How to Judge a Candidate’s Cognitive Skills Accurately in the Hiring Process

Can you really judge a person’s cognitive skills by talking to them casually? Many employers find that they overestimate a new hire’s cognitive skills at an interview. It’s easy enough for people to exaggerate how good they are at something. They might put in more years of experience than they actually have on their resume. And if they speak in a confident way during the interview, they come across as knowing more than they actually know.

It’s Easy to Misjudge Someone’s Skills

In her book, Quiet, Susan Cain talks about how people tend to follow extroverts rather than introverts, because they talk in a more confident way. An introvert might actually know more about the topic and might have better ideas than the extrovert. But they don’t always get that much credit.

As an employer, you obviously want to find the best person for the jobs, whether they’re extroverted or introverted. You can’t let someone’s outward confidence take you in. You have to understand their cognitive skills accurately.

How to Evaluate a Person’s Skills Accurately

For example, if you’re looking for someone in the accounting department, you’ll need to evaluate their numbers skills. If you’re looking for someone in sales, you’ll have to evaluate their communication skills—both verbal and written.

Sometimes, you might even opt to go with someone who naturally has these skills, even if they don’t have a degree. And testing a candidate who is applying for a job can help you to determine if this is the case. Just asking them random questions isn’t going to accomplish much.

The Importance of Cognitive Skills in a Job

Most people would agree that cognitive skills are the most important skills one has to evaluate in a candidate applying for a job. If a person’s cognitive skills are high, they’ll definitely perform better at that job, even if they don’t have that much experience or a higher education degree.

Most of the time, of course, you may find that higher education degrees, greater work experience and high cognitive skills go hand in hand. Still, it can be quite helpful to have the candidate undergo a cognitive skills test that will help you to accurately determine how well they are likely to do at your workplace.

Contact us for more information about testing the cognitive skills of your potential employees.

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