Recruiting & Interviewing

Using other selection methods

As well as interviewing, there are other ways of selecting the best candidate. Options include:

Tests can be done before or at the time of the interview, but should not be used as the sole method of candidate selection. Keep in mind that such tests could also be unlawful if they discriminate against candidates of a particular race or sex or who have a disability.

You should use such tests only if they are:

  • relevant to the job
  • well designed

When thinking about using any kind of test, you should also weigh up the costs against the benefits of organising them.

Practical tests

These test ability and are usually done for:

  • manual jobs – trade skills
  • secretarial jobs – word processing skills
  • those working in call-centres or in telesales – telephone skills

Psychometric tests

Psychometric tests can be useful when choosing a candidate from a group of people who do not have easily comparable skills or experience. They are more likely to be used when a manager is being sought. Psychometric tests can be used to measure intelligence, personality or aptitude for specific tasks, such as:

  • reasoning/problem solving
  • decision making
  • interpersonal skills
  • confidence

You should bear in mind that these tests:

  • are not always a good indicator of future performance
  • should not be used unless there is a proven need and a suitably qualified person to administer them
  • often require a fee when you use them

See the British Psychological Society’s Code of Good Practice for Psychological Testing (PDF).

Assessment centres

These are generally used by large organisations, particularly when making senior appointments. Individual and group exercises take place, sometimes over a few days, often including an interview, psychometric tests, group discussions and tasks, written exercises and presentations. They can be expensive and time-consuming.


This test takes the form of a multiple-choice biographical questionnaire and is more likely to be used by large organisations. Take care not to breach data protection or discrimination laws. See the guides: prevent discrimination and value diversity and data protection.

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