Is IQ Test or Common-Sense Test Necessary

IQ test? Common-sense test? Really?

Isn’t your résumé evidence enough of your capabilities? So, why must you almost always give a preemployment test? Are they necessary? Or are they even legal?

All these questions are legit, and they might bother you every time you look for a job. The IQ tests conducted before a hire, are themselves not illegal but it is their application that incites illegality. For example, if there are 2 different job openings for an accountant and a receptionist. You give them both similar tests consisting of complex math-related questions.

An accountant would be – and should be – able to solve them but such skills are not crucial for the receptionist. Hence, unfair, and not suitable for the receptionist.


Find employees potential

The preemployment tests such as IQ test or common-sense test are necessary for jobs as they let the employer get an insight about the capabilities of the hire. They help get a better understanding of employee’s potential and skill level. It is basically performed to make sure their talent level is up to the task they will perform. Whether, they have intelligence for it and will they crack or perform under pressure?

Most people have a vague concept of IQ, but they have little perception about its role in assessment of the new hire. The IQ, or intelligence quotient tests are designed to measure the level of intelligence of any person, regardless of the job or role they are being hired for. They aim towards general skills for any role such as critical thinking, problem solving, and learning ability. However, they are not essentially targeted towards the main skill for the job.


Cognitive aptitude tests

Most employers are now abandoning the requirement of IQ test. But this does not come as good news for those looking to apply. The IQ tests have been replaced by the cognitive aptitude tests. Unlike the IQ or common-sense test, these are designed by specifically keeping the work environment skills in mind. In addition to measuring the criteria involved in standard IQ test, these also measure employee’s ability of attention to detail and communication competency.

The cognitive aptitude tests have proven better than several hiring criteria in successfully predicting potential job performance of the employee. They give an idea of how quickly they will learn the job they will be trained for, and how good they will perform in it. Since the training period is the time that costs the company, they want employees that will quickly adapt and be ready to perform – and that too at a decent level.


Are personal questions reasonable?

The preemployment tests are a valuable input when hiring but there are times when they are not required or are misused. For example, they can be skipped when hiring a well-known person that has a reputation for the job. They will plainly refuse to be a part of your company if they discover they have to pass a test for it. Firstly, they might feel offended. And secondly, they would stay in their current job because it is safer, and they feel respected there.

Another scenario in which it is better to skip these tests are when the questions start becoming personal. An employee has the right to keep their personal life private. Asking such questions are unnecessary for the jobs since they are based on skills and not on emotions. However, some personal questions are reasonable to get an awareness of employee’s psychic evaluation. To make sure they have enough mental capacity to deal with the stress of the job.


The IQ or common-sense test are a decent and sensible requirement when hiring for a job. They help get an understanding of employee’s talent level and their capabilities for tasks at hand. However, these tests must be carefully planned and should be specific to the job requirements. They should be kept business related and the personal questions should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.



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