4 August 2019

This is how pre-employment assessments make your job interviews finally useful again.

This is what you’ve learning after reading this blog;

  • The current role and impact of job interviews;
  • An introduction to pre-employment assessments;
  • The impact of pre-employment assessments on your job interviews.


The current role and impact of job interviews

51% of all human costs during an application process goes to the 1st interview.


The job interview stage is, in my opinion, the most important stage during a hiring process. Why? Well, simply because an algorithm can tell you a lot (believe me, really a lot), but it won’t tell you everything – and I also don’t want an algorithm to tell me everything. I believe that the role of the algorithm should be creating the right first impression, where the interview stage is the moment to validate this first impression an dive deeper into someone’s interests, potential, etc.

For me the interview stage isn’t about collecting information; it’s about validating information and learning how to evaluate candidates even better. And the reason why I can focus on validating instead of collecting is simply because we’ve structured our company’s hiring process differently, which allows is to also structure our interviews differently. In this blog I’d love to tell you how and why.


The current situation

99% of all companies has the same hiring structure: Resume screening – phone call – 1st interview (- assessment -) – 2nd interview – offer.

The consequence of holding on to this traditional structure is that the 1st interview is all about collecting information, where the evaluation of the interview with your colleagues is all about processing this information. The main cause is this structure is the amount and type of information you can find on a resume.

After all, how much does a resume tell you anyway? Yes, you will learn something about job fit, but it doesn’t tell you anything about a candidate’s potential, learning curve and team fit.

So the goal of your 1st interview is collecting all information you need to be able to assess a candidate’s job fit and team fit. This also leads to the fact that evaluating an interview isn’t about evaluating how the process can be improved, because you simply need this evaluation time to structure, link and interpret all information collected in that precious hour.

This leads to the following key metrics:

  • Quality of collected information: Medium, because you want to collect so much information that you can’t really dive into some specific pieces of information;
  • Conversion 1th – 2nd interview: Low, because you haven’t learned enough about a candidate prior to the interview to prevent yourself from being negatively surprised;
  • Overall level of impact: Medium.


An introduction to pre-employment assessments

Pre-employment assessments (or pre-hire assessments) are tests/tools you can use to assess and compare different candidates. The focus of these assessments can range from personality and cultural fit to cognitive skills and intelligence. All with one goal: Getting to know your candidates.

Three reasons to start working with pre-employment assessments

  1. Efficiency. When working with pre-employment assessments you can more easily categorize your candidates, ranging from disqualified up to highly promising. This prevents you from spending your time on the wrong candidates.
  2. Objectivity. Working with pre-employment assessments allows you to collect a broad set of data per candidate to objectively base your hiring decisions on. After all, gut feeling shouldn’t be your only driver, right?
  3. Quality. And least but not least, pre-employment assessments help you raising the quality of your hires by easily helping you find the very best candidate in terms of job fit and/or team fit.

Checklist for pre-employment assessments

When willing to start implementing pre-employment assessments there are two decisions to make.

Check 1. Type of assessments

The first question you should ask yourself is: ”What’s important to me?” Is it skills? Intelligence? Or is cultural fit your main focus?

Equalture’s pre-employment assessments are focused on cognitive skills, personality and intelligence. However, it could also be a requirement for your jobs that someone has the right language skills or a high ability when it comes to situational judgements. Therefore it’s important to first decide which categories you value.

Example: For our team we believe in the importance of cognitive skills and personality traits, because these two categories can easily predict a candidate’s future job fit and team fit. Therefore we’re using assessments focused on soft skills and personality traits, while testing for IQ isn’t something we value for our roles.

Check 2. Where in the process

Now that you know the categories you value it’s time to decide where in the process you want to have this information.

Even today it’s still very common to introduce assessments between the 1st and 2nd interview. Since assessments are often experienced as quite expensive companies don’t want to spend their money on assessing a candidate while you don’t even know whether (s)he was worth this money.

A disadvantage of this order is that the impact of your 1st interview is significantly lower. When introducing an assessment after a 1st interview you’ve turned the role of a 1st interview into collecting information where the role of the assessment is validating the information and collecting again what you’ve collected during the interview. This makes the 1st interview actually superfluous while you’re investing quite some time and money in it. Quite a shame, isn’t it? You try to save money by being selective with your assessments while this actually causes a lost of money during the interview stage.

Our pre-selection technology introduces the assessments already during the very first application. We do this by facilitating a new application flow for candidates where we not only ask you for previous experience, but moreover introduce short, fun games to assess personality and skills.


Now all you need to do is choosing a pre-employment assessment software and you’re ready to rumble.


The impact of pre-employment assessments on your job interviews

I hope that everything I’ve told you up till now made you realize the important of introducing assessments prior to a 1st interview. Now this is how conducting a pre-employment assessment prior to the 1st interview impacts the performance of your interview:

Since you’ve already collected a lot of information prior to the interview you can now focus on diving into this information. This results into the fact that evaluating an interview is now longer about interpreting all the information (because that’s what you did during the interview now), but about how to improve the process of interpreting this information.

Besides, the quality of your information raises significantly since you now have more time to dive deeper into specific pieces of information to create a deeper understanding. And last but not least: there won’t be that much surprises during the 1st interview, which leads to an increased conversion between the 1st and 2nd interview.

So that’s it – it’s just all about knowing when to know what. The magic isn’t in letting robots conduct an interview or letting algorithms filter out humans in the process. It’s just about finding the right order of the process.

Cheers, Charlotte