Psychometric Job Testing – Are You Prepared?April 3, 2013
In an age where every decision needs to be justified, backed up and informed by data, psychometric testing contributes a key element of science in an industry that has often relied on gut feel and synergies between the recruiter and jobseeker when making important hiring decisions. In fact, more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies utilize psychometric profiling in recruitment.
Psychometric assessments are tests, exercises or questionnaires designed by psychologists to measure the cognitive, behavioural and personality constructs of an individual. The broad reference to “constructs” means that an assessment is being made of someone’s abilities, personality, values, motivations and their interests or preferences. Psychometric assessments may entail the measurement of just one construct, for example, the occupational personality of the individual, but in most instances a battery of tests are applied.
Job seeker tips for assessments:
Assessments may be done with one individual at a time, and this is more likely in an assessment centre scenario, but often groups of candidates are assessed simultaneously. The assessor will hand out test material and then provide the candidates with the necessary information. You should:
• Listen carefully to the instructions. If you need clarity on anything, ask.
• Each assessment, whether online or in a test booklet will have instructions as well. Read these and make sure you understand them.
• Ask whether or not there are time limits to the assessments and try to plan how to use your time, but remember that virtually no one completes all of the items in the timed assessment.
• If you get stuck on a question, don’t spend too much time on it, skip it and come back to it.
• Specifically on paper-based assessment, make sure that you are responding to the correct question. Check every now and then that you are still marking your preferences or answers which correspond to the question.
• Don’t fake good or bad. Many of the assessments have built-in measures to assess where a candidate is responding too positively or negatively based on social norms. But don’t be untrue to yourself and then find you are not happy in the job or the company.
• Remember that the results only reflect your performance on the day and this may be influenced by many factors. You are being assessed against the needs of one organisation, which does not mean you are not suitable for this type of job or organisation.