Clerical Tests

Clerical tests evaluate the skills, aptitudes, and characteristics of applicants for a clerical position.

  • What are clerical tests?

    Clerical tests can be used to assess candidates on their skills, competencies and knowledge in relation to the essential criteria of the advertised role.

    Clerical staff need to have some very specific skills, including a good eye for detail, great communication and teamwork, and great organisation skills.

    For recruiters, spotting the candidates that have these inherent capabilities based on an application form or a CV is not particularly easy - and it is just as difficult basing recruiting decisions on human interactions like interviews.

    The clerical tests ask job-relevant questions that allow candidates to demonstrate that they have what it takes to be successful in a clerical role.

About the Clerical Tests

The clerical tests are multiple choice assessments that are easy to administer to a large number of candidates, making it the perfect way to narrow down a large applicant pool after the initial paper sift.

Taken by the candidate at home and in their own time, the tests are not challenging in terms of content, but it is made more difficult thanks to the tight time limits and the pressure created by the exam conditions.

The job-relevant content of the questions provides a report that the recruiter can use to choose the top performers from the candidate pool to take forward to the next stage of the application process.

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  • Why use pre-employment testing for clerical positions?

    Clerical positions need candidates who have specific skills, including:

    • High level verbal and written communication skills
    • Organisation
    • Multitasking
    • Time management
    • Attention to detail
    • Accuracy in typing

    These skills are not easy to assess, either through CVs and application forms or during interviews - and that is where a pre-employment assessment geared towards these skills can help.

    The clerical test can be sent to many applicants at once, so it is the next logical step in the application process after the initial paper sift of CVs and application forms. Simple for the candidate to complete, the assessment is constructed of a number of questions with multiple choice answers.

    Once the candidate has completed the assessment, the results are compiled into an easy-to-read report that provides quantifiable data without unconscious bias. Every applicant answers the same questions, so they can demonstrate the skills and competencies that are needed and the recruitment team can choose the best candidates for interviews.

    For the recruitment team, the pre-employment screening assessment helps ensure that the shortlisted candidates can be successful in the role - making the cost-per-hire significantly less in terms of time and money spent interviewing.

    The clerical test is suitable for gauging competency for specific tasks like filing, organisation, answering phones and emails, and other office-based tasks, which is useful for office clerks, personal assistants, executive assistants and management positions alike.

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Clerical Tests along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

Which specific tests should you use?

Error checking

One of the most important facets of a clerical role is attention to detail - and the error checking test is a quick and easy assessment based on a candidate’s ability to spot errors in a list of information.

Completed under time pressure and exam conditions, what is a simple task can become much harder for applicants - making it more relevant for a job test.

Numerical reasoning

Numerical reasoning tests are designed to assess a candidate based on their ability to use and manipulate numerical data. Each question is based on a graph or table, and the candidate needs to complete a simple mathematical operation to find the correct answer from the multiple choice options.

This test is about logical reasoning based on numerical data, and it is a timed test.

Verbal reasoning

In a verbal reasoning test, the candidate needs to quickly read, understand and analyse the information provided in a passage of text. This information is usually related to the specific job, but the candidate does not need any specific knowledge to answer the question, which has multiple choice answers.

Time management

The ability to prioritise certain tasks and projects is an important skill in a clerical role, where employees typically need to handle several tasks at once. Those with strong time management skills will know to organise their time effectively to meet deadlines whilst maintaining a high standard of work.

In the time management test, candidate’s will be presented with hypothetical workplace scenarios, from which they must identify the most effective course of action. This assesses their ability to organise time effectively, making it highly useful for clerical positions.

Personality test

A personality test measures a candidate based on their personality traits, what motivates them, and how they react to pressure. The personality test is usually structured as a series of statements that the candidate has to rate based on how they feel the statements describe them at work.

Personality tests are usually untimed, and the results can help recruitment teams decide if the candidate has the right traits to be successful in the role, and the personality to fit into the office culture, too.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


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    Fully accredited

    All our Clerical s tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Clerical s tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


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    Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

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    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Clerical Tests expert

Written by a Clerical Tests expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

Clerical Tests FAQs

What skills are needed for a clerical job?

One of the most important skills for a clerical job is an eye for detail and great organisation. This includes multitasking and time management. Working as part of a team, clerical jobs require competency in effective written and verbal communication, and excellent listening skills.

How do the clerical tests assess key skills?

The clerical tests assess key skills based on job-related questions. By using the right tests, like error checking and personality, the recruiters will have data that points towards the top performers in the assessment - and those that are likely to be successful in the role if they are employed.

What is the cost for Picked's clerical tests?

We believe in simple, transparent pricing. We operate monthly and annual subscriptions so you can pick the perfect plan for you. Don't worry if you're not sure: you can always upgrade or downgrade later, or speak to us to discuss the option of a custom made plan to fit your needs. This is all you ever pay – no set-up or hidden fees.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, sign up (no credit card required) and we'll give you a 7-day trial completely free. You'll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like. You can cancel any time and you won't be charged anything.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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