What is a management assessment test?
A management assessment test evaluates a candidate’s suitability for a management-level position.
The test primarily focuses on a candidate’s leadership, organisational, and communication skills, i.e., the key attributes of a successful manager. These skills are assessed through a mix of timed tests, each focusing on a different ability.
The test often includes scenario-based assessments that look at how a candidate behaves in the workplace, their values when managing a team, and their characteristics as a manager.
Using management assessment tests helps an employer identify applicants who demonstrate the management and leadership style required for success in their organisation.
Why do organisations use management assessment tests?
Management assessment tests are used for a variety of reasons.
When used as a pre-screening tool in the recruitment process, the tests allow employers to sift out candidates who don’t demonstrate the qualities required to be a successful manager. This makes for a more efficient process, especially for popular roles that attract a large number of applicants.
The management assessment test also provides employers with an objective way of assessing essential management skills. The tests give employers a greater insight into how a candidate behaves in the workplace, and their characteristics and traits that couldn’t be garnered from an interview alone.
What skills do managers typically need?
Successful managers require many skills and qualities in their role, such as:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
These skills enable managers to effectively lead and motivate their team, be organised in their work, and help plan the work of others.
A manager also needs to use their skills to encourage and develop the people that they lead. They should be aware of the organisation’s goals and help their team develop in their roles to achieve these.
One of the key skills needed by all successful managers is the ability to communicate. Listening to others, influencing, providing feedback, and motivating their team are all critical parts of the role.
Successful managers also need to demonstrate that they can flex their communication style according to the situation and individuals they are working with.
As the role of a manager involves working with a team, using effective communication skills to deal with conflicts within a team is also essential.
Problem-solving and decision-making
Managers are involved in the running of teams and projects. With this comes the responsibility of taking the lead in making decisions that affect the team, or the team’s outputs.
Being able to solve problems and think strategically and objectively when doing so is an integral part of the role. Managers also need to foster a positive working environment for their team, aligning their team’s objectives with the organisation’s goals, budget, or objectives.
Organisational and planning skills
Managerial candidates need to demonstrate strong organisational skills. Planning the team’s workload according to the resources available – and delegating accordingly to meet deadlines – is a vital part of the role.
Managers also need to bear in mind budget considerations, and optimise the strengths of their team when organising workloads to help meet the team’s goals.
Empathy and development of others
An interest in developing their team, as well as individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, enables managers to create a positive working environment where their team can build their careers.
Successful managers also approach conflict situations with empathy, to ensure that they understand the views of their team.
How are these key skills measured?
Aptitude tests allow employers to assess a candidate’s innate abilities in an objective way.
The behaviours, characteristics, and traits of a candidate are measured through self-reported questionnaires, such as a situational judgment test or personality assessment.
Communication skills are measured through a writing test. This test specifically assesses a candidate’s reading and literacy skills, and generally takes the form of a written exercise.
Candidates are asked to either write an email, passage of text, or letter as relevant to the role applied for. Employers can then determine a candidate’s communication style, and whether their writing tone is appropriate for the audience they are writing to.
Grammar and use of language are also assessed in this task.
Logical reasoning test
The logical reasoning test is essentially a test of problem-solving and critical thinking. Candidates are presented with abstract information such as shapes, patterns of sequences.
They need to use their decision-making skills to determine the relationship between these patterns of sequences, and use this information to select which of the shapes or patterns follows.
Making decisions based on non-verbal information is a crucial skill for a manager, and demonstrating this problem-solving ability is a strength that many employers look for.
Situational judgment test
Many of the behaviours required to be a successful manager can be assessed through a situational judgment test.
This assessment takes the form of a questionnaire detailing different scenarios that managers would face when working on the job. Candidates need to select or rank a list of statements, according to which statement best describes how they would react in that situation.
This type of assessment gives a deeper understanding of a candidate’s work and leadership style.
The E-tray exercise helps employers assess a candidate’s organisational and prioritising skills when working on the job.
Several tasks are given as part of this timed assessment. This could include responding to emails, actioning documents, or interactive tasks with the assessor.
The assessment gives employers a good indication of how well candidates can organise and prioritise multiple tasks, as well as how they cope under time pressure when faced with several tasks to complete.
A personality test assesses a candidate’s traits, values and motivations, in relation to the organisation’s culture and the purpose of the role.
The assessment takes the form of a self-reported scenario-based questionnaire. A series of situational questions are detailed, and candidates select the one that best matches their attitude or behaviour from the list of given statements.
This assessment is popular when recruiting for managerial-level roles. It helps predict job performance and whether a candidate has a genuine interest in working with and developing people in their team.