psychometric testing

Using Psychometric Tests to Make Hiring Easy

Did you know that more than 75% of the Times Top 100 companies in the UK are using the psychometric tests at the moment? It only makes sense that you start using it too, but it’s best that you learn to walk before you run. Scroll down for the basic information on psychometric- it’s going to be really helpful!

When should you use a psychometric test?

There is some difference between the psychometric tests so it’s wise that you know which and when to use them:

  • Some large companies do get many applications so may have request the candidates to complete some online aptitude tests, as pre-interview
  • A company may test all candidates at the same time, under very strict exam conditions during the assessment days.
  • The companies may use the personality and interest tests later in the process. The tests aren’t cheap and the companies are trying to get only the very best candidates.
  • When a company is looking for the senior posts, the final decision is fundamental so it needs to use a whole battery of psychometric tests.
  • The tests may be also used after the job offering so that the company may develop the proper motivations, or managerial techniques.

What’s a psychometric test anyway?

The psychometric testing is a form of personality profiling and there are 3 main categories to consider:

  • The aptitude test

There are many aptitude tests out there that investigate specific abilities, but the most common ones are verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning.

Here are the main features:

  • For the verbal reasoning tests, the candidates are going to have to read through a passage, answering comprehension questions on the passage later on
  • In the case of numerical reasoning tests, they’re going to have to interpret data from various graphs and tables
  • The candidates have to choose the strange diagram/the next diagram in a sequence of diagrams in the case of abstract reasoning tests.
  • The personality test

These tests are going to help the employer anticipate how a candidate is going to act in a specific situation, using a typical behavior as reference.

Here are some examples of questions:

  • “I’m easily disappointed”. Do you strongly disagree, disagree, agree or strongly agree?
  • “I am organized”. Do you strongly disagree, disagree, agree or strongly agree?

The behavioral (competency) interview questions are another option for the personality testing.

  • The interests test

This sort of test is going to give an idea about one’s motivation as it investigates the personal interests, opinions and values, comparing them to a reference group later on.

What are the benefits?

There are many reasons for which you should take the psychometric testing under considerations, but here are the most important ones:

  • They give structured framework for assessment

There are many things that may alter testing, but you’re not going to have this sort of problem when using the psychometric tests as they’re capable to eliminate the inconsistencies.

  • They help you eliminate the personal biases

One of the most common problems in recruitment process is the interviewer bias. The psychometric tests help you get obvious, solid and clear scores, which only makes the game fairer.

  • They help you identify the personality, motivators and anticipate behavior

It goes without saying that candidates may bend the truth at times. good personality and interest tests are going to identify the discrepancies in answers, helping you “spot” on the cheaters.

  • They help the shy candidates

Just because a candidate is shy doesn’t mean he/she isn’t clever or right for your company. The psychometric tests help them step out of their shell and prove their value for the company.

  • They’re cheaper in the longer run

For a big company that has to deal with many candidates, the psychometric tests are quite cheap. They help the recruiters select more efficiently the candidates early in the process, improving the chances for identifying the right ones for the job.

Are there any downsides to psychometric tests?

Even if the downsides may not be deal breakers for some companies, they’re important to mention:

  • IQ isn’t fundamental for one’s value

Some may be tempted to go with the candidate with higher IQ, but any good hiring manager knows that the aptitude counts a lot too. The work experience and the personality may easily overcome a medium range for the IQ.

  • It may not be easy to administer the tests

The variety of tests may become overwhelming. One has also to decide if the testing is going to be online, at the office and make sure that everything goes by the book.

  • Some candidates may simply give up

The time limitations can make one rush into answers and skip some questions, making the whole process pretty much useless. If you’re actually looking the candidates that handle pressure, it’s a good way to select.

  • It may be expensive

The price range is pretty wide and it’s best that you use cheaper (yet dependable) tests for the first stages of interviews in order to eliminate the weaker candidates. Go with the more expensive ones if you’re recruiting for a senior position, nevertheless.

Are psychometric tests good for your business?

You should give a thought before buying the psychometric tests (the good ones are never free). You should see the ups and downs and their impact on your business per se.

Here are some questions to be asking yourself:

  • Does the level of vacancy require psychometric testing?
  • Are you going to get important information when using psychometric test? Can’t you get it from an interview?
  • Do you have the budget for it?
  • Do you have the resources to pull it off?

Where should you get dependable psychometric test?

Once you’ve come to the conclusion that your company really needs to use the psychometric testing, you should only go with the tests developed by the accredited providers. Not only that you may rely on the efficiency, but the providers are also going to be interested in explaining the tests, how to read and use the results.

The rule of thumb is that if a psychometric test is free, chances are you shouldn’t trust it as it’s not legit.



How to prepare for a psychometric test

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