Companies employ different kinds of tests to screen whether a job candidate is fit for the job. You may dread these exams and find them intimidating, but you should actually be thankful because they can keep you from getting into dangerous and even life-threatening situations on the job. Here are four common tests that employees typically undergo before getting hired.
Some professions require a higher level of physical competency than others, and so they employ physical examinations. Physical tests may include health screenings designed to detect any health issues you may have through blood or urine samples. Employers may also include physical excursions to evaluate whether the candidate is fit enough to fulfill his duties, like cardio exercises and obstacle courses. This type of screening is common in fields that require employees to be physically fit and alert at all times, such as in law enforcement, emergency response, fitness, and the military. For instance, because lifeguards are expected to rescue people in the water under unpredictable situations, employers may require them to swim 500 meters and run a mile within a time limit of 18 minutes to demonstrate their physical aptitude.
Substances like drugs and alcohol are known to affect a person’s cognitive abilities, memory, energy, and focus. For this reason, companies enforce drug tests to ensure their employees are fit to work. Drug tests have been a standard part of workplace operations since the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan required government employees to undergo this type of screening. Before long, private companies followed suit, and since then, drug testing has remained widely practiced in both federal and corporate workplaces. The most common drug test is the urinalysis, but depending on their drug policies and the nature of their operations, some companies may employ more comprehensive screenings. For cocaine drug tests, they may require hair samples or blood work in addition to urine. This may be the case for companies running safety-sensitive operations or are located in high-risk environments, like construction, transportation, and manufacturing.
In addition to requiring job candidates to submit portfolios of their previous work, companies may administer tests to evaluate firsthand your technical skills. The type of test will depend on the nature of the job and position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job as a scuba-diving instructor, you may need to demonstrate your ability to communicate using scuba sign language. For those in the medical field, you need to check a person’s ECG and comprehend its results. Similarly, if you are applying for a copywriter position at an ad agency, you may be required to write sample marketing copy as an exam within a limited time. If you are applying for an entry-level position, companies may be more lenient in this type of exam and help you improve your lack of experience by letting you undergo technical workshops and trainings after getting hired. On the other hand, if you want to get accepted into an executive position, you should prepare to ace the technical test to prove that you really know the nitty-gritty of the job.
Unlike the other types of screenings, there are no right or wrong answers to personality tests. Companies may use it to see how a candidate’s traits can help or hinder their future job. One of the most popular tests of this type is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or simply MBTI. This type of evaluation categorizes test-takers into sixteen possible personalities based on questions designed to gauge whether they are extroverted or introverted, whether they prefer to use logic or feelings when making decisions, and if they prefer to plan their activities in advance or dive right in spontaneously. These preferences can be very useful for matching job candidates with particular professions and positions. For example, people who are logical may be more suited to a job analyzing numbers than building rapport with clients. Similarly, extraverts may thrive in work environments that rely on teams than in solitary work.