Psychometric tests have become a part of many applicant selection processes and are used by employers to assess a candidate’s skills by using questionnaires to evaluate which applicants are the best fit for a role. The following tips will help you prepare for these assessments.
- Research the employer to understand the type of applicant that will best fit the job from a skills, intelligence, personality, and cultural perspective.
- Learn about testing techniques. Psychometric tests are timed assessments aimed to measure abstract, verbal, and numerical reasoning skills.
- Get to know the types of tests and the format. There are different types of tests, but most fall into two categories: tests of ability and tests of personality. The format generally consists of timed numerical (math), verbal (reading comprehension), and/or logical (diagrammatic) questions.
- The majority of psychometric tests are administered online, therefore you should practice questions online to become comfortable with the format.
- Be prepared physically and mentally. You will need to be at your best to produce good results. Make sure you feel well-rested and energetic.
These are just a few of the companies that use psychometric testing as part of their selection process: Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, JP Morgan, KraftHeinz, Microsoft, P&G, and Tesla. Companies such as Koru and Pymetrics have developed user-friendly pre-screening tests that take about 20 minutes to complete. Koru’s assessment asks a series of questions to generate scores on seven skills – grit, ownership, curiosity, polish, teamwork, rigor, and impact. Pymetrics uses “games” to measure approximately 90 cognitive and emotional traits.
An employer should inform applicants of a pre-employment test ahead of time. It is fine for the applicant to inquire about the specific test used. Often the employer provides an information sheet and instructions, or a link to FAQs. Find additional information on the testing company website to be sure you understand the rules. For example, a look at the End User Agreement on the Pymetrics website reveals that the applicant may only play the games once in 12 months. If the applicant applies within 12 months to other employers that use Pymetrics, the same assessment result is used.
If an applicant has a disability that impacts his or her ability to perform the test, reasonable accommodation should be requested. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), an employer is prohibited from discriminating against an applicant for requesting such an accommodation.
The Best Preparation is Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Institute of Psychometric Coaching: Provides free test guides and preparation tools for aptitude, reasoning, cognitive & personality tests.
- Practice Reasoning Tests: Overview of psychometric testing and free practice tests.
- Psychometric Success: Provides an explanation of test types and free practice tests.
- Assessment Day: Provides free practice questions and helpful exercises.
- SHL Direct: General introduction to more than 10 test types.