Everything You Need to Know About Psychometric Tests

CVs and interviews are designed to allow job candidates to show off their skills and market themselves in a positive light. Although, employers are very much aware that people’s perceptions of themselves are biased in their own favour.

Similarly, employers understand that sometimes job candidates will claim to be good at things which they are not or claim to have skills which they do not.

Can you honestly say you’ve never told even a little white lie to a potential employer?

For example, everyone knows that it’s important to talk about “teamwork” and “interpersonal skills” when applying for a job, but do they actually all have the interpersonal and teamwork skills they claim to possess?

This is where psychometric tests come in.

Although lower-level jobs are unlikely to require psychometric testing, higher level positions will often require some kind of psychometric evaluation.

These are designed to test your skills in a certain area or field that relates explicitly to the job you’re trying to land.

What are psychometric tests?

Put simply, psychometric tests are a set of questions or problems that will test your cognitive skills and abilities. As well as this, they also test certain aspects of your personality.

Historically, they have been used for things such as military service and high-ranking management positions. Although, in recent years, more and more employers have been using them to test their potential employees.

Psychometric tests help employers work out whether your CV and interview answers are indeed an accurate representation of your personality and skills.

Basically, they’ll let potential employers know whether your skills and knowledge are up to scratch and whether you’ll fit into their environment.

What skills will the tests assess?

Companies are able to get customised psychometric tests created that test specific characteristics of their candidates, such as logical reasoning or leadership skills.

It all depends on the employer and what they are looking for from their candidates.

It’s a good idea to look at the job spec before sitting an aptitude test.

It’s highly likely that the questions will be assessing the essential and desirable skills listed within the spec. So, this will give you an idea of how to prepare and what they are looking for.

This can sound a little intimidating, but as long as you remain confident and answer everything to the best of your ability, you will be fine.

There isn’t a “perfect score” as such on a psychometric test. Most of the time employers will give people the benefit of the doubt and meet them before jumping to any conclusions solely based on a test!

How do you take a psychometric test?

The tests are usually taken online these days from the comfort of your own home. However, some companies may still ask you to visit an assessment centre or their own office to complete them.

They may even have professional invigilators present who will provide further insight into test-takers.

This means they can also ensure that the tests are completed under exam conditions, if necessary.

It all depends on the company.

Psychometric tests may be presented at any time during the recruitment process, but they will usually be given prior to or during a final job interview.

Aptitude Tests:

These tests could assess a wide range of skills and abilities. Most commonly they will test one of three things:

• Verbal reasoning – your ability to digest information and make decisions.
• Numerical reasoning – how you interpret numerical data in the form of graphs and charts.
• Abstract reasoning – your logical skills and your ability to identify coherent patterns and trends.

Other tests also include the inductive reasoning test, logical reasoning test, and error checking test.

Personality Tests:

Personality tests are designed to assess certain aspects of your personality in order to evaluate whether you would be a good “fit” for a company or not.

Employers want to make sure that you fit into their culture. They may cross-reference your personality test results with those of a high-level manager or a brilliant employee who already works at their company.

The Myers Briggs test is commonly used for personality testing, which is a series of questions that asks you how you would react in certain situations and circumstances.

I highly recommend just being honest during a personality test.

There’s no point lying because you’re bound to get sussed out eventually (psychometricians can often tell when answers are being falsified).

Plus, would you want to work for a company where you’re not going to fit in anyway?

Interest Tests:

These tests will help employers to work out your motivations.

How? By assessing your personal interests, values and opinions and comparing them to a reference group.

This will be similar to the personality test, but your “results” will be judged against a control group. So, you’ll be categorized on the basis of how other people, similar to you, performed.

(That might seem a little unfair…)

How to prepare for a psychometric test

Many online sites offer free (or cheap) aptitude tests which are designed to prepare you for real psychometric testing.

Taking these online tests allows you to familiarise yourself with the nature of psychometric testing, thereby increasing your confidence.

When it comes to the real test, be sure to ask questions beforehand if there are any aspects of the test which you don’t understand completely.

How long will you have?

Generally speaking, you will have around 50-90 seconds to answer each question on a psychometric test, though this can often vary.

Many of the questions are hard to answer, and you may not be expected to answer them all.

Nonetheless, be sure to answer as many as you can, answering honestly and sincerely.


The best tips I can give you before a psychometric test?

Be sure to practice some mock tests online.

Remember, be honest throughout, be thorough (try to answer as many as possible) and get plenty of sleep beforehand!

You need to be alert and on the ball, just like you would be in an interview.

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