Psychometric Assessments and Tests can be used by employers to gain a better understanding of your potential, and can help you identify and develop your skills to match the demands of specific jobs. The results offer an objective indication of your ability, aptitude and potential for acquiring specific skills.
While there are a number of different types of tests and assessments, they tend to fall into three categories: ability and aptitude tests, personality assessments and motivation questionnaires.
Ability and aptitude tests measure specific skill sets and indicate existing ability or potential to learn skills required for the job. The latter two categories assess individual preferences in behaviour and attitudes or values. They give the employer an insight into how you see yourself that is not always available through interviews alone. In essence, if your preferences for behaving in certain ways, such as working in a team, match the working culture of the potential employer, then you are likely to feel happier and perform more effectively in your job.
Graduates and managers at all levels are very likely to come across psychometric assessments when applying for jobs. According to one particular survey, job applicants for graduate or management jobs have a seven in ten chance of being asked to complete a personality questionnaire.
The good news is that psychometric results - especially personality questionnaires - are never taken in isolation. They are just one part of the recruitment process.
Preparing for tests
- Find out what assessments to expect.
- Practise doing things to a time limit if you have not sat an exam for some time - ability and aptitude tests are timed. Although you might not finish a test in the allotted time, this does not necessarily reflect a poor result. This is how the test is designed.
- Personality and motivation questionnaires are usually not timed.
- Tell the organisation if you have any disabilities or impairments that might affect your performance, such as dyslexia or poor hearing. They should be able to adapt the testing process to accommodate you.
- With each test or exercise, think about what skills and abilities the test assessors and recruiters are looking for, and try to demonstrate them. If you have not done so already, get hold of the job specification or person profile for this position.
- Check with the recruiter what feedback you can expect. Employers are obliged to give you your results, even if you do not get the job.
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