What Is A Psychometric Test And Why Are Employers Looking At It?

Psychometric tests ascertain an individual’s skills and preferences.

As companies are starting to place more importance on a social and cultural fit, psychometric tests are becoming more commonplace to help employers make an informed decision about a candidate’s suitability for a role within their organisation.

Psychometric tests may sound daunting but it’s merely a way of gathering information about the job applicant. Your responses will be assessed by an expert and the results handed over to your potential employer to compare with other candidate profiles.

These tests are typically categorised into 2 main groups: Personality Tests (such as the Myers-Briggs tool) or Ability tests, which test you on logical and quantitative problems.

The former has no right or wrong answers and measures characteristics for the job at hand, the latter does have correct responses and judges you based on your problem-solving skills.

Personality tests are more relaxed and feel like a fun quiz it helps employers assess if you’ll fit into the company’s culture, while ability tests are conducted like an academic exam with stipulated completion times that measure your mental aptitude – especially for jobs like IT or engineering.

It is commonly utilised at different stages of the selection process, for example:

• You may be promoted by a URL after sending in an online application form

• You may be asked to do the test right before your interview

• Possibly, at the second stage of interviewing – you may be asked to retake the test to confirm the results of the previous psychometric test

How should one ace the Ability Test then?

1. Practice makes perfect! There are many practice websites with various psychometric tests to try for free. Familarise yourself with all the questionnaires and the various styles to avoid being tripped up by an unfamiliar format. This will help you improve on your timing and accuracy, and pinpoint areas that need more concentration. You can also pop by your University Career Services office to enquire about their practice tests, if they have any on hand. They may be able to advise you on the specific tests for the career you have chosen and how you can skew your sessions towards the enterprise. Although practice tests are common and easily found with a quick search, every employer has an expert create a test for their enterprise – and it is bound to be slightly different.

2. Start teasing your brain. Work on your lateral thinking to identify word or number patterns quicker. Start by brushing up on simple math like probability and ratios or train your brain to recognise number strains with brain teasers like Sudoku. Try doing the BODMAS rule (bet you haven’t heard that one in a while) all in your head –  no cheating with a calculator.

3. Read between the lines. When reading an article, think about what the implications of each sentence could mean. Why was this word chosen instead of that, what is the writer’s intention when formulating this sentence.

4. Be wary of commonly misspelt words. Do you know the difference between “you’re” and “your”? How about “recognize” and “recognise” which is correct here? After the psychometric test, it is highly recommended that you obtain feedback from the accessor. It’s a chance for you to develop your skills and gain insight about your application, whether or not you have been offered the role.

The psychometric test is not he be all and end all of the selection process, so do not fret if you did not do well. Along with your experience, resume and proven track record in the industry, and of course the actual interview – your potential employer will take all aspects into account before selecting an applicant.