The first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1 or J1) mission is scheduled to launch in January 2017, and will be very similar to the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) mission. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on board the J1 spacecraft completed its sensor level performance testing in December 2014. VIIRS instrument is expected to provide valuable information about the Earth environment and properties on a daily basis, using a wide-swath (3,040 km) cross-track scanning radiometer. The design covers the wavelength spectrum from reflective to long-wave infrared through 22 spectral bands, from 0.412 μm to 12.01 μm, and has spatial resolutions of 370 m and 740 m at nadir for imaging and moderate bands, respectively. This paper will provide an overview of pre-launch J1 VIIRS performance testing and methodologies, describing the at-launch baseline radiometric performance as well as the metrics needed to calibrate the instrument once on orbit. Key sensor performance metrics include the sensor signal to noise ratios (SNRs), dynamic range, reflective and emissive bands calibration performance, polarization sensitivity, bands spectral performance, response-vs-scan (RVS), near field response, and stray light rejection. A set of performance metrics generated during the pre-launch testing program will be compared to the sensor requirements and to SNPP VIIRS pre-launch performance.