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Survive Psychometric Testing


As competition grows in the recruitment market, companies are searching for practical tools that will provide them with a competitive edge. Psychometric testing is increasingly being used as a tool during the selection process because it is seen as an effective way to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role. In the US it is reported that up to 80% of fortune 500 companies utilise psychometric testing as part of their standard recruitment process. So, with more and more Australian companies doing the same, what should you expect?

Tried & tested
Psychometric tests can be used to assess general intellect and to categorise preferences and behavioural style. They can be helpful when evaluating a candidate’s suitability for a role or their organisational ‘fit’. Psychometric testing is most effective when used in conjunction with other recruitment tools such as applicant screening, interviews and reference checks.

Test is NOT a four letter word
There are two main types of tests commonly used. Aptitude tests and Personality tests.
Aptitude tests are knowledge based tests that measure a candidate’s ability to analyse information and draw conclusions. They typically require a verbal, numerical and/or written response and they have defined right or wrong answers. Try not to overthink your answers. Whilst it is natural to want to do well, it is important to try and move through the whole test and not spend too much time on any one question.
Personality tests are designed to assess strengths and weakness, character traits and behavioural preferences. There are NO right or wrong answers. Candidates choose from a series of multiple choice questions and are encouraged to do so honestly. With this type of testing it is in your interest to answer truthfully, but be mindful to answer as your ‘professional self’. Choose your preferences based on a work/career ‘you’, rather than your preferences coming from a ‘you’ in a casual or non-work environment.
Both types of tests usually have a set time to complete them within and are increasingly being offered online. Be aware that your time starts from when you begin the test. Find a quiet spot, remove all distractions and ensure you have all you need before you begin.
Approach this stage in a positive and confident way. Psychometric testing is not normally used in the initial stages of a recruitment process so, even being asked to sit a test is often a good sign that your application has progressed.

Practice makes prefect
There are many practice and sample tests available online and it is a good idea to sit as many as possible before your testing day arrives. Challenge yourself using a timer and get a feel for a range of different types of tests.
Regardless of whether you are successful in securing the role, be sure to ask for copies of your results and request feedback. The software used for these types of tests can produce quite detailed reports which makes for interesting reading to the hiring manager but will be a much more interesting read for you!