How to Include Skills Tests In Your Interview Process

skills_testYou already know that a structured interview process gives recruiters the necessary evdience to make candidate decisions quickly and confidently. Having a well-defined process and list of key attributes on a candidate scorecard helps ensure that interview questions are built to asses the competencies needed to succeed in a role. Although behavioral interivew questions is one effective method of candidate evaluation, the best way to test a candidate's competencies is to actually test them!

A recent Google study found that a work sample test is the best predictor of performance. As a result, many businesses are increasingly leveraging skills testing to “audition” candidates during the interview process.

A skills test can be done through assignments or activities in which candidates work on a problem similar to what they will face in the role and come up with a solution. In the case of a sales position, companies can have them research a related topic and present a solution that the company actually sells.

Hiring a developer? Have them complete a coding exercise.  Need a customer service rep? Do a video interview and see how they respond to simulated calls.

Greenhouse helps companies leverage any of these approaches by supporting take home tests within the app! The Take Home Test stage in Greenhouse allows you to build an assignment into your Interview Plan and efficiently manage the associated tasks.  You can also leverage third party testing tools such as coding tests, behavioral/personality assessments or video interviewing through our integrations!



When adding the Take Home Test stage to an Interview Plan, you can create an email template that includes the instructions for the candidate to complete the assignment.  When candidates are moved into this phase, you can easily send them the test with a click of a button. The candidates also receive a link to a page where they directly upload their completed tests.  

Once a candidate submits the test, assigned graders will receive an email notification to review the assignment. As the purpose of the take home test is to gauge each candidate's strengths in certain essential competencies, you should leverage the candidate scorecard to indicate which attributes the designated grader needs to provide ratings for. In addition, the recruiter and hiring manager should clearly define the success criteria for the exam and what the interviewer should look for as they evaluate submissions. You can also filter candidates by test scores in order to quickly view who met your scoring requirements and advance/reject candidates as necessary.


Taking the time to evaluate your candidates with real examples of the work they will perform is a critical step to ensure you hire the best talent. These tests are a key predictor if a candidate will be able to handle the challenges of the role and drive success for the company. You can never be too thorough.

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