Attention to Details (Text) test

The Attention to Details (Textual) evaluates candidates' ability to thoroughly scan through details while processing bits of information when reading paragraphs  or comparing statements. This test helps you identify candidates who are able to process lots of information while being on the lookout for potential errors.

Cognitive ability
6 min.
Cognitive ability
6 min.
Covered skills
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This test is relevant for
Customer Care
Office Assistant
Attention to Details (Text)
Stéphane Moriou

Expert in Attention to Details (Text)

Stéphane Moriou
Top 100 global thought leader on feedback and assessment

Stéphane Moriou, Ph.D., is a world expert speaker on the art and science of feedback. His conference "The Art of Feedback" is THE world reference on the subject. At the age of less than 30, he was appointed Director of Human Resources for the Le Duff Group. At less than 40, he is one of the presidents of ManpowerGroup. Today, as CEO of MoreHuman Partners, he works as a researcher, speaker and consultant on topics related to cognitive skills, including how to give and receive feedback.

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Attention to Details Test: Assess and Hire the Best Candidates!

Nothing can affect your company’s credibility more than an obvious public error. Unfortunately, customers and clients will remember that one mistake more than everything you’ve ever done correctly, and it leaves a lasting impression.

While mistakes are impossible to avoid entirely, making sure your employees possess a high level of attention to detail can help minimize the errors which cause your company to lose credibility and even customers.

Unfortunately, not all job seekers have a high level of attention to detail, and it can be a difficult trait to assess from resumes and interviews alone. That’s where an attention to details test for hiring, such as the one offered by Maki, can be an enormous asset to your company’s hiring process. Hiring highly detail-oriented people will help minimize the chances of embarrassing and costly mistakes.

How to Use Attention to Detail Tests in the Hiring Process

Adding an attention to details test to your hiring process can be a simple process that provides great value in helping you choose the best people to hire.

What is an Attention to Details Test?

The attention to details test gauges a potential candidate’s ability to work accurately and spot errors. It tests their ability to correctly follow detailed instructions and their aptitude for reading and processing information while spotting inconsistencies in data.

An ideal pre-employment assessment for various positions, this test requires that candidates show that they are detail-oriented, thorough, and accurate in real-world situations.

Which Jobs Require a High Level of Attention to Detail?

There are very few jobs that don’t require some level of attention to detail. Many of the manual labor positions that people wouldn’t immediately think of as being detail-oriented still require that workers pay attention. For example, the person operating the street sweeper needs to pay attention to which streets are finished and which are yet to be done.

Some positions, however, require that employees display a quite high level of attention to detail. These include:

  • Accountant
  • Administrative assistant
  • Copy editor
  • Data entry
  • Electrician
  • Filing clerk
  • Journalist
  • Nurse
  • Project manager
  • Secretary
  • Statistician
  • Tax preparer

For people in these jobs, and other highly detailed positions, the ability to completely and correctly follow detailed instructions is essential. They must also be able to quickly spot errors or inconsistencies in data and easily recognize mistakes, either in their work or others.

An Inherent Skill?

The fact that there are very few available resources for developing or improving upon your attention to detail suggests that it may be an inherent characteristic that a person is either born with or develops during childhood.

If that is the case, it places greater importance on companies to choose people possessing this innate skill rather than trying to develop this trait in their employees after hiring.

How to Assess and Use Attention to Details Test for Hiring

Beyond the presence or lack of errors in a potential employee’s resume, there is little opportunity in the typical hiring process to truly evaluate how detail-oriented they are. 

Ask most candidates whether they are detail-oriented, and they will tell you that they are – very few people would give an honest “no” answer to that question. It’s become a staple item to list in the skills section of a resume, and in truth, most people probably honestly think they are detail-oriented. However, that doesn’t mean they display the most attention to detail among the applicants for a position.

Attention to detail is a highly subjective measurement with nothing of substance to base it upon, so candidates generally aren’t intentionally untruthful when they claim it. They simply haven’t had an opportunity to rank this skill set against others to obtain a true measure of how detail-oriented they are. 

For this reason, it may be better to skip this interview question entirely. Instead, add an attention to details test to your application process to help you choose the best candidates to join your company and give you peace of mind knowing that they truly possess this vital skill.

Using Attention to Details Test for Hiring

Offering an attention to details test to your hiring process is a simple step that can yield tremendous results.

Determine which types of tests are beneficial for each position you are looking to fill, whether proofreading, following instructions, basic math, verifying data, identifying mistakes, or any combination of these and other specific skills.

Then, have each applicant take the attention to details test. You can choose to look at their results alongside their resume and interview, or maybe you prefer to just eliminate candidates that don’t achieve a minimum score on their attention to details test. Either way, the test results provide valuable information for you to use in your hiring process.

Customize Your Assessment with Maki

Maki lets you quickly build a custom assessment to understand your potential employees’ skills. You can determine their culture fit along with soft and hard skills with a library of more than 150 individual tests from which to choose.

Test categories include:

  • Cognitive ability
  • Job-specific
  • Languages
  • Personality
  • Soft Skills

And job families to choose from include:

  • Accounting
  • Admin and facilities
  • Customer Service
  • Data
  • Finance
  • Hospitality
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Project management
  • Sales
  • Supply chain
  • Technology

Within the individual tests are two targeted specifically at attention to detail – Attention to Details (Visuals) and Attention to Details (Textual), which you can add to your customized test set.

Recruiting for Attention to Detail

Standard interviews and background checks do little to demonstrate a potential employee’s attention to detail. Additionally, they are poor overall indicators of success.

Anyone can list “attention to detail” as a skill on their resume, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that they possess sufficient skill for the position you seek to fill.

Cognitive ability testing includes some level of attention to detail, along with potential to learn, grow, and develop on the job. However, an attention to details test for hiring goes a step further and looks for true competence in several areas.

The specific abilities you require in a potential employee may vary depending on the position, but some key areas you can consider testing for include:

Reading Comprehension

From understanding the initial employee policies to comprehending more advanced reading required in some positions, reading comprehension is a basic skill required in most positions. In some specific jobs, it is even more important, however.

A copy editor must understand what they are reading if they are to determine where edits are needed. A tax preparer must comprehend the newest laws and regulations regarding filing taxes to properly prepare tax returns for clients with more complicated assets and income.


Many positions require the ability to problem-solve. Issues arise in every job, and whether they are simple or very complicated, an employee needs to be able to think through possible workable solutions and determine the best path forward, sometimes on a deadline or under pressure.

Spotting Errors

A detail-oriented person can look at their own work or the work of others and quickly spot errors. This ability can be invaluable in preventing mistakes before they reach your customers or clients.

An employee doing data entry is required to enter information correctly but must also be able to recognize any typos or other errors as they go. Letting mistakes slip by may mean the data can’t be properly assessed when needed.

An accountant needs to be able to spot the numerical error when the totals they add up don’t agree with each other.

Numerical Skills

Advanced math skills are likely not required in most positions, especially with modern technology, but the ability to accurately work with numbers demonstrates a potential employee’s capacity for paying attention to detail. Therefore, it can be valuable in determining suitability for a detail-oriented position.

And for those in banking, accounting, tax preparation, and other such fields, a good degree of numerical skill can be required of employees.

Attention to Details Test: Considerations for Recruiters

Beyond just finding detail-oriented candidates for the position you’re seeking to fill, giving potential employees an assessment of their level of attention to detail can actually help reduce bias in the hiring process.

Testing measures an employee’s performance and skills without consideration of their education, experience, history, or any other factor. Even while people actively try to be unbiased, human beings are naturally inclined toward others who are like them. 

A recruiter is likely to subconsciously prefer a candidate who shares an alma mater with them. An interviewer may feel more drawn to a candidate with whom they share a common interest.

These unconscious biases are natural; there is nothing inherently wrong with them. But while these tendencies probably won’t cause a completely unfit candidate to land the job, they may not be conducive to hiring the person best suited for the position.

Assessments help eliminate these unintentional biases from the hiring process by rating candidates solely on their own merits and abilities.

The Importance of Cognitive Testing

Cognitive testing has shown to be a far better predictor of job performance than education, experience, or most other determining factors. 

A Schmidt and Hunter study in 2016 found cognitive ability to be the single most useful tool for predicting actual performance on the job. Furthermore, cognitive ability testing was found to be the highest predictor of future success – five times more accurate than education level and twice as accurate as years of experience.

High-scoring applicants in cognitive tests which measure attention to detail and knowledge have an 84% higher job performance. Cognitive ability testing is part of the recruiting process in more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies.

The Consequences of Lack of Attention to Detail

It’s difficult to measure exactly how much your business can be impacted when employees do not possess the necessary attention to detail.

While pulling the wrong item off the shelf can be no bigger a deal than a momentarily irritated customer, if the wrong item is shipped to the customer, that mistake results in lost shipping costs and very likely a customer who will purchase elsewhere next time.

Misfiling, whether misplacing a physical file or improperly naming an electronic file, can result in hours of lost time in an attempt to locate the file.

A single line of incorrect code can lose you untold customers who try in vain to purchase an item from your website before the problem is located and corrected.

And a missed item on a safety checklist can cost a lot more for everyone involved – time away from work, workman’s compensation claims, and at worst, an employee whose life is altered by a crippling or fatal injury.

A survey on the negative impact of lack of attention to detail at the management level showed just how damaging this can be:

  • 13% decrease in employee morale
  • 16% decrease in quality of customer service
  • 26% decrease in quality of products
  • 28% decrease in productivity

Let Maki’s Attention to Details Test for Hiring Help Your Company

In all likelihood, you don’t know how to accurately evaluate a job candidate’s level of attention to detail. Sure, there are some questions you can ask or tasks you can have them complete that may give you a general idea. 

If you want a score to rank candidates, or weed out those without the necessary level of attention to detail before you get to the interview process, the easiest way to accomplish this is to have candidates take online attention to details test for hiring right when they submit their application for the position.

Maki makes this process simple with pre-built tests for a variety of skills, including two for attention to detail. You get candidates’ results from the tests you choose right along with their resume to have a far better picture of which candidates to reach out to for interviews or job offers.

Streamline your hiring process, spend less time interviewing candidates only to find they don’t possess the necessary attention to detail, and spend less time fixing mistakes made by employees who aren’t detail-oriented enough. Your company will be better off all-around by simply adding the use of an attention to details test to your application process.

The future of hiring. Simple. Efficient. Fair.