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Psychometric Testing

The current economic climate has created an “employers market”, meaning that those with jobs on offer have the pick of experienced, talented and effective applicants all fighting to get their attention. In turn, this means that employers have to use more thorough measures and assessments to identify the best candidates for their jobs.

Psychometrics have been used in recruitment for many years and over 70% of larger
companies are currently using this form of testing to gather vital information from potential and current employees. This type of assessment is therefore something to prepare for and know how to pass.

Psychometric tests may measure:

  • Aptitude - how people differ in their ability to perform or carry out different tasks.
  • Interests - how people vary in their motivation, in the direction and strength of their interests, and in their values and opinions.
  • Personality - how people differ in their style or manner of doing things, and in the way they interact with their environment and other people.

Some recruiters will ask you to complete psychometrics as soon as you have submitted an application, as a way of removing weaker applicants from their sifting process. Others will ask candidates to complete the psychometrics whilst they are attending interviews and other tests – this is known as an Assessment Centre. The tests will vary according to the type and level of the vacancy in question, and are usually delivered in formal 'examination-type' circumstances, under strictly timed conditions.

Your test results will be scored against the average of those of a similar profile operating at the appropriate level for the job in question. This type of external reference is often used to enable employers to distinguish between candidates in terms of their numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning ability, as well as personality.

On reading the above it is easy to feel disinclined to go through any psychometric tests, but do not despair! You can practise and you can improve your test results.

There are several websites which offer sample tests, which are against the clock, as the real tests are:

The time factor is important, as assessors are not only looking for your accuracy, but how fast you work.
The more you practise, the better you will get; general brain training is also good so get out your crosswords, and consider purchasing one of the many books available to help you prepare for the test. Literacy and numeracy are the most common assessments so it pays to practise!

When taking psychometric tests remember:

  • Practise makes perfect
  • Time your practises
  • Don’t panic
  • Make sure you are somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Above all, PRACTISE!