Indiana, PA - Indiana County

BOB LANKARD: Passing the test

by on September 08, 2013 1:50 AM

Experienced job seekers are familiar with a performance test as part of a job interview. A secretary may be given a letter to write. A mechanic may be taken to a car and asked to troubleshoot.

Yet employers and schools are giving other tests that may find the job seeker unprepared:

• Aptitude test

An aptitude test is a measure of the potential to learn certain skills. The job center frequently scheduled aptitude tests as a screening device for manufacturing jobs. These tests measured hand-eye coordination, manual and finger dexterity, or depth perception.

• Honesty or integrity test

Employers are concerned with employees’ honesty and may use an integrity test. On these you may be asked: What would you do if you saw another employee stealing company supplies? You may be asked if you have ever cheated on your taxes.

• Personality or interest test

These may be given by an employer or a prospective school. These are given to determine your suitability for particular job or a course of study. Employers are looking for employees’ characteristics that match with job success. Schools may give these tests to see what careers fit your temperament.

The state job center received many questions regarding checks and tests employers use in the hiring process.

One clear answer is that the job seeker should read the fine print on the employer’s application, just before your signature. This section will list such things as drug tests, credit checks, physicals and background/criminal checks. When you sign and date the application it indicates you are agreeing to those checks.

Drug tests are given to indicate the presence of illegal drugs. Job seekers should be aware that medications and foods could produce a positive reading even though you have taken no illegal drugs.

If you test positive and you are sure you did not take illegal drugs, ask to take the test again.

Credit checks may be legal or not. The key term is job-relatedness. A credit check done on an applicant for a teller position is legal, but a credit check for someone applying to be a cleaner at the same bank would be questionable.

Physical exams have a before and after issue. Prior to an offer of employment physicals are illegal.

After the job has been offered, you may be asked to take a physical to see if you can perform the functions of the job.



Bob Lankard, a retired employment specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's Indiana Job Center, is a job-search columnist for the Indiana Gazette. Read his columns on Sundays.
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