Psychometric and aptitude testing are increasingly common features within recruitment practices of companies in the United Kingdom and indeed worldwide. When it comes to this aspect of the selection process, practice can really make the difference between success and failure.
Taking the time and making the effort to research and run through the aptitude testing maze is an extremely worthwhile investment for any candidate. Here we find out more about what aptitude testing is designed to discover and how you can come out on top.
What are psychometric tests?
Also known as aptitude tests or personality assessments, psychometric tests are designed to evaluate a candidate’s decision making, intelligence and motivation, and to match their personality traits and behaviours to those required for a particular job. The tests are objective and fair- each candidate is given the same information and has the same opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities.
Psychometric tests are particularly useful in large scale recruitment competitions to narrow the field. Tests may be conducted at the employer’s offices but for efficiency purposes are increasingly being carried out online.
Becoming familiar with psychometric tests
Attaining employment can be a stressful process, particularly in a competitive job market. Coming into contact with a psychometric test for the first time at this stage is likely to only add to the candidate’s anxiety. An easy way of addressing this is to find out more about the type of testing the employer plans to use and then practice your approach. Most responsible recruiters will be willing to tell you what format the testing will take and may even provide sample questions. These tests are not designed to trick you or catch you out and so there should be no mystery surrounding them. Common types of test used include:
- IQ tests– these are designed to measure intelligence, knowledge and skills. Numerical reasoning tests mathematical competency, verbal reasoning assesses communication skills and ability to follow instructions, while abstract reasoning measures ability to identify the underlying logic of a particular situation and use this to work out a practical solution.
- Personality tests– These are designed to assess specific personality traits and behaviours. Questions focus on how you approach particular situations in order to find out more about you as a person in the round. Popular methodologies used include Myers-Briggs, Predictive Index and Belbin.
Whatever particular methodology is employed, most tests have some common features. Virtually all tests are timed and this is strictly adhered to- so practising to meet that deadline is an important discipline. Some tests are expected to be completed in totality within the set time period, while others are not- it is worthwhile establishing which category your test falls into in advance otherwise you may feel unnecessarily disheartened.
The vast majority of tests involve multiple choice questions, so even if you are not sure of an answer you will at least be able to give a response. You should still take your time when considering what is being asked and think through your answer- it can be tempting to just keep ticking with this type of test so get into the discipline of progressing methodically and carefully.
Getting expert help can really boost your prospects. For guidance on aptitude testing and all aspects of recruitment contact ICS Professional Consulting, who will be offering an online testing system to support candidates.