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What are psychometric tests?

A psychometric test is the best available solution that can deliver accurate, reliable and consistent recruitment results every time. It is a powerful scientific tool that helps recruiters assess the cognitive capabilities, personality and behaviour of a candidate.

In other words, a psychometric test helps recruiters get an overall picture of a candidate’s skills, abilities and character traits to make an objective unbiased hiring decision.

What are the different types of psychometric tests? 

Psychometric tests broadly fall under two major categories namely, ability tests and personality tests. The former tests what a person can do while the latter tests what a person is like. 

Ability tests include tests of numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, ranking, abstract/logical reasoning and critical thinking to name a few while personality tests include tests of motivation and situational judgement. 

The type of tests used in recruitment include psychometric personality test, psychometric test for recruitment, leadership psychometric test, psychometric test for sales recruitment, psychometric test for managers, etc.  

What does psychometric test measure?

Psychometric tests are used for evaluating a candidate's behavioral/personality traits, cognitive abilities, and mental capabilities. These tests are designed specifically to understand if a job applicant has the personality and employability skills required to function in a specific job role. The critical factors measured with a psychometric test are:

  • Positive personality traits
  • Negative personality traits 
  • Intelligence
  • Aptitude
  • Cognitive ability
  • Stress tolerance
  • Multitasking skills

Psychometric testing process

Psychometric tests are timed, and they generally feature a series of questions created by psychometricians and subject matter experts. The psychometric assessments that determine personality traits feature self-evaluation questions. The psychometric tests for determining cognitive ability feature numerical questions, reading comprehension questions to assess verbal skills, and diagrammatic questions to assess logical reasoning skills.

Psychometric testing tools

The most commonly used psychometric testing tools are listed below.

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicators
  • Preference Inventory Normative
  • Big Five personality test
  • Personality modules that are customized as per job role
  • Multiple choice questions and motivational questionnaires
  • Ipsative and normative evaluation tools

How are psychometric tests conducted?

psychometric test for employment can be effectively administered through online test platforms. Before delivering the test, you must decide on parameters such as the number of candidates, age group, background, test duration, special instructions that need to be followed, the time allotted for each test section, etc. 

How do companies use a psychometric test?

A psychometric test can effectively determine the success of a candidate in a particular job role, but the key is to ensure that it is valid, reliable and standardised to deliver the desired results. 

Companies can check the validity score and reliability score before selecting an online psychometric test. Tests with a score of 0.7 are most preferred as it provides accurate information on parameters like ambition, sociability, adjustment, prudence, learning approach, and other criteria.

Applications of psychometric tests

In the corporate sector, a psychometric test is used in the following areas:

  • Hiring: Hiring and recruitment requires the right tools to be able to deliver the right results. The use of a psychometric test in the recruitment process can definitely improve the quality of hiring for the long-term benefit of the company.
  • Workforce development: A psychometric test can help identify the skill gaps of the existing employees. Armed with the test results, the management can chart out a training program to address the skill gaps of the workforce. A skilled workforce is the key to business success and growth.
  • Succession planning: At an individual level, the psychometric test brings out the unique personality traits and cognitive strengths and weaknesses of an employee. It can prove useful in deciding the career progression of the employee and coming up with a succession plan.

Advantages of using psychometric test in recruitment

Psychometric tests are used in the field of recruitment, workforce development, campus hiring, off-campus hiring, etc. The main advantage of this test is that it lets recruiters find candidates who not only have the right cognitive abilities but also have the required positive personality traits. 

How are psychometric tests evaluated?

The applicants appearing for the test are presented with similar questions and instructions. Based on the psychometric test type, the responses are auto evaluated or statistically examined using standard methods of evaluation.

Are psychometric tests reliable and accurate?

The reliability of a psychometric test is its capacity to measure what it claims to measure every time. It refers to the consistency of the scores obtained for repeated testing under identical testing conditions. Standardisation of the test is the process of norming it with respect to age, gender, occupation, employability, education and more for comparison and better interpretation of the results. 

The scientific evaluation techniques used in online psychometric tests are more effective in predicting candidates' performance, work culture fit, and employability fit. 

Science behind psychometric tests

Psychometrics is a field which focuses on a person’s personality and behaviour. Personality traits don’t change over time, whereas behaviour can be adjusted and altered to an extent depending upon the situation, environment and stimulus.

Exhibited human behaviour is a function of bright and dark personality traits, cognitive abilities and certain other factors categorised as X-factors. X-factors include upbringing, motivation and values that act as catalysts and affect the intended human behaviour.

The bright side of human personality includes the positive personality traits that show up when people are at their best. They include openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability. These traits are capable of enhancing job performance.

The dark personality traits are those stable characteristics of a person which when triggered lead to a display of undesirable behaviour. It has a negative impact on the people in close quarters that include friends, family, co-workers and customers. The list of traits includes opportunism, self-obsession, insensitive, temperamental, impulsiveness and thrill-seeking.

A psychometric test is developed taking into account all the aforementioned factors to measure the behavioural traits and mental abilities of an individual. It helps reliably and accurately determine one’s suitability for a job role in a company.

What makes a psychometric test accurate and precise?

The equation between human personality and behaviour forms the basis of psychometric theory. By taking into account and measuring the various factors that influence the exhibited human behaviour, a psychometric test is able to accurately and reliably predict the personality, behaviour and capability of a candidate. The results of a psychometric test help predict job fitness and success of a candidate in a position at an organisation.

What are the applications of a psychometric test in a corporate setting?

It is used by corporate recruiters for hiring and recruitment. A psychometric test also helps the management to come up with a workforce development and succession plan to take care of future growth and success.

What are the different types of psychometric tests used in the corporate sector?

Psychometric tests may be broadly classified into personality and ability tests. Reasoning, visualization, editing, error checking, decision making, judgment and problem-solving are some of the common psychometric tests administered based on the job profile.

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