What an interview doesn't tell you: Common cognitive aspects often missed during face-to-face interviews

In the fast-paced and highly competitive realm of recruitment, interviews serve as a fundamental component of the hiring process. Yet, despite their importance, interviews frequently overlook the evaluation of a candidate’s cognitive abilities, which are essential for excelling in various positions.

This is where cognitive skills assessment steps in to bridge the gap. By offering a holistic and in-depth evaluation of a candidate’s cognitive capabilities, cognitive skills assessments present a valuable solution. In the following sections, we will delve into the significance of cognitive skills assessments, shedding light on the cognitive aspects that are often overlooked during interviews. Additionally, we will explore how integrating these assessment can significantly enhance the overall hiring process, empowering organisations to make more informed decisions when selecting the best-fit candidates.


Several cognitive aspects may be missed and during interviews, hindering a comprehensive evaluation of candidates. Below, we delve into the cognitive aspects that are frequently overlooked and can be effectively assessed through cognitive skills assessment.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is vital for numerous positions. While candidates may claim to possess this skill, it is challenging to assess its accuracy without objective measures. Cognitive skills assessments provide objective measures of attention to detail, such as error detection in written texts or following complex instructions. Accurate assessments ensures candidates possess the necessary precision for the role.

Problem solving ability: Interviews provide limited opportunities to assess how a candidate approach problem solving. Cognitive skills assessments, on the other hand, measure an individual’s mental capabilities, including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and abstract reasoning. These tests assess a candidate’s ability to analyse information, solve problems, and think critically. They provide valuable insights into a candidate’s overall cognitive aptitude, which is crucial for roles requiring complex problem-solving.

Analytical skills: Evaluating analytical skills solely through interviews can be inadequate. Cognitive skills assessment offers objective measures of analytical ability, such as data analysis and pattern recognition. This assessment reveals candidates who can employ a data-driven approach to problem-solving, benefiting organisations in data-intensive industries.

Multitasking abilities: Multitasking proficiency is highly valued in dynamic work environments. However, assessing multitasking skills during interviews can be limited. Cognitive skills assessment offers objective measures of multitasking ability, including task-switching speed and effective task prioritisation. Identifying candidates with strong multitasking skills ensures they can handle the demands of a fast-paced setting.

cognitive skills missed in interviews


Cognitive skills assessment provides a standardised and systematic approach to evaluating candidates’ cognitive capabilities. Unlike subjective evaluations that heavily rely on interviews and resumes, this assessment method offers a scientific and data-driven approach. It allows hiring managers to measure and compare candidates’ cognitive skills objectively, providing a deeper understanding of their problem-solving aptitude, attention to detail, critical thinking, and other cognitive abilities crucial for success in specific roles.

The objective nature of cognitive skills assessment provides hiring managers with concrete data that can be utilised to make informed decisions. By considering candidates’ cognitive strengths and weaknesses, organisations can align them with positions that best suit their abilities, resulting in improved job performance and job satisfaction. This data-driven approach also reduces the risk of a poor hire, as organisations can select candidates who possess the cognitive skills and competencies required for the specific job demands.


Personality tests are powerful tools for predicting job performance, as they shed light on the traits that align with success in specific roles. One such trait that consistently correlates with job performance is conscientiousness. Individuals high in conscientiousness exhibit qualities such as responsibility, dependability, and meticulous attention to detail, all of which are essential for excelling in roles that require precision and accuracy, such as accounting or project management.

Cognitive skills assessment plays a pivotal role in this pursuit by not only aiding in candidate selection but also providing a wealth of valuable data for analysis. By delving into the assessment results, hiring managers can gain deeper insights into the patterns and trends among candidates, unlocking opportunities to enhance the overall recruitment process.

Analysing the data gathered from cognitive skills assessment opens a window of understanding, revealing valuable information about the candidate pool. It allows organisations to identify common strengths and areas for improvement, helping them fine-tune job descriptions to attract the most suitable candidates. By recognising the trends in cognitive abilities and preferences among applicants, recruitment strategies can be adjusted to align with the desired skill sets and traits. This data-driven approach leads to a more targeted and effective recruitment process, maximising the chances of finding the ideal candidates who possess the cognitive skills required for success in specific roles.

By acknowledging the cognitive aspects that are frequently overlooked in face-to-face interviews, organisations can leverage cognitive skills assessment to gain a more holistic understanding of a candidate’s abilities. This comprehensive evaluation enables businesses to make more informed hiring decisions, leading to the selection of candidates who are not only technically qualified but also possess the necessary cognitive skills to excel in their roles.

benefits of data driven recruitment


If you want to talk to one of our experts about utilising cognitive assessments in your recruitment process, get in touch with our team here, or call 03 9040 1700 to learn more.


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