What is psychometric testing?
Why is psychometric testing used?
How does this affect me as a candidate?
Welcome to Bsynergetic’s x JobTestPrep’s beginner’s resource series to psychometric testing. We have created this series to help you understand the ins and outs of psychometric assessments and know the terms to put you in control of your preparation towards test day.
Whether you are a student applying for an internship, a graduate looking for their first job or even applying to an academic programme, you will find this series useful.
This series is a door to further information on psychometric testing as it not only outlines basic concepts but also provides resources for further reading and practice. The series will answer questions such as Why Prepare? and How to Prepare, will cover tests such as Aptitude, Behavioural and Technical and round off with some exercises that we think will be beneficial.
On that note. Let’s begin our exploration by answering a few questions.
What is psychometric testing?
All activities and assessments that are conducted in order to evaluate candidate performance and include, but are not limited to, skills and knowledge, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and job/academic potential. This is a broad arena and one that needs explaining. There are many test styles and formats and we will cover the most common and most important areas within psychometric testing: aptitude tests, behavioural tests, and assessment day exercises.
The first group, aptitude tests, have the goal of assessing various cognitive abilities from numeracy and literacy skills to spatial awareness and more. These will be explained later in this series.
The second group is focused on behavioural tests. These are intended to highlight specific personality traits that could indicate suitability for specific roles. These can come in the form of personality questionnaires, leadership tests, motivation tests and situational judgement tests. We will explain more about these traits further on in this series.
The third type is assessment day exercises, which are based on human interaction assessments, very common for graduates and students. Various exercises utilize job specific skills and simulations and are usually carried out by assessors/psychologists. Beyond the challenge of correctly understanding and answering the test questions, the other hurdle is overcoming the time constraints. Both aptitude tests and assessment day exercises have time frames that give the tests a high pressure feel and allows candidates to be assessed on how well they cope with time pressure. Behavioural tests are not usually timed.
Why do companies use this testing method?
There are two major reasons companies use psychometric testing: the first is to improve and reduce HR and recruitment costs and the second is to improve the quality of candidates for the long run and avoid employee turnover.
Unfortunately, the recent information and technological revolutions have turned the recruitment field into an almost exact science. Companies use sophisticated and rigorous psychometric testing procedures to optimize their recruiting and hiring processes. According to assessment consultants, using these tests can help companies find the skills they are looking for in people who are the right fit for the job and save substantial amounts of money, thus increasing profitability in the long run.
What does this mean for me?
Firstly, the testing process can actually tell you a lot about the company/program to which you are applying. If an employer stresses numerical skills or presentation skills in the testing process, that tells you that these skills are fundamental for the job. At this point, you need to ask yourself whether or not you have or wish to use these skills.
Secondly, companies are looking for specific competencies and skills in their applicants, and having a good understanding of the tests will give you insight into those sought after attributes.
In addition, it also allows people who are normally nervous during interviews a chance to impress without the on the spot pressure.
In short, use the tests to your advantage to show companies your strength
Now that we understand the very basics of psychometric tests, the next step is knowing how and why to prepare. Coming soon to the Resources section!