What Are Job Placement Tests?

Definition & Examples of Job Placement Tests

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Job placement tests help determine what careers are best for people based on their personality, skills, interests, and other factors. They offer potentially actionable information that will help you as a job applicant.

Find out how they work, the types available, and whether or not you might need one.

What Are Job Placement Tests?

You can think of job placement exams as matchmakers for the world of work. Generally, they gather enough information from you to determine whether or not you're a good match for specific careers or positions.

Alternate names: Career placement tests, job placement exams, career aptitude tests

How Job Placement Tests Work

You may take a job placement test yourself online, it may be administered to you on paper, or someone may ask you the questions out loud and record your responses.

Tests vary in length, type of questions, and specificity of results. They also vary in cost. A number of websites offer free job placement tests, but often charge money if the test-taker wants to receive an in-depth analysis of their test results.

Career centers and counselors offer placement tests, and a number of job search books include such tests, as well. Be sure to select a placement test from a credible source in order to receive the most reliable results.

Types of Job Placement Tests

There are several types of placement tests, all of which approach the goal of determining the best career for the test taker differently.

Some placement tests are personality-driven, such as the Meyers-Briggs, which evaluates your personality type to predict which careers will (and will not) be a good fit for you. Other tests aim to match up the soft skills and hard skills required by a given career with your own skills and interests.

There are also talent assessment and aptitude tests, which seek to measure your skills. And depending on the job, a placement test can include elements that measure your job knowledge, cognitive ability, physical ability, emotional intelligence, and even your integrity.

Do I Need a Job Placement Test?

Job placement tests are useful for people who are just starting out in the workforce and unsure of their interests, or for people looking for a career change. If you've ever felt uncertain about what type of job is right for you, or felt directionless in your job search, you may find it helpful to take one.

Job placement tests can also be a useful way to open you up to new career possibilities. For example, you may be very skilled at comparing things and spotting errors. A placement test could help you discover this and find our that you're the perfect match for a job in quality assurance, where finding mistakes and places where a product doesn't match up to specs is vital.

Considerations for Job Placement Tests

It's important to keep in mind that placement exams usually just point you in a certain direction, and they're only one way to help you discover the career that is right for you. Ultimately, experience—either through job shadowing, an internship, or an informational interview—will tell you whether or not a specific career is a good fit.

For example, you may be talented in a certain area, but you may find that you don't necessarily enjoy it and wouldn't want to do it for several hours a day. Or, you may enjoy something as a hobby or occasional task but realize that you don't want to participate in it as a career.

On the other hand, it's possible to be very interested in a career but lack the skills and background knowledge, experience, or education to get the job.

Placement tests are only as accurate as the information you provide. Be as honest as possible to get the best results.

A placement test is not a magical solution for uncertainty over career choice. But, taking one can potentially open up possibilities that you may not have already considered and engage you in considering your own skills, talents, and interests which is important for a successful job search.

Key Takeaways

  • Job placement tests help match people with possible careers by gathering data about a variety of factors.
  • They're ideal for people who are just starting out of the workforce or looking to change careers.
  • Many types of job placement tests exist—both paid and free—and they measure a variety of traits, interests, skills, and more.
  • Matching with a job on a placement test doesn't guarantee that the fit will be right for you.