Which specific tests should you use?
At the core of retail work, the following tests are useful in measuring the quality of your hires:
- Numerical reasoning test
- Personality test
- Verbal reasoning test
- Interpersonal skills test
Numerical reasoning test
A numerical reasoning test assesses a potential employee's ability to deal with numbers quickly and accurately, which is particularly useful in a retail store when working at a cash register or till. The tests are typically short, timed assessments in a multiple-choice format, lasting between 10 to 45 minutes.
The challenge isn't necessarily the difficulty of the mathematics involved, but the ability to cope under time pressure, since candidates have approximately one minute per question. This can help replicate serving customers at a till in a busy store; for example where a queue has formed.
A personality test is a good indicator of aptitude and performance – for example how well you can build rapport, how likeable you are and how well you will fit in a team.
The traits you are tested on relate to qualities you might expect for team-oriented and customer-facing roles such as a cashier, a retail salesperson or a sales manager. You might expect a candidate to have strengths in the following, which a personality test will identify:
Verbal reasoning test
A verbal reasoning test examines your ability to comprehend written information, identifying whether it's a fact, if the text passage infers it and if you can draw logical conclusions.
Verbal reasoning skills are useful in retail, for example, if you are working on a shop floor and a customer asks you a question about a product. You might need to read information about the product to understand its meaning and come to a conclusion about it.
Or another example might be when a senior manager or a senior leader is given a report to read and summarise for the rest of the team.
Interpersonal skills test
Good interpersonal skills are essential for nearly all retail positions as the retail business involves regularly interreacting with other people like customers and fellow employees. Strong interpersonal skills are necessary to ensure customers have a positive experience in the store, and employees are able to effectively cooperate with each other.
The interpersonal skills test is a measure of a candidate’s social intelligence, and the core competencies required to effectively interact with customers or employees.
Other aptitude tests (senior leadership roles)
Other aptitude tests you might consider in retail for more senior roles include diagrammatic reasoning, logical reasoning and abstract reasoning.