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Susan M. Heathfield

Testing Your Job Applicants

By November 28, 2011

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We never heard back from TammyHR in this forum thread from awhile back, but it posed such an interesting question about testing your job applicants that I am resurrecting it.

TammyHR asks a question on the HR Forum about how to prepare for a second interview for an HR manager position. She apparently made it through a first interview that appears to have included an HR exam that asked her about different HR scenarios and how she would handle them. The exam asked her about FMLA scenarios, military leave, COBRA, FLSA, and so forth.

She is aware, because she had the savvy to ask one of the hiring managers, that at her second interview, she will be asked a lot of HR scenario questions. Additionally, she should brush up on employment law prior to the interview, according to the hiring manager. TammyHR asked Forum members to recommend the areas of employment law that they think she will be asked about at the interview.

Now, first of all, I admire TammyHR. She approached the interview situation correctly and asked appropriate questions of her potential employer. What struck me most about her post, though, is the extent to which the organization she seeks to join is testing her HR knowledge.

I am a testing advocate - when the testing is on-target and appropriate, which it appears to be in this case. Decisions about testing should be made in the recruiting planning meeting. I am also an advocate of behavioral interview questions that ask an applicant how they have responded in the past. (As it turned out, TammyHR's second interview was all behavioral questions such as: tell me about a time when...) Here are sample topical interview questions such as how to assess a candidate's ability and past success as a manager.

But TammyHR's story has me thinking about developing job specific testing. How about you? What does your company do to test applicants for your jobs? How widespread is testing?

Image Copyright Stanislav Mikhalev

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