The Psychometric Test

Many employers believe that psychometric testing will give them an accurate prediction of an individual’s suitability for a role, and research has shown they may be far more reliable than a normal standalone interview.

The purpose of interview questions is to learn about you as an indicator of how you will perform. The interviewer wants to know the real you – not who you think they want you to be. It is possible that a candidate could be great at saying the right things in interview, but not have the character to follow through. Some candidates are even tempted to lie at the interview. The beauty of a psychometric test is it is based on how you think and what you believe, rather than what you say.

Employers can use psychometric testing at any stage of the selection process. Some use them at the beginning to screen out unsuitable candidates, while others use the more common approach of using them after the first or second interview. However it is worth remembering that these tests are only designed to assist in making a decision. They are not designed as the sole method of assessing suitability.

The fact is it is difficult to prepare or revise for psychometric tests. There are no right answers to memorize like there might be in a typical exam. However you can make sure you understand the nature of the test and what will be required of you.

What do they contain?

Ability testing measures an individual’s potential/natural aptitude in different areas. It focuses on what they are capable of achieving, rather than what they have achieved in the past.

We all have different inborn abilities – there is no right or wrong answer, though same may seem to be more suited to certain job roles than others. It’s the overall balance of abilities you possess as a whole that is important.

Aptitude testing is similar to ability testing. However it tends to be more focused on abilities required to perform specific jobs,. For example if you were going for an IT position your aptitude for various programming languages may be tested. They tend to feel more like a traditional job interview test with its right and wrong answers.

Recruitment consultancies often favour aptitude testing to try and grade you as a candidate. If you are facing an aptitude test do your homework and find out what areas it will cover and you will be fine.

Personality testing

Your personality will to a large extent control the types of environment you will be most comfortable in and where you feel comfortable and accepted you are most likely to perform to a higher standard.

Personality is to a great extent already set in place; we can adjust facets to suit certain circumstances but always revert back to type eventually, so it makes sense for an employer to get to know the real you.

The final word

Remember these assessments are not designed to catch you out, they are as valuable to you in identifying the right job for you as they are to an employer for identifying the right employee for them. Take it in your stride and you will be just fine.

Learn how to cope with job interview tests

How to approach the aptitude test

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