Pre-employment assessment tools help find the right candidate by evaluating domain skills, personality traits, and aptitude. Most of the pre-employment screening tools include some type of aptitude and personality test as part of the candidate evaluation process. Evaluating the candidate’s aptitude helps in gauging the candidate’s ability to solve problems, logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, verbal comprehension, and visual and spatial cognition.

What are Aptitude Assessment Tests?

Aptitude tests are gaining popularity as employers try to differentiate between candidates with similar skills, educational levels, and work experience. What are aptitude tests? An aptitude test is any kind of assessment that measures a candidate’s potential/competency. These tests evaluate the logical and critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, visual and verbal comprehension, and visual and spatial cognition of candidates.

Various evaluations included in aptitude tests are numerical aptitude, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, cognitive aptitude, verbal aptitude, diagrammatic reasoning, and spatial reasoning. The test delivery method depends on the employer. Some employers use on-site testing, while others use remote testing methods. The most common structure of aptitude tests is multiple choice questions that are divided into 3 or 4 categories that the employer would like to examine.

Importance of Measuring Aptitude for Job Roles

Aptitude tests in pre-employment skills tests are accurate and unbiased ways of predicting the candidate’s potential contributions and the likelihood of their success within the organization. The core mental abilities of the candidate are evaluated through aptitude tests. In addition to being skilled candidates also need to be a good fit into the work culture, and aptitude tests provide accurate evaluation of this aspect. The content of the aptitude test can be customized based on the role for which the hiring is going on. For example, for roles that require strong number-based reasoning the aptitude tests should include more numerical aptitude assessments.

Here is why aptitude assessment is important in hiring:

  • Aptitude tests ensure that candidates with suitable mental aptitude are selected
  • Aptitude tests are efficient and data-backed evaluation methods, especially in bulk hiring drives. These tests are structured and focused on relevant aptitudes, which helps shortlist only those with basic abilities to match a specific job requirement. Only those candidates with the right aptitude are pushed to the next stages of recruitment.
  • Helps save costs for organizations by avoiding bad hires and biases during the hiring process.
  • Aptitude tests provide an accurate measure of the mental ability of the candidate. When these assessments are used along with other pre-employment skill assessments, a holistic understanding of the candidate’s job fitment is achieved.

Types of Aptitude Assessments

Aptitude assessments aim at gauging every professional skill and competency of the candidate. Employers choose the type of aptitude assessment based on the role and business requirements. Here are some of the common types of aptitude assessments used in pre-employment skill tests:

1. Cognitive aptitude test:

cognitive aptitude assessment is similar to an IQ test. This test evaluates the verbal, numerical, spatial, and abstract reasoning skills of candidates. Candidates that score high in cognitive ability assessment are all-rounders capable of tackling workplace issues efficiently, are open to learning new skills, and have critical reasoning skills.

2. Numerical aptitude test:

the numerical or mathematical ability of the candidate is evaluated by these tests. Hiring for Finance, banking, sales, or trade roles requires a high score in numerical aptitude tests.

3. Verbal aptitude test:

good communication skills are a must for any job. Verbal aptitude tests are a part of most multi-subject aptitude skill tests. A high score on this test indicates good functional knowledge of language, grammar, and spelling conventions.

4. Abstract reasoning test:

the candidate’s ability to analyze information, and logical rules, discover patterns and use them to solve workplace problems.

5. Spatial ability test:

the mental ability to visualize 2D and 3D objects is important to work in engineering, aviation, architecture, and arts fields. The spatial ability test evaluates the visualization capacity of candidates.

The Pros and Cons of Using Aptitude Tests

The best pre-employment screening software includes aptitude assessments in the candidate evaluation process. A single job requirement may receive several applications from suitable candidates who could reasonably perform the duties of the job. The hiring team needs to sift through all these profiles to find the right fit. Pre-employment skill tests that include aptitude tests are effective in screening thousands of candidates to filter those that fail to meet the standard required and relevant for the job.

The pros of pre-employment skills testing are:
  • Facilitates objective comparison of candidate skills and competencies.
  • Saves time and money by ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate’s skills and competency and cutting out the need for additional evaluations.
  • Conducts an unbiased and fair evaluation of competencies, irrespective of the candidate’s education, work experience, and credentials.
  • Provides predictive insights on a candidate’s future work pattern. The critical thinking skills and decision-making ability of candidates can be evaluated by aptitude assessments.
The cons of pre-employment testing are:
  • Aptitude tests tend to induce test anxiety in candidates taking up the test. The type of questions in aptitude tests is different from job-related tests, which may cause stress and anxiety in candidates.
  • Aptitude tests may fail to cover all aspects of the behavioral traits of candidates.
  • Personalization of aptitude tests is not possible, which may result in an incomplete or incorrect evaluation of a candidate’s mental ability.

The pros of aptitude tests outweigh the cons, which makes them the ideal choice for holistic candidate evaluation. Competency may be defined as the combination of knowledge, skills, personal attributes, and aptitude of the person. Aptitude tests are the best way to measure the competence of a candidate.


Aptitude assessment tests have been used in pre-employment screening across different sectors and industries for a long time. Pre-employment assessment tools that include aptitude tests are effective in measuring core competencies, technical competencies, leadership competencies, and meta-competencies of candidates. SkillRobo is an online pre-employment skill testing software that helps evaluate candidate aptitude across roles and industries. The fully-customizable skill library enables the hiring team to screen candidates across roles in various industries quickly and effectively.

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