Everything you need to know about psychometric testing

Everything you need to know about psychometric testing

In a recent survey conducted in Australia, more than 83 per cent of employers stated that they use psychometric testing to assess job applicants’ ‘fit’ to positions advertised. The psychometric test can be either conducted by your potential employer or a recruitment agency.

When is psychometric testing used?

In addition to using selection tools like assessing your resumé, a written statement addressing the job selection criteria or a face-to-face interview, employers and recruitment agencies increasingly use this method to help determine a candidate’s suitability. Psychometric testing will typically follow your resume submission and an initial interview. Together, the results obtained from these selections tools will paint a picture for the recruiter that will indicate to them whether you can and will do the job, and whether you will fit in.

What is a psychometric test?

There are a number of different psychometric tests available that are designed to produce your behavioural profile for the position you are applying for. Psychometric tests can measure your analytical skills, intelligence, personality traits, behaviour style and other characteristics relevant for the job you are applying for. The type of psychometric test used for a selection process always depends on the job requirements.

  1. The personality test assesses your personality and behavioural style through a self-report personality questionnaire, as they relate to the job and workplace environment. The personality test asks you relevant questions, which you need to answer by selecting a response from a scale of pre-set answers. Based on your responses a personality profile is developed. This profile can be either desirable or undesirable based on its ‘fit’ with the position requirements. You should expect to take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete a standard personality test.Most personality tests are designed in a way that also enables employers to learn whether you were ‘honest’ in your response. Therefore, understanding what each question asks and in what context the question should be answered is crucial to your success in such a test. It is also very important to thoroughly research what the employer is looking for in the job applicant so you are aware which personality strengths you should emphasise in your test. All these issues can be managed if you prepare and practice for your personality tests online.
  2. There are a number of aptitude tests, the most popular being the Verbal Reasoning Test, Numerical Reasoning Test and Abstract or Conceptual Reasoning Test. Aptitude tests are timed and generally have multiple choice questions which must be completed in a very short time. All questions are scored the same, be they easy or difficult to answer. The level of difficulty and complexity of aptitude test questions depends on the industry, function and job level of the position you are applying for. In some cases the Spatial Reasoning Test and Mechanical Reasoning Test are also used to measure additional skills.
What is measured in psychometric tests?

The different types of psychometric tests are designed to measure your skills, aptitude and intelligence as they relate to the job specifications, and how well your personality matches the job requirements.

The Personality Test uses ‘covert questions’ about aspects of your personality that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This means that you don’t know when you read the question, what it is actually seeking to measure.

The Aptitude Tests mentioned above measure:

  • how well you can process written information and how quickly you can identify critical issues from written material (Verbal Reasoning Test);
  • your ability to interpret and analyse numerical data such as graphs and tables to make business decision (Numerical Reasoning Test); It is not measuring your skills in maths.
  • your lateral thinking skills or fluid intelligence, which is your ability to quickly identify patterns, logical rules and trends across situations, integrate this information, and apply it to solve problems (Abstract Reasoning Test);
  • your ability to efficiently organise a space, e.g. a warehouse or open office design (Spatial Reasoning Test)
  • your ability to quickly comprehend mechanical concepts and solve mechanical problems (Mechanical Reasoning Test)

For more information on psychometric tests and to practice, click here.


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