In a tight labor market, finding the right talent can be daunting. Traditional screening methods like resumes, interviews, and pre-hire tests often fall short in providing a complete picture of a candidate’s suitability for the role.

This is where simulations step in. Well-designed job simulations offer a holistic approach, delivering powerful insights into a candidate’s overall match with an open position, measuring key areas like cognitive ability, personality traits, and job skills.

A key advantage of simulations is that they measure these areas all in the context of the job. Simulations recreate the real-world tasks, issues, and interactions that employees face on the job every day. Whether it’s a customer service representative, retail banker, or manager, simulations effectively gauge a candidate’s potential for success in the target job.

Here’s why simulations are considered the gold standard in pre-employment assessments:

Measuring Cognitive Ability

Cognitive ability encompasses a range of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and learning agility. Traditional cognitive assessments often struggle to provide job-relevant insights into a candidate’s cognitive abilities because they consist of abstract tasks. They may not accurately reflect how a candidate’s cognitive skills will translate into job performance, unless they are used for highly complex jobs like a pilot, chemist, or lawyer. Simulations, on the other hand, create scenarios that mirror challenges faced on the job, requiring candidates to think on their feet and quickly generate effective solutions. These experiences not only assess a candidate’s ability to navigate complex situations but also provide a practical demonstration of their cognitive skills in the context of a specific role.

Uncovering Personality Traits

Personality traits play a pivotal role in determining an individual’s fit within a company’s culture and team dynamics. While personality tests and emotional intelligence indexes provide insight into certain aspects of personality, they are susceptible to biases and tend to be less valid in predicting performance than other tools like job simulations (U.S. Office of Personnel Management). By assessing personality traits through simulations, employers gain insights that are grounded in the candidate’s job-relevant behavior. This deeper understanding enhances the accuracy of predicting how well a candidate would perform and fit within the company culture. When assessments align with job requirements, they enhance the effectiveness of the selection process, promote fairness, and connect hiring decisions with organizational goals.

Evaluating Job Skills

Different jobs require specific technical skills and competencies. Traditional assessments often rely on self-reported skills or certifications, which may not always reflect a candidate’s true proficiency on the job. Simulations directly evaluate a candidate’s job skills by immersing them in real-life situations that require them to apply those skills in a workplace setting. For instance, a customer service rep might be tasked with entering data quickly and accurately while responding to a frustrated customer. Only a simulation can effectively measure this complex interplay between customer focus and technical expertise. With job simulations, you can readily identify the candidates with the necessary job skills to excel from day one.

The ultimate goal of any pre-employment assessment is to predict a candidate’s potential for success in the role. Simulations excel in predicting job success because they are highly job relevant and provide a direct measure of performance. Simulations not only predict job success but also offer a preview of how candidates might perform, collaborate, and problem-solve within the dynamics of the actual workplace. By assessing cognitive ability, personality traits, and job skills – all in the context of the job – you have the strongest legal foundation and the lowest risk of making a hiring mistake.


Discover greater talent in less time. For a holistic approach to talent assessment, click here to see how simulations can enhance your HR process.