We now come to the second common type of psychometric tests, behavioural tests.
Different types of jobs require different kinds of personalities and behavioural tests are used to determine if a candidate is the right personality fit. Behavioural tests come in four major categories: personality tests, situational judgment tests, leadership and motivational questionnaires. While there are no concepts or skills to learn for this test preparation is still possible and therefore important.
How? By understanding what the test questions are looking for, you can give a more accurate picture of yourself to the company by choosing the answers that reflect you best.
Personality tests are the most popular type of behavioural test given. In essence, this test is designed to see where your character strengths and weaknesses lie. Whether you are assertive, sociable, controlling, easy-going etc., tests like PAPI (Personality and Preference Inventory) and OPQ32 are designed to do just that. Personality tests measure a broad scope of personality traits, aggregated as personal competencies. These are used to create a personality profile. In different work contexts, the personality profiles enable to answer a variety of questions:
- What is the most suitable career or job profile for the person? –
- Does the personality profile present a fit or misfit with the required characteristics for the job?
- Is the employee showing desirable personality competencies to perform as a supervisor/manager?
These tests also show a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in five main dimensions of one’s personality.
Openness – Conscientiousness – Extraversion-Introversion – Agreeableness – Neuroticism
Situational Judgment Tests
Another behavioural test used widely by employers is the situational judgment test. These tests combine an array of questions and scenarios that aim to test your reactions in different workplace situations. Various options are given for each case, and the applicant must pick the most appropriate and least appropriate answer for each question.
The situations on the test vary from situations based solely on the candidate to those between colleagues or employees and superiors. In one situation, an interpersonal dynamic is being presented, and the employer wishes to see how the applicant would handle this situation. By doing so, one can gauge and identify the underlying reasoning or behaviour of the applicant in interpersonal situations. This could be in the positive sense, such as the best course of action, and/or to identify the worst response. In another situation, you might also be asked to rate the effectiveness of a solution from very ineffective to very effective response, (i.e. Like scale 1-5 or 1-6).
The focus of this sort of test is to hone in on a candidate’s ability to use their personal judgement and reasoning skills as well as life experiences and general knowledge.
The nature of these tests is usually tailored specifically to the particular position, as opposed to more generic questions and thus the only way to study for them is to practice scenarios. Please click here for more information on SJTs and find free practice tests by visiting our Partners JobTestPrep page.
Many roles require candidates to have a sense of leadership and to have the right skills to lead at their fingertips. One way to assess this trait is through leadership questionnaires such as this one developed at the Kellogg School of Management.
Another way is through group exercises and role play situations. It is a popular style of assessment, as it shows other facets of a person, not just certain aptitude skills. Some exam developers establish a whole battery of tests such as:
- Leadership Effectiveness Assessment
- Leadership Personality Test
- Leadership Aptitude Test
- Leadership Style Assessment Exam
- Leadership Attitude Test
Other leadership assessments include all testing sections within a single exam.
Find more information on leadership criteria here. www.jobtestprep.co.uk
You might be thinking, why motivation tests? How will that help inform the hiring process? Well, as each person approaches the job with different knowledge and skills, each person’s motivation for the job can be different and employers need to hire individuals with motivations that match the position. Some positions require employees to be driven by money to reach goals while others require their workers to be driven by the need for artistic expression and be willing to forgo a six-figure salary to feel more accomplished in a creative endeavour.
Motivation questions and questionnaires seek to establish what motivates a person and these can come up at various points in the recruitment process. Some job applications will ask candidates to write out their motivations in short essays. At a later stage, a candidate may be asked to complete and questionnaire. These assessments feature several questions where you are asked to rate how much a statement motivates you. For example: Rate the following statement concerning how it affects your motivation:
Being expected to take responsibility for tasks…
A- Greatly reduces my motivation to work.
B- Tends to reduce my motivation to work.
C- Has no effect on my motivation to work.
D- Tends to increase my motivation to work.
E- Greatly increases my motivation to work.