So you’ve made it through an interview (or two), and you’ve gotten a job offer. But now you’ve been told that the job requirements mean that you have to undergo a post-job offer physical exam. So, what does that entail?
A post-job offer physical is a form of pre-employment screening designed to give health care providers information about how physically capable you are to take on the demands of a full time job. Many employers use these tests to screen out individuals who may not be the best fit for their company.
Pre-employment exams are typically more comprehensive than an annual physical or check-up, and they aren’t limited to just a basic physical examination. Most employers require a blood test and drug screenings, as well as a few other additional procedures.
Each state has its own individual requirements, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with your state’s policies. Before you go for the exam you want to be prepared so that you know what to expect and how to best prepare for the procedure.
The Difference Between Post-Job Offer and Pre-Employment Physicals
These two exams sound very similar, but the tests performed during each examination are very different. A pre-employment physical exam is actually focused more on mental ability; think of it as a placement test for a job. The tests performed can include evaluation of cognitive abilities, knowledge, language proficiency, and personality, as well as tests of motor skills. These tests, however, are not of a medical nature and cannot record any data that might be used to illegally discriminate from hiring.
By contrast, a post-job offer physical only occurs after a job offer has been extended to a candidate, and includes medical tests, and often a collection of medical history data.
Legality of Post-Job Offer Physicals
The ADA specifically prohibits employers to require a medical exam before extending an offer of employment. Employers can, however, ask potential new hires to take a post-job offer after extending a conditional job offer. All applicants for the position must be required to take the same exam.
Although employers are also prohibited from using an employee’s medical history and physical ability when evaluating them for a position, there are some positions that are extremely physically demanding, and physical limitations could prevent candidates from being able to safely carry out all of the necessary functions of the job.
Initial Preparations For Your Physical Exam
Before your post-job offer physical, you should familiarize yourself with any paperwork that has been provided to you by your potential new employer. Businesses typically give prospective employees an idea of what they expect from new hires when they’re getting ready to start their new job, as well as the pre-employment tests that will be performed when the new hire goes to get his or her physical exam.
On The Day of Your Post-Job Offer Physical Exam
Wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of your appointment for your post-job offer physical. If you are getting any lab work done, check with the facility to find out if you need to avoid food and water for a certain period of time before the appointment.
The paperwork that has been given to you by your new employer should contain a list of documents and other information that you should bring with you. This list is just an example, but you will probably have to bring some or all of these items:
- Documents from your employer
- A valid driver’s license or photo ID
- Glasses or hearing aids that you use regularly
- A list of your current medications
- Medical history information, such as past surgeries
- Immunization and vaccine history
- A list of allergies and other medical conditions
What Happens During Your Post-Job Offer Physical
A post-job offer physical is meant to be a series of screening tests to not only evaluate a potential employee’s overall health status, but to also evaluate their physical ability for the job that he or she is being hired for. Due to this, tests at a post-job offer physical will vary. However, some of the procedures utilized at nearly every post-job offer physical include the following:
- Questions about your overall general health and well-being, as well as lifestyle
- Measurements of your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs
- Hearing and vision tests
- Drug tests and alcohol tests, especially if the position involves operation of heavy machinery or driving vehicles
- Overall physical examination
Different Types of Pre-Employment Tests
Depending on the specifics of the position you’re being evaluated for, your employer might also want other medical exams with your post-job offer physical.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
There are many companies that require a negative drug test from a job candidate in order to qualify for employment. Jobs that always require drug tests are ones involving the operation of heavy machinery, driving commercial vehicles, or state and federal government jobs (including police and firefighters).
Drug testing can be administered by using a candidate’s hair, urine, or blood. The type of collection is typically specified by the employer. The test might be conducted at the same location as your post-job offer physical, or it might be at another location.
Stamina and Physical Ability Test
A pre-employment physical ability test is designed to measure your physical ability to perform the essential functions of the job. The job analysis will identify factors such as the need to lift, push, pull, carry, climb or bend.
The employer may also want to consider if any accommodations are necessary for people with disabilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Physical ability tests will measure several things:
- Muscle strength
- Cardiovascular health
- Mental state while under physical strain
Companies frequently require a psychological test for potential new hires as part of a post-job offer physical since many jobs have mental demands as well as physical stresses. Companies want to be aware of a new employee’s mental health status and their ability to handle stress on the job.
Psychological tests come in a few different forms, and it’s all up to your new employer to decide which ones will be administered. The most common ones are basic personality and aptitude tests that give a picture of you and your work style. Other tests might go further in-depth about mental health aspects such as depression or anxiety. These tests are conducted by psychologists or therapists.
Human Performance Evaluation (HPE)
A variant of the post-job offer physical is a human performance evaluation. While a post-job offer physical is a more comprehensive evaluation of a potential employee’s health, an HPE assesses only the specific responsibilities and movements connected with the job that the applicant is seeking.
The HPE exam can include the testing of one’s ability to push, pull, and pick up certain amounts of weight. The amount of weight is determined by the potential employer. An applicant’s range of motion will be tested through activities such as squatting, bending, or climbing a ladder.
Post-Job Offer Physicals: Don’t Sweat It
Post-job offer physicals are something that a lot of people worry about, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. A post-job offer physical is usually a relatively simple process, but it’s still important to be prepared. That way, you can get all your questions answered and get an accurate idea of what to expect during the process. Your post-job offer physical is just one step towards getting the job you want!
Meridian HealthCare is your partner in occupational health services. We also offer more than just post-job offer physicals. At Meridian HealthCare, we look at the complete health of a workplace. To find out more about the services we offer, contact Meridian HealthCare today!