Careers

What to Do When Potential Employer Asks You to Perform A "Test Job" Before Hiring

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When you pursue employment opportunities, anything you do prior to receiving an offer becomes part of an elaborate assessment of you as a potential candidate. In many cases, you are essentially asked to audition for the role. Through resume reviews, interviews and tests of specific knowledge and skills, employers seek to determine whether you are the person they are seeking. Although most candidates understand the resume, cover letter and interview portions of the assessment process, many are caught off guard when asked to perform a test.

Having to do work before you are hired may seem unfair, but hiring takes time, effort and money, and employers want to make sure they find qualified candidates who will stay with them. Seeing candidates perform the job is a more accurate predictor of success in the role than resumes and interviews. In addition, with the proliferation of online job search platforms, employers now receive hundreds -- even thousands -- of applications for one job posting. Pre-hire tests help employers screen the large number of candidates.

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