3 tips for handling psychometric tests

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Eleven Team Candidate resources, Candidate toolkit

It can be argued that all interviews are tests. You are testing the waters to see whether you like a potential employer, and the employer is testing you to see if you are the right fit for their role.

Whilst CVs can provide insightful background information from topics that you covered at university to past work experience, they do not allow an interviewer to measure cognitive abilities or behavioural traits.

On the contrary a psychometric test, by definition, is a measurement of the mind and this can be used to evaluate candidates’ skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and job/academic potential.

Psychometric tests are often split into two key areas.

Aptitude test - assess various cognitive abilities such as numeracy, literacy and spatial awareness. They can also involve ‘in-tray’ exercises, which aim to provide a business-related scenario to see how tasks are prioritised. 

Behavioural test – highlight specific personality traits that could indicate suitability for specific roles through personality questionnaires, situational judgement tests and leadership tests. A popular personality test, create by Dr. Thomas Hendrickson, is the Thomas Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) for the work place. Free examples of which can be found here.

Other tests include Saville Assessments’ ‘industry-leading’ psychometric tests, which are self-claimed to “embrace innovation and set the market standard for validity”.   

Although behavioural tests, and specifically personality tests aren’t scientific as such, they are often used within the context of a wider interview process, rather than a prescriptive way.

Make sure the role is for you

Take full advantage of having direct contact with a recruitment consultant!

Make sure to ask your consultant for as many details about the company and the role as possible, prior to an interview. If the role appeals to you, and appears to suit your skill set, then being yourself during all stages of the interview process will work in your favour.

Don't mislead

Whilst it may sound obvious, the desire to make ourselves look 'ideal', especially when we believe that our behaviour is being analysed can be very easy to do, but it may result in unfavourable consequences.

Whilst behavioural tests cannot be ‘practised’, aptitude tests are a different kettle of fish.

Practise

When it comes to aptitude tests, you can practice all manner of these online, with many websites offering this for free.

The questions can be rather abstract and often involve finding patterns or following a sequence, such as with the example below.

Practising can help you to remain calm and collected when presented with the test in an interview situation, allowing you to answer to the best of your ability.

Aside from tests often conducted under test conditions, there are also much less formal ways of analysing behaviour, often occurring in the first 5 seconds of your interview process.

How you introduce yourself at reception, or your demeanour when shaking the hand of your interviewer can provide split-second insights into your personality traits, which is something to think about.

If you would like to speak with our recruitment consultants further about any of the testing methods mentioned here, or for more information on psychometric tests and what to expect, contact us here.