Application Advice: Psychometric Testing

Exam

So you have an interview for that job you REALLY want, but wait, they want you to complete a psychometric test? What exactly is a psychometric test? What does it entail?

It might sound a little scary, but with competition for jobs rising, we at Intern Avenue are increasingly seeing psychometric tests being included in the application process. Because of this, we have created this handy little guide to assist you!

“What is a Psychometric Test?”

A psychometric test is normally a multiple choice, timed questionnaire that allows employers to compare and contrast candidates in a fair way. Several tests allow candidates to review and adjust their answers, some give marks for correct answers only, and others penalise for incorrect or missed questions. It is extremely important to know the rules for your test prior to beginning.

Whilst employers use various psychometric tests as part of their recruitment process, there are two main types of psychometric test: Aptitude or Ability tests, and Personality tests.

Aptitude/Ability: This usually includes sections on numerical, verbal, non-verbal, and logical reasoning. They test how the candidate reacts to various situations and circumstances, as well as the individuals cognitive and reasoning ability.

Personality: There are no right or wrong answers here, this test simply analyses the candidates suitability for the role, and whether or not they will fit into the company culture.

“Why Have I Been Asked to do a Psychometric Test?”

Around 70% of employers use psychometric testing to assist in their recruitment process, so it is right to say that most people will be asked to complete one at some time or another.

Every company places different values on the test results; some may focus mainly on the candidates numerical abilities, while others are looking for a particular type of person. A psychometric test is a simple and efficient way for companies to filter candidates, and find those most suitable for the role they are attempting to fill.

While you are most likely to come across psychometric testing in a recruitment context, they can also be used as a tool to help you understand where your strengths lie and what career areas might be most appropriate to your skills and abilities.

“How Do I Prepare for a Psychometric Test?”

The tests are built to examine candidates natural abilities so the key is to focus your mind on the task in hand. Do word and number puzzles, read and summarise academic texts and technical manuals. For the numerical test, brush up on your GCSE level maths such as addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, ratios and graph analysis. It is also wise to do some online practice tests to familiarise yourself with how the tests are formatted:

Practice Free Verbal and Numerical Tests
Psychometric Success
Numeracy Test Revision
Numerical Reasoning Test
Aptitude Preparation

If you have learning difficulties or a disability, make sure you tell the employer beforehand so that they can make any alternative arrangements, and ALWAYS check how the test will be marked and timed so as not to put yourself out of the race before it has even begun.

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  1. Thanks for this article, it was useful and good timing for me personally! I have to attend an assessment centre in 2 weeks and there’s 4 different batches of psychometric tests that I have to sit. I’m looking for help related to “Watson-Glaser tests” – can you recommend anything? I’ve found a couple of guides that are good starting points:

    http://www.assessmentcentrehq.com/watson-glaser-practice-test/
    http://graduates.hoganlovells.com/apply_now/critical_thinking_test/

    But I was hoping for something much more in depth. I can’t find anything like this on Internavenue, do you have any other suggestions?

    1. Glad you found it useful Paul and hope your assessment centre went well! I am afraid we do not have much more in depth info on the Watson-Glaser test right now. So we will be doing some more research and hope to update the blog with some more info/resources very soon.

      All the best!

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