The psychometric test has become an important part of the recruiting process. The test evaluates candidates beyond their education, skills, and experience and instead measures a candidate’s mind. The test helps recruiters find the best people that suit the job as it shows employers the personal characteristics and cognitive ability of an individual and compare it with other individuals’ results.
Employers choose to use the psychometric test for a better overall evaluation of a candidate which could benefit both the employer and potential employee. The psychometric test is believed to show a candidate’s character, working style, strengths and weakness. It could also help show the potential future performance of a candidate and allow employers make a successful decision. The psychometric test has two main types; personality and ability.1
Personality and Interest
The personality and interest test measures how you do things and the way you interact with people within your environment. The mechanics of this test is that it is able to determine your personality through questions that ask about your feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
Aptitude and Ability
The aptitude and ability test measures your ability in carrying out different tasks and assesses logical reasoning and thinking performance. Within this test, there are sub topics including:
- Verbal Ability Evaluates you on your understand of the written and verbal language and usually include questions of spelling, grammar, sentence completion, analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deductions.
- Numeric Ability Covers basic arithmetic of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; number sequences; and simple mathematics of percentages, powers, fractions etc. The test is to assess your basic numeracy and could also be categorised as a speed test.
- Abstract Reasoning This test is different from the others as it includes questions that have little to no applicable use in the real world. The results are able to measure your general intellectual ability and whether you are able to understand complex ideas.
- The questions would require you to be able to recognise patterns and similarities between shapes and figures. They are most important for jobs that involve dealing with abstract ideas and concepts and jobs that involve:
- A high degree of problem solving
- Dealing with complex data or concepts
- Developing strategies or policies
- Performing non-routine tasks
- Spatial Reasoning Involves the ability to visualise and manipulate two-dimensional or three-dimensional shapes and patterns. This test is essential for many jobs in design, illustration, architecture, publishing, technology and some branches of science and mathematics.
- The questions for this test including shape matching, shape rotation, combining shapes, cube views in three-dimensions, and manipulation of other solid shapes. There may also be questions using maps and plans for areas in emergency services, military, and law enforcement jobs.
- Mechanical Reasoning Measures your knowledge on mechanical and physical concepts. The questions depend on your knowledge of levers, pulleys, gears, springs, simple electrical circuits, tools and shop arithmetic.
- If you’re taking the test for emergency services and military jobs, the questions would concentrate on principles than calculations. On the other hand, mechanical reasoning for craft and technical jobs would expect you to make calculations and may also be asked about tools and its use.
- The results of this test are then compared to results of others within a particular group or specific criteria. Your score will show whether you meet or lack the ability needed to carry out a certain task required.
Preparing for the Test2,3
- Know which test you will be doing Some employers let you know and provide information on the test you will face, however some won’t. You have to find out what test and exercises you will be doing so further prepare yourself and have enough practice.
- Have good physical and mental shape Make sure you’re well rested before the test and produce good results during the test. Being in bad shape could also affect your attitude and perspective which would reflect badly onto your scores. Do your best and have a positive attitude throughout the day.
- Practice in advance Practice is important to familiarise yourself to the questions that you may face once in the real test. Practice will help you succeed and work with material that you’ve already done during your practice time. Focus on areas that you lack in during practice so that once you do the test, you’ll be able to do better and have better results.
- Not only do you need to practice the questions, but you also need to be able to practice against the time. Psychometric tests have a time limit and practicing under that time limit will not only help you work faster but also exercise your brain.
- Get to know the type of test questions Familiarise yourself with the format of the psychometric test and make sure that you’re practicing the right test questions. It’ll be easy if you have practiced enough and know what categories you’ll be doing.
- Be honest The test is designed to indicate any inconsistency in your answers. Make sure to be yourself and be honest with your answers as the results will reflect you and your work behaviour.
There is no right or wrong answer in a psychometric test and the results will give an insight on the potential that a candidate holds and how they will perform in a work environment. A study shows that the psychometric test can show results that can account up to 60% of an employee’s performance.
The results also draw up conclusions on whether candidates are suitable for the job, able to work in the work environment, able to cope with the demands of the position, and whether they hold the skills that are required.
1 Psychometric Success, What are Psychometric Tests? http://www.psychometric-success.com/faq/faq-what-are-psychometric-tests.htm
2 WikiHow, How to Succeed at Psychometric Tests, http://www.wikihow.com/Succeed-at-Psychometric-Tests
3 Careerone, Top 10 Tips to prepare for a Psychometric Test, http://career-advice.careerone.com.au/job-interview-tips/psychometric-testing/top-10-tips-to-prepare-for-a-psychometric-test/article.aspx