Online Skills Assessment Tests - FAQ

In the current employment market, both recruitment agencies and hiring managers can expect to receive large numbers of applications for a long list of jobs. As a result, they tend to simplify the hiring decision by using skills assessment and personality testing software to evaluate the candidate’s ability to do the job which they have applied for – as well as assessing the candidate’s personality traits and ability to get on with their team. Here’s everything you need to know to evaluate and purchase skill assessments software online.


What tests are most commonly used by employers?


Different employers use a huge variety of different tests. At ISV.Online, the most commonly used proficiency tests include:


What are pre-employment skills tests and assessments used for?


A huge variety of companies use skills testing software to evaluate the skills of potential hires.  Hiring is expensive – both in terms of the initial recruitment fees, but also the impact cost of a bad hire.  Testing that a potential candidate has the skills to do the job and is a good personality fit for the team can increase the odds of a successful placement.


Recruitment agencies use skills tests as a way of validating that the candidates they introduce will be successful.


To learn more, download our white paper on the subject of the cost of a bad hire.

Which types of companies undertake skills assessment tests?


Larger organisations include skills assessments as part of the recruiting and HR processes. At ISV.Online, we provide skills assessment test for hiring and staff reviews to thousands of companies around the World. Our recruiter clients include Manpower, Pertemps, Remploy and Randstad while our corporate clients include Thameslink, Hitachi, Allianz and the NHS.

What types of jobs require skills tests?


There are two types of skills, “hard skills” and “soft skills”. The likely job performance of the successful candidate will be impacted by the strength of his or her skills in both areas.



Hard Skills Tests


A hard skill is one that can be taught and measured. Typing can be taught, and a typing test can measure both typing speed and accuracy. As a result, typing is an example of a hard skill.


Of course, there are many different types of hard skills tests. Some relate to the job that the candidate has applied for. For example, a computer technician will require certain technical skills. A professional driver is likely to face tests associated with driving knowledge.


In a clerical role, for example, a candidate may be assessed based on a host of criteria including typing and data entry skills – which in turn will be broken down into audio typing, copying typing and audio data entry.

Soft Skills Tests


An example of soft skill would be the ability to reason. Most employers wish to ensure that the hiring process leads to a successful hire with a candidate who can both do the job from a technical perspective, but also be productive with his or her teammates. As a result, personality tests often include a career aptitude test, personality type tests and so on, as well as the more basic skills assessments.


In a financial role, for example, a candidate may be assessed with numerical reasoning and prioritisation.

Can a candidate practice a skills test?


Skills assessment tests are designed to provide usable information about the candidate’s ability to do a job. If a job candidate could practice the assessment in advance, this would defeat the object! However, all of our assessments do have at least one practice question for each of the question styles in that test – ensuring familiarity.

Where are skills assessment tests typically taken?


This will vary. Some tests allow candidates to complete the test from home. Examples of this would be multiple-choice tests designed to be used on mobile devices. However, in many cases, the recruiter will schedule the assessment to coincide with your job interview. This allows relatively controlled conditions which clearly allow for a more accurate evaluation of the candidate’s proficiency.

How long will the assessment test usually take?


This will vary. The testing time for a short test such as a data entry test will typically be as little as 5 minutes. A longer test for something such as Numerical Reasoning might take as long as 60 minutes. Generally, the employer or recruitment consultant will ask the potential candidate to sit multiple tests. Generally speaking, you will only have one opportunity to sit any particular test – it is important that all candidates are given the same opportunity and as a result, your first-time score is the one that counts.

What format will proficiency assessments typically take?


Modern skills assessment tools are designed to simulate real-life scenarios. Depending on the nature of the position that a candidate is being considered for, they may be exposed to anything from a multiple-choice selection test right through to tests involving images, audio or video, interactively dragging elements etc. The assessment a candidate might be asked to complete could be on a qwerty keyboard, or on some form of touch screen or tablet device.

How are results scored?


In most skills assessments there isn’t a simple pass mark – different jobs require different skills and different levels of ability. Therefore, most skills assessment tools don’t simply show a pass mark. Instead, they provide detailed assessment overviews with percentile rankings, productivity and quality measurements of the overall assessment discipline. For example, in the context of typing skills test, measures input speed such as WPM score, or KDPH scores. Quality is assessed based on accuracy and the number of corrections. This allows the recruiter or hiring manager to analyse the result and take benchmarked decisions based on the relative need for accuracy versus speed in a particular job role.

How can I purchase the right online skills test for my business?


For an agency or hiring manager selecting a suite of skills testing solutions, there are a number of factors to consider:


 – Can tests be run on all devices (some products are not mobile-friendly)
– Is personal data stored in a fully secure, GDPR compliant manner?
– Does the vendor offer an array of different skills tests – both hard and soft – and do you have the potential to create my own skills tests?
– Can you perform both skills, reasoning and psychometric assessments on the same platform?
– Do the tests run natively without any 3rd party plugin (such as Flash or Java)
– Can you create and customise your own assessments?
– Does the vendor offer outstanding support?


Some skills tests involve listening to audio

Do employers use personality testing?


Absolutely. Most companies put as much effort into ensuring that a candidate is a good ‘fit’ as they do in ensuring that he or she has the appropriate skills. Our clients use an array of psychometric tests to ensure the quality of fit.  The best vendors offer an array of tests and typically offer “per candidate” based pricing – allowing you to assess potential hires against a variety of measures for one, low, all in fee.

How much do skills tests cost?



For full details, please visit our Pricing page.

How can I have a demonstration or buy skills testing software?


Call our team on 0800 051 9410 or email via and we will be happy to arrange a free demonstration of our platform.


"ISV offers us a great capacity to conduct online skills & psychometric assessments" for our #candidates, and offers a great variety of tests in various categories." #recruitment #psychometricassessments #skillstesting


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      Please note that we only provide access and service to recruiters and employers with a valid business email address. If you represent such an organisation and do not have a suitable email address, please contact us via

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      © ISV.Online is a brand of Ikiru People Ltd, a subsidiary of Dillistone Group Plc. All rights reserved. The group is a leading global provider of software and services that enable recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters to better manage their selection process and address the training needs of individuals. Across its brands – which include Voyager Software (recruitment software UK & Australia),  Dillistone FileFinder executive search software, GatedTalent, the global database of the world’s leading executives, Talentis.Global - the next generation of recruitment software and also ISV.Online, provider of online pre-employment skills testing and training tools. Dillistone Group serves thousands of clients worldwide. Ikiru People Ltd: Registration Number 02043300. Registered in England & Wales.