What You Need to Know About Criteria Assessments

Taking an assessment can be a little nerve-wracking. We’ve put this page together to help you understand what to expect on a Criteria assessment and how to make sure you perform at your best.

candidate taking test on phone

Who are we?

Criteria is an assessment company that helps organizations find and hire great candidates like you. Our scientifically designed assessments help both organizations and candidates find long-term success at work.

What are pre-employment assessments?

Employers and recruiters use assessments as a reliable way to objectively assess people’s abilities, personality, attitudes, or a combination of these.

They’re designed to provide employers with more information about the people who apply for jobs, so they can get a more complete picture of each candidate they consider.

They also add fairness to the recruitment process by ensuring that every person who applies for a job is considered using the same, objective criteria.

How can I prepare for the assessments?

The best thing you can do before you start your assessments is to make sure you’re feeling well-rested, alert, and ready to give the assessments your best effort.

Visit this page to learn more about how to prepare for the assessments.

You can also take mini practice tests that simulate a variety of question types that you can expect on some of the assessments. 

Take Practice Tests

Why Am I Taking This Test?

If you’ve never been asked to take an assessment in order to apply for a job, you probably have some questions around why. And it’s a good question to ask! With more than 80% of employers using some form of pre-employment assessments, you’re bound to experience one eventually when you’re on the job hunt. There are many different types of pre-employment assessments, evaluating everything from your skills to your personality to your aptitude.

At the end of the day, these assessments exist to make sure that you’re the right fit for the job. Let’s look at the different types of tests, what they measure, and how they ultimately help you land the job.

Personality Tests

There are so many different kinds of jobs – and so many different kinds of people. Personality tests help make sure that your personality is well-suited to the role you’re applying for. A job that is a good match is a strong indicator of both your ability to thrive in the role and the likelihood that you’ll find the role satisfying.

You may believe that a job is just a job and that your day-to-day satisfaction isn’t that important. But finding a job that is a solid fit for your personality has a bunch of benefits. High satisfaction is linked to a lower risk of burn out, higher productivity, and a greater chance that you’ll stick around longer. These things are just as good for you as they are for the company that’s hiring you. 

Remember that there is no such thing as a “wrong personality” – just a personality that isn’t well-suited for a specific role. Criteria’s personality assessments only look at personality traits that are relevant to the workplace. For example, one of the traits measured is extroversion. Let’s say you’re applying to a sales position, where you’ll be calling, meeting with, and presenting to potential clients all day. If you’re an extrovert, this role will be a stronger fit. If you’re more introverted, this role may be draining or uncomfortable to you – even if you have the technical skills to be great at the role. Similarly, an introvert may thrive in an accounting or data analysis role where they spend more time working independently on tasks. An extrovert may find this type of role isolating and unstimulating. Understanding your personality is a key part in assessing your comfort and long-term satisfaction in a role.

Skills Tests

Do you have the skills to back up what you’ve got on your resume? Many companies have been burned before by hiring candidates who inflated their skillsets on their resumes. Skills tests help confirm you’ve got the basic competencies required to succeed on the job. For the most part, these are computer literacy and software knowledge tests. Think typing skills, or knowledge of Excel.

These tests help you prove your abilities for the day-to-day skills required on the job and boost the hiring manager’s confidence in your capabilities. If you have the skills required, these tests will be a breeze!

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Emotional intelligence, or EI, is more than just a buzzword. It’s a powerful ability that can benefit you in a variety of different careers. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions and to use them productively. EI contributes to your ability to work well with others, understand other peoples’ emotions, and influence and inspire your team.

Companies are more likely to administer an emotional intelligence assessment for roles that involve a lot of human interaction. This can include complex customer service roles or leadership positions where you would be responsible for managing and guiding others. Criteria’s emotional intelligence assessment measures EI as an ability through two interactive assessments. There is no need to prepare or “study” for an EI assessment because it is measuring an intrinsic ability.

Aptitude Tests

Cognitive aptitude assessments evaluate your ability to think critically, learn, and solve problems. No matter the job, these are valuable skills to have that reliably predict success in the role. In fact, research has shown that cognitive aptitude is one of the single best predictors of job performance.

While they may seem intimidating at first, these are standardized tests that actually level the playing field when it comes to getting hired. Since the test scores are purely objective and everyone takes the same test, they help reduce bias in the hiring process. And since the science is so strong, performing well on these tests can really help you stand out from other candidates and propel your application to the next stage of the hiring process. In many cases, cognitive aptitude assessments can help you get noticed for a role that you may have been overlooked on based on resume alone.

But unlike skills test (where you either have the skills or don’t), or personality tests (where you just have to answer honestly), cognitive aptitude tests can feel like something you want to prepare for. Cognitive aptitude can also be thought of like a muscle – something we can grow, flex, and hone with training over time. Mental gymnastics - in the form of word games, math problems, and logic puzzles - are a great way to stretch and flex your brain in advance of an aptitude test like the CCAT.