How To Prepare For Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Pre Employment drug testing is gradually becoming a crucial part of the recruitment process and criteria for hiring.

Why so?

The output of an employer has a solid link to their health which is why employers make an intelligent move to perform pre-employment drug testing. 

It helps to confirm they are not hiring someone whose health or lifestyle would affect their productivity or environment and ensure their employees are not abusing drugs.

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 states that employers have the right not to absorb a job applicant if they abuse drugs.

Considering this recruitment process’s seriousness, job applicants need to prepare for pre-employment drug testing.

They must understand their rights and the boundaries of the pre-employment drug testing process.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing – Basic Question & Answers

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Prepare For Pre-Employment Drug Testing – Steps

There are things you must do before the pre-employment drug testing process. Here are a few:

Stay Hydrated

You should drink plenty of water a day. Be aware that if your urine is too dilute on the day of the test, that’s a red flag.

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Although many stories about cheating a drug test by drinking cranberry juice, this is just a myth. The only natural way to pass a positive urine drug test is not to use drugs, and drinking plenty of fluids helps detoxify your system faster.

Ask About The Duration

You may have to spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Find out how long the pre-employment test takes.

Some assessments are on-site, while they can complete others online from any location.

Ask About The Location

If possible, you can take a test drive to the test location to ensure you know the exact place and how long it will take you. Allow time for traffic and parking.

Prepare everything for the job tests. Have some pencils ready to use, and pack your glasses if you need them for reading. If your online test includes a calculation-based assessment, ensure you have a good calculator.


Exercise burns fat, and fat is where the body stores THC. Exercise can speed up the metabolic process, allowing the drug to enter the body more quickly.

Exercise to work up a sweat each day before the test. Drink more fluids to account for fluids lost through sweat.

Eating fruits and vegetables also helps the metabolic processes.

Avoid exercising 24 hours before the test so as not to release THC from the fat tissue in your body.

Prepare Your Mind

Remember that usually, every job applicant takes the same tests, so avoid getting nervous.

If the employer notices you are upset about the test, it may raise concerns about handling work stress, so you must not fight back.

Ensure to get plenty of rest beforehand so you can arrive early.

Do not test on an empty stomach, and dress comfortably.

It is essential to take a deep breath and maintain a positive attitude.

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Create Good Conditions For Online Job Tests

Ensure you are in a comfortable and quiet environment.

It’s best to take an online job test or assessment on a desktop or laptop rather than a mobile phone, where it’s easier to hit the wrong key.

Remember to turn off your phone during the test to avoid being distracted by incoming calls and messages.

Abstain From Drugs And Alcohol

When it comes to how to prepare for a drug test, the best way is to abstain from drugs and alcohol. If it’s too late, stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol immediately.

Marijuana can test positive in your urine up to a month after you last smoked or ate it. It takes longer for THC to clear the system from a regular smoker than it does from a regular drinker.

Factors such as an individual’s metabolism, size, and body fat all affect how long drugs stay in the system. A urine test detects opioids such as oxycodone between 2-4 days after the last dose.

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Be Familiar With Testing Methods

Employers have a range of tests available and can choose to test for only specific drugs or a wide range.

Breath Test

They may use an applicant’s breath to test an employee’s blood alcohol level. It generally applies if an employee or applicant is drunk on the premises. An alcohol breath test can only show current intoxication and no evidence of previous use.

Blood Test

A blood test determines the possible amount of drugs and alcohol in the system. Generally, pre-employment drug screening blood tests find illegal substances in the body.

Saliva Test

Some companies use a saliva test. In this test, applicants take a saliva sample from their mouth, showing drug use from the last few hours to several days.

Hair Test

A hair drug test offers the longest follow-up time for past drug use. Pre-employment drug testing procedures that use hair to test can have a 90-day to a six-month window.

Urine Test

A urine test is a standard method, especially for pre-employment drug screening. In addition, this method is for random post-employment drug screenings. 

A urine test can detect drug use over time, but they can generally detect substances for up to a month.

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Be Familiar With The Drugs They Screen For

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This Act contains sections that oblige employers to ensure that their employees do not work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The most common drugs examined in the blood test are:

  1. Marijuana
  2. Amphetamines
  3. Cocaine
  4. Opiates
  5. Methamphetamines
  6. Alcohol
  7. Nicotine
  8. Phencyclidine

Your Rights In Pre Employment Drug Testing Process

You have certain rights in the pre-employment drug testing process. Some of these rights include:

  • If an employer tries to test an applicant secretly without their knowledge or consent, this can cause legal problems.

Most companies include a clause in their pre-employment drug testing policy or notice that specifies that a refusal to test will be a negative result, and the same criteria applied to the applicant as a positive result.

  • Employers should not discriminate in their hiring practices based on an applicant’s use of prescription drugs for legal or medical purposes. Such an Act could be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Research your state’s and employer’s drug testing policies to understand the consequences of using marijuana.

  • It would violate the applicant’s privacy if the employer requested a urine sample while other people around are watching or if the employer insists on monitoring the process. Various rulings have stated that employees have a legitimate expectation of privacy when urinating, and direct observation by a stranger is highly intrusive.

It is unlikely to be considered an invasion of privacy if the test administrator observes the candidate during the saliva collection.

Drug test results may be a piece of personal health information, and there may be restrictions on how and if they may share this information.


Pre-employment drug testing is an accepted part of the final hiring decision.

Employers can conduct drug and alcohol testing in the workplace and as a condition of hire. Job applicants must know this.

It is essential for employees to prepare for pre-employment drug testing and to keep in mind that many types of employment require drug testing.

It is because illegal or illicit drug use can affect an employee’s performance but also the lives of others. Drug use can alter employees’ concentration and affect their judgment.

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