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Psychometric tests

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Published: 31 December 2020

Person taking a test online

These days companies are getting more and more applications for the job roles they post.  

Many businesses are turning to pre-interview screening in an attempt to find the best candidates.  

That means you’re likely to be asked to pass one of these psychometric tests before you get to meet your potential employers face-to-face.  

What is a psychometric test? 

These are a kind of mostly online test used in the first stages of screening when you apply for a job.  

They look objectively at your skills, knowledge and personality to work out how suitable you are as a candidate. 

Types of psychometric testing 

You’re likely to be given either a personality or aptitude test. 

Personality 

Looks at what interests and motivates you, essentially working out who you are and how you could fit in with the company.  

Examples of these kinds of tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which puts you into one of 16 personality types.  

There isn’t a set format for how the test is done but they typically last around 30 minutes and can include up to 200 questions. 

It’s not really possible to study for the test either as it’s trying to find out who you are more than what you know.  

Instead, just make sure you read the questions carefully and answer as honestly as you can. 

Aptitude 

Considers your reasoning and ability to see if you have the knowledge to do the role.  

These tests usually involve answering multiple-choice questions on writing, speaking and maths among other things. 

Unlike the personality test, you can practice for this one, which we recommend you do a lot of.  

Other than that, just make sure you’ve read the instructions and keep an eye on the time. 

Other types of test 

Psychometric tests can also include numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning questions.  

You might be asked to show off your situation judgement or error checking ability too.  

Each of these is slightly different. For example, in the numerical reasoning test, you might have to assess charts or databases whereas in verbal reasoning you may be asked to read a piece of text and explain it. 

Abstract reasoning is often made up of several slightly different pictures. You would have to work out what the difference is and select a new image that matches the pattern.  

Situational judgement is what it sounds like. You’ll be given a work-related situation and asked to make a decision based on the information you have.   

Error checking usually involves large amounts of numbers that you go through and find the mistake. There is a similar version with text which is normally used for roles that involve a lot of writing. 

Practice psychometric tests 

As we mentioned above, the best way to prepare for a psychometric test is to practice it.  

Luckily, there are lots of places on the internet that provide you with sample tests to have a go at. 

Check out JobTestPrepAssessmentDay or Cubiks.com for example. 

Don’t forget, psychometric tests aren’t just for the company. They’re also there to help you work out if you would do well in the role.  

But with a little practice and careful thought, they won’t be a barrier to you reaching your goals.  

Learn more about jobs skills on the Digital Literacy Skills section of the Library website. 

For more information, visit our Careers and Employability page. You can read about employability skills on our news pagesFind out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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