Aptitude Tests: What You Need to Know for Job Interviews

Team Glider

Updated on April 24, 2024

Did you know that poor hiring decisions can cost employers 30% of the employee’s annual salary? 

That’s $27,000 for a job that pays $91,000 yearly (the average wage of an app developer in the US). This is why successful companies rely on aptitude tests to find the best technical talent. 

These tests can cut through the hiring guesswork and slash time-to-hire. They’re so effective that 76% of companies with more than 100 workers use them to pre-screen job applicants.

Aside from evaluating skills, an aptitude test also reveals how a candidate tackles problems and whether they’re up to the challenges of a specific role. 

Aptitude assessment is a vital part of a broader evaluation toolkit. They allow senior managers to spot potential leaders and help recruitment teams match candidates to the correct positions within the company. 

What Is an Aptitude Test?

At its core, an aptitude test is a standardized tool that gauges a candidate’s suitability for specific tasks. 

It’s designed to measure an individual’s ability to learn, solve problems, adapt, and think critically—traits essential for any role, especially for technical jobs such as coding. 

Integrating an aptitude test in your selection process makes it easier to shortlist candidates who can do the job, unlike candidates who seem capable on paper but struggle with real-world applications.  

How Should Aptitude Tests Be Administered?

Aptitude assessments need to be administered fairly and in compliance with legal requirements. 

Your HR team needs to strike a balance between ensuring that your tests fulfill their purpose without introducing biases or disadvantaging candidates. Here are some best practices:

Standardize the testing process

Ensure all candidates are on a level playing field by ensuring they receive identical instructions, time limits, and test conditions. 

If you’re conducting the test remotely, clearly spell out the technical requirements and verify that all candidates can access the necessary technology. This ensures everyone starts from the same baseline, regardless of their location.

Ensure inclusivity

Choose tests that don’t favor any particular cultural or linguistic background. Be mindful of language barriers or cultural nuances that could unfairly disadvantage non-native speakers or those from different cultural contexts. 

Your tests must also accommodate candidates with disabilities by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Be sure to provide accessible test formats and assistive technology to give everyone a fair shot.

Go beyond the test scores

Aptitude test results shouldn’t be the sole criterion for hiring decisions. Combine them with interviews and reference checks to comprehensively view each candidate. Remember, aptitude tests may not capture cultural fit and interpersonal skills. 

Are you hiring for a manager role, for example? Aptitude test scores alone might not reveal someone’s leadership skills, so you must use targeted reference questions to probe deeper.

Update as you go along

Keep your aptitude testing process under regular review. Note candidate feedback and hiring outcomes to adapt and improve your methods over time. 

Benefits Of Using Aptitude Tests in Recruitment

Using aptitude tests in your selection process can bring a host of benefits in terms of attracting top talent and building a roster of qualified candidates:

Data-driven hiring

With aptitude tests, you’re not basing your hiring decisions on resumes alone. Instead, you see candidates in action and get an accurate measure of their skills in a work-like scenario. This can help you bring on board individuals who genuinely fit the role.

Boosted efficiency

Aptitude tests can save you both time and money over the long term. They quickly get to the heart of a candidate’s abilities so that you can avoid endless interviews and assessments. 

What’s more, insights from aptitude tests tell you what’s missing—they can reveal skills gaps within your organization and tell you where to focus your training efforts. 

Types Of Aptitude Tests

Recruiters need to understand the spectrum of aptitude tests available and how they spotlight different candidate capabilities. Here are some of the most popular types of aptitude exams:

Diagrammatic reasoning

Do you need to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills without the influence of their verbal or numerical prowess? 

Diagrammatic reasoning tests can help you do this. These tests ask candidates to navigate through sequences of shapes and patterns to deduce the underlying rules and find the correct answer. 

Presented in multiple-choice formats, these tests are practical for evaluating critical thinking in a straightforward and universally accessible way.

Numerical reasoning

Are you hiring for a role that demands top-notch data interpretation skills? 

Then, numerical reasoning tests should be part of your screening strategy. They challenge candidates to analyze and draw insights from data presented in graphs or tables and then make decisions based on that data. 

Timed and formatted as multiple-choice questions, numerical reasoning tests can give recruiters a clearer picture of an applicant’s quantitative aptitude.

Verbal reasoning

Do you need to gauge a candidate’s ability to process and analyze written information? Then, it would help if you had verbal reasoning tests. 

During these assessments, candidates are asked to read passages and determine the accuracy of statements based on those passages

This type of aptitude exam format tests comprehension, critical thinking, and the ability to draw logical conclusions — skills vital for any role requiring strong communication and analytical abilities.

Inductive reasoning

Are you hiring for a position that demands innovative problem-solving and adaptability? 

Inductive reasoning tests are some of the best testing tools for this purpose. They measure how well candidates can identify patterns and solve problems to provide you with insights into their creative thinking and flexibility. 

Situational judgment

This type of aptitude test gives you a peek into how a candidate might handle real-life workplace scenarios.

It presents them with hypothetical situations and asks for their responses to let you gauge their decision-making and problem-solving approach. 

Logical reasoning

Are you filling a position that requires lateral thinking and strategic planning? Logical reasoning tests can be helpful in this regard. They ask candidates to look for underlying patterns and solutions to solve puzzles and problems. 

Abstract reasoning

Do you need someone who learns quickly and can adapt to new ideas? 

Abstract reasoning tests offer a broader lens on someone’s ability to spot patterns and understand complex concepts. 

This type of aptitude test challenges applicants to manipulate shapes or patterns mentally. It measures their ability to think outside the box and tackle problems from different angles. 

Conclusion

Aptitude tests give consistent and objective insights into a candidate’s skill level. AI can further improve standardization. 

AI-driven aptitude tests deliver bias-free assessments. This technology measures candidates based on solid criteria and scoring rubrics to evaluate everyone fairly. AI-powered exams can also efficiently handle multiple intelligence aspects. 

Glider AI’s aptitude tests employ intelligent algorithms and real-world scenarios to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving abilities and proficiency. Schedule a demo to see how it works.

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