Interview Assessment Questions: Purpose, Types And Examples

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 March 2023

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Assessment questions are a part of the interviewing process and many employers use them to find the most suitable candidates for their available positions. These questions typically focus on the candidate's personality, observational abilities and industry knowledge. By understanding how employers use different interview assessments to gain critical information about job candidates, you can know what questions to expect during screening sessions and you can prepare well for them. In this article, we explain the purpose of interview assessment questions, review the different types of assessment questions and provide examples of these questions for your reference.

What Is The Purpose Of Interview Assessment Questions?

The purpose of interview assessment questions is to understand your personality and gauge if you are likely to be a good fit for the company. The employer may assign their human resources staff and a qualified psychologist to conduct the interview. They may go over some of the information you provided in your resume, such as your educational qualifications, employment history and long-term career goals.

Related: What Is The Purpose Of An Interview? How To Prepare For It

Some hiring managers may ask you to explain why you made certain decisions and might ask you to take several tests to learn about your motivations, interests, competency and expertise. Generally, the interview assessments serve as pre-interview screenings and are common in many larger organisations.

Related: A Complete Guide To Career Test Types (With Examples)

Types Of Interview Assessments

There are three main types of interview assessments that you are likely to encounter in the interviewing process:

Aptitude tests

Employers use aptitude tests to choose between candidates with similar types of educational qualifications and work experiences. The tests evaluate the relevant skills of the candidates, their abilities to develop new competencies and their potential to grow in the available job position. The purpose is to assess if they are the right person to complete the required work.

There are many different types of aptitude tests, and most employers get them from popular assessment companies. The most common ones generally test for verbal, logical reasoning and numerical skills. Depending on the job requirements, candidates may also take technical tests to prove their technical aptitude.

Personality tests

Personality tests help employers determine if the tested candidates have the right character traits to fit in with the company's work culture, get along with their colleagues and thrive in the available role. Generally, employers decide beforehand what kind of personalities they want to hire and then use the personality tests to screen the candidates. That can save them a lot of time and money in the hiring process. The tests, which they source from assessment companies, might check if the candidates are responsible, decisive, detail-oriented, consistent, positive or possess any other traits that the employer requires.

The tests generally consist of multiple questions to collect insights into each candidate's personal characteristics. For example, candidates may get questions asking them to describe or evaluate themselves. Some questions may ask candidates how they would react in specific scenarios to help employers better understand their problem-solving, logic and critical thinking skills.

Related: Types Of Skills Assessment Tests (With Tips For Preparing)

Cognitive ability tests

Employers may distribute cognitive ability tests to determine the candidate's innate and learnable mental abilities. Amongst other things, they may test the candidate's memory, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, sensory perception, spatial ability, problem-solving ability and learning ability. With these assessment tests, the employer can find out if the applicant can handle work-related problems or pick up new required skills.

Related: Aptitude Test For Career: Definition, Types And Top 12 Tests

Examples Of Interview Assessment Questions

Here are some of the questions that you are likely to get during an interview assessment:

1. True-or-false

True-or-false questions can be useful in all three types of interview assessment tests. The interviewer may ask you to read a definitive statement and give your opinion about whether it is true or false. The statements are generally quite simple. For example:

  • I prefer to work by myself.

  • I know how to create a financial plan.

  • Two multiplied by six is 12.

2. Agree-or-disagree

When you get agree-or-disagree types of questions, the interviewer expects you to state if you concur with or believe in the provided statement or whether you do not agree with it. You can also state that you prefer to remain neutral on the topic. Some questions may ask you to rank your answer on the least likely to the most likely scale. You can also assign numbers from one to ten to demonstrate what you agree with or disagree with the most. Examples of agree-or-disagree questions are:

  • I read the instructions first before I operate new equipment.

  • I do not allow myself to be influenced by group pressure.

  • I am willing to listen to other viewpoints.

Related: How To Use Deductive Reasoning

3. Multiple choice

In multiple choice questions, one question may have several optional answers and you can choose the one that seems the most appropriate to you. There may be factual, situational or analysis-based questions to enable the employer to make an objective assessment of your abilities. The questionnaire may require you to click on an option from images, radio buttons, checkboxes, or drop-down menus. Examples of multiple choice questions include selecting answers for:

  • Personal branding means: a logo, consistent use of fonts, an image with personal meaning, or a marketing strategy.

  • Employees prefer: Flexible work hours, work location proximity, congenial work culture, or a high salary.

  • International work experience enables you to: enhance your marketability, learn different skills, get higher-paying work, or emigrate.

3. Matching

With this type, there are two columns in the matching questions test, one column with the question list and another column with the answers in a different order. The candidate matches each question with the right answer. You may have the option of drawing a connecting line between them or by clicking first on the question and then on the answer. For example, a matching questions test to test your cognitive abilities might include a list of words in one column and a differently ordered list of their synonyms or antonyms in the other column.

4. Short answer

Employers may use short answer questions to find out if you have the in-depth knowledge necessary for the job. They may ask definitive or analytical questions to which you can verbally make or write concise responses. Examples of these types of questions include:

  • Why is it necessary to have a marketing strategy?

  • What are the benefits of social media marketing?

  • What is involved in personal branding?

5. Essay

The purpose of essay questions is to allow employers to assess your knowledge, your logical reasoning capabilities, your ability to articulate your viewpoint and your writing skills. You can present your responses in a series of paragraphs. Generally, it is customary to have an introductory paragraph, a body paragraph and a conclusion paragraph. Examples of essay type questions can include:

  • Describe your ideal career.

  • Describe the most important abilities for job success.

  • Describe the process of learning new skills for job advancement.

Related: What Is A Written Interview? (Plus Types, Benefits And Tips)

6. Story-based

Story-based questions test the way you process information. The interviewer might ask how you would react or what decisions you would make in certain scenarios. They may give you a storyline and ask you to fill in the information or details that are missing in the story. Examples of story-based questions include the following:

  • Describe the time when you had to reason with a difficult client. How did you handle unreasonable demands from their end?

  • Describe the time when you had to make an instantaneous decision on a critical project-related issue. What was the outcome?

  • Describe the time when you had to take an unpopular stance at work. How did you handle the situation?

7. Verbal

These questions are common during in-person meetings, phone interviews and video calls. By asking verbal questions during an interview assessment, employers may want to assess your industry knowledge, personality traits, verbal communication skills and logical reasoning abilities. Depending on the question, you can make a concise or in-depth reply. Examples of verbal questions include:

  • Why do you want to work in the informational technology sector?

  • What has been the most challenging thing in your career so far?

  • How would you handle conflict within your team?

8. Computational

Computational questions can involve asking you to solve a specific job-related problem or do numerical calculations for work purposes. The purpose is to assess if you have the aptitude and necessary skills for the job. For example, if the interview is for a civil engineering job, the interviewer might ask you the following:

  • How would you calculate the area of space that is 25 feet long and 16 feet wide?

  • How would you calculate the volume of a space that is 40 feet long, 10 feet wide and 12 feet high?

  • What is the formula that you would use to calculate the number of bricks in one cubic metre?

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