Recommended tests for assessing government & public sector skills
First of all, you’ll need to consider the role you’re hiring and the most important skills and traits needed to succeed in that role. Then you can put together the right suite of tests (or select the best singular test) to help you screen candidates.
The following tests could all be really useful when hiring for a government or public sector role:
Verbal reasoning test
Verbal reasoning tests are a good indicator of a candidate’s comprehension skills.
On the test, applicants will be asked to read through a passage of text (potentially on an unfamiliar subject) before being asked multiple choice questions on the content they’ve read.
The idea is to read the text as efficiently as possible, storing key information and ensuring an understanding of what’s presented as a fact and what’s been inferred.
There will be a lot of reading, analyzing and communicating as part of any role in the government and public sector. That’s why the verbal reasoning test is a really useful exam to consider as part of your recruitment process.
Error checking test
Error checking tests look at how well a candidate can spot errors, inconsistencies and problems in large numerical or verbal data sets.
Candidates will be asked to compare data sets that at first glance look identical or very similar. When comparing the two lists, they’ll need to pull out any errors. The test is always timed, as that added pressure gives you a better understanding of how well someone performs under pressure.
This test is particularly useful for roles in the sector where working with data or a high level of accuracy is important.
Decision making test
Decision making tests use relatable workplace scenarios to analyze the type of decision maker each candidate is. Under tight timed conditions (to add to the pressure) candidates will need to read each hypothetical scenario, and select their response from a number of options.
The answers they give will help you form a better picture of how good they are at making quick and sensible decisions, and how their mind works overall.
This test is particularly useful when recruiting for leadership positions such as managers and directors, or people who regularly have to make important decisions on behalf of the organization.
Time management test
Time management is important in many roles. It’s about how well candidates can manage conflicting priorities and meet deadlines. As you might expect from such a test, it’s taken under timed conditions to increase the pressure and give a more accurate portrayal of each candidate's skills.
Multiple choice questions are used to probe candidates on the strategies they’d take to ensure they met deadlines and juggled their list of tasks effectively.
The time management test is a useful pre-screening device for a large proportion of government and public sector roles, where juggling deadlines and projects is all part of the day job.
Logical reasoning test
Logical reasoning tests assess overall problem-solving ability. Candidates will be given non-verbal and non-numerical puzzles to solve. They’ll need to use their innate logic to complete a pattern of shapes or find the rule governing a sequence.
As with most aptitude tests, the logical reasoning test is multiple-choice, and will be timed to increase the pressure put on candidates.
Those who are good at logical reasoning tests tend to be natural problem-solvers, able to keep calm in a crisis and remain practical. These qualities are highly prized in the government and public sector.