will most likely perform well on the job, these tests can lead to additional business benefits.
Aptitude tests are used by employers to measure your work-related cognitive capacity. Aptitude tests are mainly used to assess the intelligence and knowledge of a person, as part of an assessment. The most commonly used cognitive/psychometric tests include abstract/conceptual reasoning, verbal reasoning, and numerical reasoning.
Behavioral tests are intended to highlight specific personality traits and to predict how candidates are likely to approach problems, interact with others, and respond to the pace of the environment and its rules and procedures. These can come in the form of personality questionnaires, motivation tests, leadership tests and situational judgment tests.
An assessment center is a process where candidates are assessed to determine their suitability for specific types of employment. Various exercises that require job-specific skills and simulations are carried out by assessors or psychologists. You can expect case studies, in-tray exercises, presentations, group tasks/exercises, interviews, role plays and simulation exercises. An assessment center usually lasts a whole day but can last anywhere from half a day up to several days of testing.
Assessment centers are specific in their objectives and are used to ensure that the organization hires the right person for the position. Through these exercises, the assessors are able to rate your competencies with regard to your skills, aptitude level and compatibility with the position and the organization’s culture. Competencies are general descriptions of the behavior and underlying characteristics needed to perform a particular task at the required level successfully.
Typical skills looked for during an assessment:
- Customer focus
- Delivering quality and achieving results
- Learning and development
- Prioritizing and organizing