Acing Pre-Employment Tests and Assignments During the Hiring Process

If you find yourself searching for a job for the first time in more than a few years, don’t be surprised if part of the hiring process involves completing a pre-employment test or assignment. According to the Talent Board’s 2019 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, 82% of employers use an “assessment/testing system” during the hiring process to confirm that applicants have the skills and knowledge to be a good fit for the job. Two of the largest job posting sites, and , offer employers the option of including relevant skills tests directly with the job posting.  LinkedIn also added a feature for members to take skills tests and include the results on their LinkedIn profile or resume. 

Skills Tests can cover multiple different topics related to the job. One of the common areas employers test on is Microsoft Office skills, especially Excel. If the test is on Microsoft Office skills, prepare for the test using the Microsoft training site or Google the type of assessment you will be taking, such as “free practice test materials for HTML.” There are numerous practice materials available, but they vary in quality, so you may want to explore a few different sites. 

Assignments are used by employers to gauge competence and creativity related to the job. For example, a candidate for a higher education teaching position may be asked to create and deliver a short teaching presentation on either a specific topic or a topic of the candidate’s choice. An Instructional Design candidate may be asked to evaluate a selection of learning materials. 

One Walden alumna shared that when asked to create a PowerPoint on the spot during an interview, she initially panicked, then she put herself back in her student mode and thought, I have created PowerPoints for my classes; I can do this. She got the job!

Be prepared for your next opportunity by learning, practicing, and demonstrating new skills to employers. This proactive approach will help you build confidence and stay ahead of your competition.

For further career information and guidance, visit the Career Services website.

Written by Denise Pranke, Walden Senior Career Advisor