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How to Prevent Cheating on Pre-Employment Tests

Can You Prevent Cheating On Pre Employment Tests
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What are Strategies to Prevent Cheating During Testing?

Preventing cheating on pre-employment tests involves several strategies such as setting clear expectations, analyzing evaluation patterns, using multiple test stages, randomizing question orders, utilizing customized assessments, monitoring test sessions, and relying on specialized pre-employment test providers.

As remote working has become more commonplace, companies are embracing online pre-employment testing as a convenient and efficient way to assess job candidates. But with this convenience comes a nagging worry for hiring managers: how can you prevent cheating on pre-employment testing?

Fortunately, with a few steps, you can reduce cheating risks during your recruitment process.

How Applicants Are Cheating on Pre-Employment Tests

When candidates take employment tests on-site, it’s easier to control the testing environment.

However, remote assessments introduce variables that can compromise exam integrity. According to a study by ResumeLab, 70% of applicants lie on their resumes.

If applicants lie on resumes, there is some probability those individuals may also try to cheat on pre-employment tests.

Some ways applicants could cheat when taking online pre-employment assessments include:

Getting Answers From Others: Candidates could work with others to share correct responses. This allows them to falsely inflate their abilities.

Searching Online: Test takers might look up answers on the internet during the assessment, giving them an unfair advantage.

Having Someone Else Take the Test: Someone else could take the test on behalf of the candidate, which could lead to misrepresentation of the candidate’s actual suitability.

Using Unauthorized Resources: Applicants might access textbooks, websites, or other aids when answering questions remotely.

The good news is that, with a multifaceted approach focused on test security, accountability, and prevention, you can minimize the chance someone may cheat on a skills assessment test.

Consequences of Cheating on Assessment Tests

How Applicants Are Cheating On Pre Employment Tests

If applicants cheat on pre-hire exams, it can seriously impact your business, with possible consequences such as these:

Inaccurate Skills Data: Cheating to cover up a skills gap in critical roles can result in hiring candidates who can’t perform their basic work duties.

Lower Morale: Employees may resent the cheating candidate who was hired, received higher pay, or took a slot from more qualified internal prospects.

How To Prevent Cheating On Pre-Employment Tests

Companies can take practical steps to prevent deception on digitally administered pre-employment tests.

Set Clear Expectations

In your test invitation emails, clarify rules against cheating, specifying that applicants must complete evaluations alone without outside help. Emphasize that you monitor for misconduct via analytics, which will promote accountability from them.

Analyze Evaluation Patterns 

Use analytics to review how long applicants take to complete the test overall and per question, comparing against reasonable timeframes. Follow up on unusual behaviors such as skipping or spending too much time on advanced-level questions.

Use Multiple Test Stages

To filter out unqualified prospects, use behavioral assessment tests to screen them remotely. These tests are less conducive to cheating and will help you save time and resources in the long run. After you have identified the top candidates, test for skills during your additional in-person interviews in person to confirm the initial results. 

Randomize Question Order

Vary the order of test questions for each applicant, if possible. By not having a predictable sequence, candidates cannot easily coordinate with others by sharing question numbers.

Use Customized Assessments

Customized assessment tests customize question difficulty based on applicant performance and job requirements. This complicates cheating since candidates have a unique set of questions tailored to the employer’s needs. These questions are less likely to be available somewhere online.

Monitor Test Sessions

During test sessions, some customers use Zoom or Skype to monitor and share their screen with the interviewer. Visual confirmation of testing, whether in person or by video, will continue to be the “gold standard” to ensure the applicant is not cheating. 

Rely On Specialized Providers

Choosing a reliable specialized pre-employment test provider such as EmployTest is also an effective way to prevent remote cheating. EmployTest ensures that your tests are secure, fair, and accurate, which will help you make informed hiring decisions and avoid costly hiring mistakes later on.

Try a free sample test today!