Psychologists have developed an array of tools that evaluate human competencies (aptitudes and behaviors) among individuals. Nowadays, many firms and businesses in the UK and Europe are using these tests as part of the process of candidate selection.
What exactly are psychometric tests?
Psychometric tests measure two main traits: intelligence and behavior. Intelligence is measured through aptitude tests, which present questions in the form of numbers, words and shapes and examine the ways in which people approach logical-driven problems. Personality and behavior are measured through personality and motivation questionnaires and situational judgment tests.
With both measurements, an employer receives an accurate picture of the candidate in question; allowing the former to decide whether or not the latter is qualified for the job and can fit into the company’s vision for the future.
Common aptitude question types…
Numerical reasoning: Relying on basic arithmetic concepts and presenting numerical data in the form of tables, graphs, word problems and number sequences, these questions evaluate a candidate’s mathematical intuition.
Verbal reasoning: These tests involve reading passages of text and then answering questions in the popular “True/False/Cannot say” format. You may also be asked to complete other timed tests, such as vocabulary-based questions and sentence completion exercises. These tests require critical reasoning, argumentation and a firm grasp of the English language.
Abstract reasoning: Often called inductive reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning questions, these question types were originally developed by the famous psychologist, Raven. They require participants to recogniselogical patterns through sets of shapes.
Accuracy and speed tests: These questions present sets of data, which you will be asked to compare. You’ll then be required to spot any mistakes that have been made. The tasks are not especially difficult, but their rigorous time constraints demand agility and attention.
Common personality/behavioral question types…
Personality questions: There are a number of popular personality tests used by employers; all of which have their own individual question format. Some ask candidates to rate a certain statement on a scale of ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Completely Disagree’, while others ask you to answer using a ‘Least’ and ‘Most’ format. Some other personality questionnaires simply ask you to answer questions by stating ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. These tests are lengthy, repetitive and confusing. However, when experienced in advance, they become much less stressful and can help you emphasiseyour strengths.
Motivation questions: By asking general and hypothetical questions about your motivations, employers get the chance to evaluate your inclination towards future tasks in the company.
Situational judgment questions: These questions present hypothetical, day-to-day situations in the work environment, and examine your decision making abilities.
Preparing for psychometric tests…
It’s important to acknowledge that any aspect of psychometric testing can be practiced and reviewed beforehand. Cognitive abilities can be improved through aptitude test practice. These practice tests allow you to refresh your basic reasoning skills and reaction times under rigorous time constraints.
The behavioral side can also be improved in two ways: by reading and learning how to better present yourself and your strengths, and by familiarisingyourself with known procedures to alleviate stress and eliminate the element of surprise.