Communication Skills Test

Almost every type of role in every type of industry requires strong skills in communication, whether that is the ability to follow verbal instructions or to craft in-depth technical reports. Testing a candidate on their communication skills helps recruiters make the right hiring decisions.

  • What is a communication skills test?

    A communication skills test is an assessment that focuses on the soft skill of communication. Not just the ability to read, write, and speak, but also using active listening and responding to non-verbal cues.

    The communication skills test looks at every aspect of communication, assessing each candidate to see how proficient they are in this important aptitude. Combining questions that look at understanding and analysing with a gauge of empathy and a grasp of etiquette, the communication skills test should be an important part of the recruitment process for a number of roles.

About the Communication Skills Test

The communication skills test assesses how well a candidate can convey an idea, share a point of view, make a convincing case, and other tasks that require employees to correspond with others or exchange information.

To do well on the test, candidates also need to show a tendency to actively listen and accurately interpret non-verbal cues, which is an essential part of verbal communication, necessary for almost every type of job role.

Communication is as much about listening and responding to others as it is speaking, and forms the essential basis of communication.

Candidates should have a strong understanding of empathy and professional etiquette in communication, necessary for the workplace and especially for working with others in a leadership position.

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  • Why should you use a communication skills test for recruitment?

    Soft skills are not easy to assess by reading a CV or even in an interview. This is why using a communication skills test as part of the recruitment process can save both money and time.

    For popular job postings where dozens or even hundreds of candidates apply, weeding out those who are unsuitable can be a long and laborious process, especially when on the face of it they are all similarly qualified.

    A CV sift might help, narrowing down the candidates based on specific criteria like education and experience, but when it comes to important soft skills, a mention on the resume does not mean they have the right level of communication skills for the role you are advertising.

    The communication skills test is simple to administer to a large number of candidates, and the easy-to-read results provide quantifiable data that you as a recruiter can use to select the top performers. Each candidate is faced with the same test, the same questions and content, so it levels the playing field and takes away any bias.

    Then, it is a much simpler job to choose the applicants who meet or exceed your standards to put through to the next stage (often an interview), reducing both the time and financial cost per hire.

    The communication skills test can be used for recruiting candidates for roles such as:

Sample Communication Skills Test question

Your line manager has requested a meeting. She explains that she has received some negative feedback about your performance from a colleague. You know the person who made the complaint as you have worked with him in the past. The project he refers to in the feedback was demanding. You worked long hours and did everything you could to ensure you met all requirements. He had very little to do with this project though. You're surprised that he would even know anything about your performance.

How would you respond to your manager?

  • Explain that this person had very little to do with the project and their feedback can probably be disregarded.

  • Point out to your manager that you did try and go the extra mile on this project, and that it's difficult to please everyone.

  • Ask your manager to share the details of this feedback and then reflect on it together, considering how you might use it moving forward.

  • Say that you are shocked to hear that, as you did try hard on this project, but offer to arrange a meeting to discuss it with the person in question.

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Communication Skills Test 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.

How our test assesses communication skills

In Picked's communication test, candidates will need to answer a range of questions in the situational judgement format that are designed to indicate how well a candidate can communicate with different key stakeholders in the business or team. Their final test score can then be compared to the scores of other applicants.

The test presents a scenario for the candidates to review before selecting what they believe to be the most and least effective actions to take in response. The other available options are mostly generic mistakes or misconceptions, which makes the test challenging and helps measure a candidate's ability more accurately.

During the development process, the test was rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. It was created and tested by psychometric experts, and designed to assess communication in a sample of job applicants who have varying professional experience.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each test-taker has a fair chance of demonstrating the true level of their communication skills and feels the test is high quality.

Our communication test is monitored to ensure it is up-to-date and optimised for performance.

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    Fully accredited

    All our Communication Skills tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer Communication Skills tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.

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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 the all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Communication Skills Test expert

Written by a Communication Skills Test 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

FAQs

How can you test for communication skills?

Testing for communication skills can be as simple as asking questions in an interview situation, but with a communication skills test, each candidate is asked the same questions, in the same way, making it quantifiable and removing any unconscious bias from the process.

What is a conversational skills test?

A conversational skills test looks at all the aspects of communication to see how skilled an applicant is. It includes speaking and listening skills, as well as reading and writing, and also assess clarity, understanding, empathy, and active listening.

“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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