PHR Certification Practice Test 1

Practice Questions

1. After several months of meetings, the owners of Pearson Fishing Service, an oilfield service company, have agreed on an idea affecting employee health benefits. They believe their concept should be submitted to become a congressional bill. Janice, who is their human resources professional, has participated extensively in the meetings, so the company owners ask her to advise them on the necessary steps to submit the idea. Which is the first step that must be taken for an idea to be presented as a bill to Congress?

a. Submit the idea to the House of Representatives for review
b. Submit the idea to a senator or representative from the congressional district
c. Present the idea to a congressional committee for discussion
d. Acquire signatures from a statewide petition in order to demonstrate the importance of the idea
e. Present the idea to a congressional hearing to see if it passes review

2. Philippa the head of the marketing department of Caledonia Coffee Company is planning to post a position that will allow current employees of the company to apply before that position opens to the public. Because the posting will be internal (arranged in-house), the process will differ from that of a public posting. Philippa contacts the human resources department to find out which type of application would be best for an internal position. The best type of application for this situation would be which of the following?

a. Short-form application
b. Weighted employment application
c. Long-form application
d. Job-specific application
e. No application is needed – interested employees should submit resumes instead

3. The head of the administrative department for a major university has asked Raisa, a human resources professional at the school, for a team-building exercise that will benefit the administrative department. The administrative department is composed of employees who work closely together daily but often run into conflicts that indicate a clash of personalities. The department head hopes to find a team-building exercise that will improve the relationships among staff members in the department. Which of the following should Raisa recommend to the department head?

a. A team obstacle course
b. Role-playing situations
c. Team scavenger hunts
d. The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator
e. Real-life scenario re-creation

4. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was added to ERISA to do which of the following?

a. Establish new guidelines for employee health insurance programs within organizations
b. Ensure that all employers are responsible for covering minimum health conditions among employees
c. Link ERISA to COBRA to protect any employees that are covered under COBRA guidelines
d. Forbid any discrimination based on pre-existing health problems or conditions
e. Ensure that retired employees maintain healthcare coverage

5. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 applies to which of the following types of organizations?

a. Large corporations
b. Federal contractors
c. Government agencies
d. Local businesses governed under municipal laws
e. Academic organizations

6. Which of the following does not represent steps in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)?

a. Identify risks
b. Identify those responsible for risks
c. Identify mitigation options for risks
d. Make decisions about dealing with risks
e. Reduce risks

7. During succession planning, a human resources professional may categorize employees as all of the following except:

a. Employees who are ready for a new position on the company
b. No employee is necessary because the position is now obsolete
c. Employees who show indications that he or she is ready for a promotion
d. Employees who fulfill all of the requirements of the position
e. Employees who are expected to or will be required to leave the position soon

8. Susannah, who is the head of the human resources department, will be responsible for a training session and must decide on the seating style in the space that she will be using. The training will include a large group and will involve a range of activities, including several lectures, film presentations, and a small amount of group work. Which of the following seating styles will be most appropriate for the training that Susannah will be conducting?

a. Theater-style
b. Chevron-style
c. Banquet-style
d. Conference-style
e. U-shaped-style

9. Which of the following pieces of legislation establishes guidelines for retaining and reporting employee identification records?

a. Fair Labor Standards Act
b. Fair Credit Reporting Act
c. Consumer Credit Protection Act
d. Small Business Job Protection Act
e. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

10. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) describes a certain workplace condition as “harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.” Which of the following workplace conditions does this quote define?

a. Panic
b. Depression
c. Disorganization
d. Insecurity
e. Stress

Answers and Explanations

1. B: Question 4 essentially asks the student to choose the first step in the legislative process for a bill to become a law. When an idea for a bill originates from an individual or business outside of Congress, the idea must first be submitted to a member of Congress (known as MOC). This MOC may be either a senator or a representative. The MOC will then sponsor the bill by submitting it to the part of Congress where he or she works, and the bill will begin its journey through legislation. Answer choice A is incorrect because no business or individual has the ability to submit a bill to either part of Congress. That obligation belongs to the MOC. Answer choices C and E are incorrect because they again overstep the boundaries of the MOC. First the MOC must sponsor the bill; then it goes into a congressional committee and/or hearing. Answer choice D is also incorrect because a statewide petition, while valuable for some processes, plays no real part in the legislative process.

2. A: For applications that are completed in-house – that is, for internal applications that current employees complete – a short-form application is usually best. This is because the company will already have most of the employee’s information on file and simply needs a formal application for the new job rather than an extensive application detailing information the company probably has. Answer choice B is incorrect because the weighted employment application, while specific to the job and excellent for considering the details of a candidate’s qualifications, is far too costly to establish in this type of situation. Answer choice C is incorrect because the long-form application is simply unnecessary for internal hiring. Answer choice D is incorrect because the job-specific application (which is used largely for hiring a number of employees for similar positions) will not necessarily be useful for the company looking to hire internally. And answer choice E is incorrect because an application is almost always necessary, even for internal hiring.

3. D: In the workplace, the Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator is primarily used as a personality test to enable individuals to understand their personalities better and to assist staff members in appreciating how to interact with their co-workers more effectively. Due to the nature of the administrative department and its situation – employees who work together quite frequently and run into personality conflicts – the Meyers-Brigg test will be Raisa’s best recommendation. Answer choices A and C are incorrect because research has suggested a lack of long-term value in team-building activities such as obstacle courses and scavenger hunts. Answer choices B and E are also incorrect: while role-playing situations and real-life scenarios might be beneficial to those who work in highly active and often sensitive fields, they will not necessarily be as useful for employees whose jobs is more focused around completing and maintaining paperwork for a university.

4. D: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was added to ERISA for the express purpose of forbidding any type of health benefit discrimination toward employees based on pre-existing health problems or health conditions. Answer choice A is incorrect for several reasons. On the one hand, it is simply too vague to explain the purpose of HIPAA. What is more, answer choice A does not simply establish new guidelines for employee health insurance programs, so it is incorrect. Answer choices B and C are incorrect because both refer to COBRA (answer choice B references COBRA inferentially), and HIPAA is not immediately connected to COBRA or to providing minimum health benefits for employees. Answer choice E is incorrect because it fails to specify the exact purpose of HIPAA and because HIPAA was not added to ERISA simply for the purpose of retired employees maintaining healthcare coverage.

5. B: The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 applies specifically to federal contractors (specifically, the contractors that make at least $100,000). Answer choices A, C, D, and E are incorrect because they inaccurately reflect the types of organizations to which the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 refers. Specifically, answer choice A is incorrect because it is far too vague. A federal contractor might be a large corporation, but not all large corporations are going to be federal contractors. Answer choice C is incorrect because federal contractors might be funded through government agencies but are entirely different organizations. Answer choice D is incorrect because it simply makes no sense: all local businesses will, in some way, be governed under municipal laws. Answer choice E is also incorrect because academic organizations – like most businesses that are not federal contractors – are responsible for developing their own substance abuse policies for the workplace.

6. B: The steps for Enterprise Risk Management are focused primarily on identifying risk and pursuing means of managing and reducing risk. As a result, this includes answer choices A, C, D, and E. The steps of Enterprise Risk Management do not, however, include identifying the employees who are responsible for the risk. This might be part of the larger process of understanding risk, but it does not fall under the primary steps of Enterprise Risk Management. Answer choice B is, therefore, correct.

7. B: The process of succession planning requires that a human resources professional consider employees within their current positions. As a result, answer choice B falls outside the focus on employees within the positions and instead focuses on the position itself. This is not a part of succession planning. Answer choices A, C, D, and E all belong to the process of categorizing employees who are currently in positions within an organization.

8. B: As the question states, the training will encompass several features – lectures, film presentations, and group work. Among the available styles of seating, the chevron-style – with the chairs angled in a V-shape toward the stage or front of the meeting space – will offer the most versatility for trainees. Answer choice A is incorrect because the theater-style seating would be useful for lectures and film presentations but would offer no good way for trainees to break into groups. Answer choice C is incorrect because the banquet-style seating would be excellent for group work but would be impractical for lectures and film presentations. Similarly, answer choice D is incorrect because the conference-style seating would place participants around one large table, which would not necessarily be useful for any of the three activities that will occur in the training. And answer choice E is incorrect because the U-shaped seating would be useful only for lectures but would not benefit the trainees in a film presentation or in group work.

9. E: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which went into law in 1996, establishes and updates rules for retaining and reporting employee identification records. Answer choice A is incorrect because the Fair Labor Standards Act has no immediate requirement about record keeping and instead focuses on establishing fair compensation for employees. Answer choice B is incorrect because the Fair Credit Reporting Act governs employee credit reporting but not the retention of employee identification records. Answer choice C is incorrect because the workplace application of the Consumer Credit Protection Act relates to wage garnishing. And answer choice D is incorrect because the Small Business Job Protection Act relates to employee deferred compensation plans.

10. E: According to NIOSH, this is the definition of stress that affects employees in the workplace. Answer choice A is incorrect because it should be considered an effect of stress but does not fulfill the requirements of the definition. Answer choice B, C, and D are incorrect because they too could be considered by-products of stress but do not reflect the definition provided by NIOSH.