Erin Suess, Employment Aptitude Test Expert

Erin Suess is a career coach who has helped many individuals in their career development and exploration. She holds a master’s degree in organizational management and counseling and often uses employment aptitude tests to assist in coaching clients.

Erin’s passion is to help guide individuals through a process of self-discovery that will un-lock their full potential and provide an environment for professional and personal development. She works with many people in different stages of their career development and, by working together, they not only set personal and professional goals but achieve them! Erin also offers career and personality testing on her website at
Erin offered her expertise to and answered a few questions for us about the use of employment aptitude tests.
Do you advise both individuals and companies as far as using employment aptitude tests, or just one or the other?
Both individuals and companies utilize the testing Life Coaching Designs offers. I also offer a consultation to review the results of the test to ensure both individuals and companies fully understand their results.
Are there employment aptitude tests that help individuals get to know themselves better and to help them make career path decisions?
Two major assessments that fall under this category and that I offer are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). Although these tests do not measure a person’s performance on selected tasks, it does provide useful information into career path decisions. The MBTI helps with understanding of personality type and can provide insight into the relationship between personality type and career satisfaction. The Strong Interest Inventory is designed for career exploration and can be used with adults, college students and high school students.
What type of employment aptitude tests are there?
There are many types of employment tests that are utilized including various subtests. However, the four most widely used tests are:
  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)
  • General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB)
  • Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)
These tests measure a variety of aptitudes. Some include: arithmetic reasoning, abstract and mechanical reasoning, language usage, verbal reasoning, clerical perception, motor coordination, numerical, spatial relations, manual speed and dexterity and general learning ability. There are also several personality assessments that are used, and one of the most widely used assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Generally, what types of questions are on each type test?
Depending on the type of tests, many aptitude tests include questions that assess your vocabulary including understanding the meaning and use of words. Questions regarding the use of proper grammar and punctuation may also be included. For numerical ability, some tests measure the ability to reason with and use numbers. When measuring spatial relations, questions that assess the ability to think and visualize in three dimensions may also be on the test. Personality tests, such as the MBTI, produce a four letter code from questions that measure how we interact with the world, gather information, make decisions and if we prefer to live in a more structured or spontaneous way.
How do the tests measure or evaluate a person’s employment aptitude?
Overall, these tests do an accurate job measuring a person’s employment aptitude. The scores from these tests are used to explore the world of work. They provide an assessment of interests and aptitudes that can be used to gain a better understanding of your abilities, to predict behavior and used to determine whether or not you would be successful in a specific field or job.
Where does an individual go to take this test and get career advice?
Many of these tests are administered by trained specialists such as career/vocational counselors, psychologists, coaches, human resource representatives, employers, etc., some of which can also give career advice. Many employment aptitude tests can also be taken online, however, keep in mind the quality of the tests. Your best bet is to take these tests with someone who is qualified and able to provide career advice and/or a consultation with the results.
Is there typically a charge for having these tests done and, if so, what is the price range?
There are many types of employment aptitude tests which vary in price. There are various free online assessments available as well as many that require a fee. The price range varies depending on the type of tests you take, the version, the package and where you purchase your tests. I have seen tests costs as little as $10 (shortened versions) ranging to hundreds of dollars (standard or longer versions).
What type of employment aptitude tests do employers use?
Various types of tests exist to help employers find the “right” candidates. Some tests are used to measure a candidate’s performance on specific tasks such as clerical, sales, vocabulary, numerical, honesty, etc. Tests are also used for screening individuals, job training or job placement, personality assessment, and various specific job positions.
Why do employers use them?
Many employers use tests to screen applications, for job fit, aptitude, to reduce employee turnover, assess leadership skills and other employee development proficiencies. They may assess how much a person knows in certain areas such as planning and organizing, analytical thinking, communication, collaboration, interpersonal skills, creativity and strategic thinking.
Leadership tests are designed with questions to evaluate skills such as: time management, planning, leading, staffing, facilitating, motivation, decision making, communicating and discipline.
If an employer wants to obtain a test suitable to its business, where should the employer go?
An employer should contact a reputable and reliable testing company. It is vital to make sure the person administering the tests is qualified and can effectively interpret test scores. Adequate training and knowledge of content being measured are key elements when selecting a company or person to administer a test. It is also important to be sure test developers provide materials or consultations to help users administer, score and interpret the tests.
Can a job applicant prepare for an employer administered employment aptitude test? If so, what steps do you advise a job applicant to take?
The first step in preparing for an aptitude test is to investigate whether a test will be given. When asked to come in for an interview or when submitting an application find out what type of test will be given and how long it will last. Next, investigate some sample aptitude tests to practice. There are books that can help provide examples. A few books that I am familiar with that have been helpful are: “Career Tests” by Louis Janda and “Test Your Own Job Aptitude” by Jim Barrett.
There are also many free online career tests you can also access to help prepare in finding the right job.
Another way to help improve memory, speed, language, spatial reasoning and problem solving is to play games. A great website that can help improve these skills with brain training games is
Is there anything else that individuals or employers should consider about employment aptitude tests?
The most important piece of advice I can give about employment aptitude tests is to keep in mind that they are just ONE tool for assessing an individuals’ career interest and aptitude. There are many other factors that play into career decision making such as: interests, values, skills, experience, personal qualifications and career goals. It is important to use results from any test in combination with a qualified professional. These tests alone will not give you the proper guidance to make career or life decisions and no single test can tell you want you should do or be.
To learn more about employment aptitude tests, read The Employment Aptitude and Assessment Test Guide. To find a test, please visit The Employment Aptitude and Assessment Directory.
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