Choose one of the scenarios below where you are asked to conduct a psychological assessment or testing of an individual:

Choose one of the scenarios below where you are asked to conduct a psychological assessment or testing of an individual:

1. a) Job candidate who plans to take the role of a bank manager

2. b) Person being considered as a member of the Federal Bureau

of Investigation

3. c) Child being tested for cognitive and learning delays in a

school setting

4. d) 21 year old being examined for depression and anxiety


For your Signature assignment, should include the following components:

1. a) Identify at least 3 standardized psychological tests (from the list of psychological tests that would be appropriate for the situation you had chosen ()

2. b) Provide 3-4 of semi-structured interview questions you plan to ask to supplement your standardized psychological tests.

3. c) Describe the validity and reliability of the semi-structured interviews questions you plan to ask as part of your

psychological assessment

4. d) Describe the ethical and social concerns of your planned

psychological assessment


Maria has taught University level psychology and mathematics courses for over 20 years. They have a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts in Human Factors Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Flagler College.

Psychological assessments in employee selection are tools used to evaluate the abilities of future employees. Study how these applications work and how these assessments and other tests are interpreted. Updated: 01/20/2022

Assessment Is Necessary

Can you imagine the roads full of drivers who were never assessed in their driving skills? What about pilots that did not have to prove their ability to fly a plane before getting a job? Typing and computer literacy skills testing would be expected when a person is applying for a secretarial position. These skill assessments are logical predictors of a person’s future ability to fill a position. It’s an obvious and logical part of the hiring process.

Now, consider psychological assessments; are they just as objective, obvious, logical, and predictive as skill-based tests? Are they necessary? Are they even helpful in an empirically predictive manner? This lesson reviews the application and interpretation of psychological assessment in employee selection processes.


Psychological assessments can be just as important as skill-based assessments in the hiring process because it can show where candidates are strong and in what ways they have weaknesses.

For example, the social service industry, such as law enforcement, fire services, and/or medical emergency services, uses psychological assessments to determine if an applicant has the mental fortitude to be able to handle the stressors of a job with relative calm and stability.

Another example relates to cognitive psychological testing. If a position requires that a person be able to think logically, it is important to test that person’s ability prior to making a hiring decision. A cognitive ability test takes away the guess work and subjective bias by allowing applicants to be compared on equivalent test results.

Besides personality tests and cognitive ability tests, some employers use integrity assessments as predictors of candidates’ levels of integrity and trustworthiness. Trying to assess a person’s ethical standing in a job selection process is difficult at best. These types of tests might apply to companies that have a strong need for trustworthy employees, like a bank or drug research organization. Typical questions, such as ‘You notice that a customer has left an expensive watch on your desk. What do you do?’ might give a scenario and ask for the applicant to tell how they would react in the situation.

Psychological testing in the selection process can help selection committees by giving them a broader picture of the applicants. They can help companies determine whose character, personality, and value system best fits the company. They can open a window into the applicant’s psyche in a way that a simple interview may not. Other benefits are:

  • They are cost-effective in the sense that they can identify problems before a person is hired.
  • They are reliable in that they are not biased toward any gender or ethnic group.
  • They produce generally valid results.
  • They communicate the important message to the applicant that psychological aspects of the job are important and will be taken seriously.
  • They do not require high costs or skills to administer.


The interpretation of psychological assessments should not be taken lightly. The validity of these tests is high, but their margin of error is also high, meaning that large percentages of results could be misleading. For example, an assessment that reports a margin of error of 0.20 indicates 20% of the population will not fit within the expected predictors of the test. Another issue facing these assessments, such as integrity tests, is taker bias, meaning applicants are aware of the desired responses and answer accordingly. In other words, they are easy to fake. This reduces the predictive strength of the results. Finally, because they are subjective in nature, their predictive benefit is not strong. An applicant’s response on a test may not match their real-world reaction to similar scenarios.