What are Psychometric assessments?
Psycho = mind Metric = measure
Psychometrics are used to assess the character strengths and weaknesses of a candidate, providing profiles of their suitability for a position. They are not usually (and are not recommended to be) a decision-making tool by themselves - they are guides to be used in conjunction with other assessment methods such as interviews.
One of the reasons we do not recommend pyschometric assessments be used as a decision-making tool is that some of them may unintentionally discriminate - if psychometric tests are to be used, it is always advisable to have them checked for bias (age, gender, cultural, etc.). We never make decisions solely on the basis of psychometric testing.
How can I prepare?
The simple answer is - you can't! Unlike exams, psychometrics are not testing your knowledge or memory.
Also known as cognitive, ability or intelligence tests, these do not examine your general knowledge but test your critical reasoning skills under strictly timed conditions. A typical test might have 3 sections each testing a different ability e.g. verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and spatial reasoning.
Your score on these tests is compared to a norm group which is usually made up of existing job holders.
These measure your personal characteristics and qualities such as:
- How you relate to other people
- Your work style
- Your ability to deal with emotions (yours and other people's)
- Your motivation, determination and general outlook
- Your ability to handle stress
There are no right and wrong answers. Be yourself. It sounds corny, but if you try to guess what they want you to put, you will distort the results and may end up doing more harm than good. Also - do you want a job you're not really suited to?
Where can I find out more?
Two online examples of psychometric testing for you to look at (you can find more simply by doing a Google search):