What to expect during psychometric testing

By Jennifer Kenworthy

Published on 11-03-2014

Psychometric testing

It is the dreaded moment for any candidate going through a recruitment process, when the potential employer or recruiter says “the final stage will be psychometric testing”.

Psychometric testing is intended to help an organisation determine who is the best fit for a role in terms of ability and personality.

Psych testing usually covers two areas – ability tests and personality profiling.

Abilities testing

What does it involve?

Ability tests measure your intellectual abilities as well as your potential to learn and understand new information in a limited timeframe. They tend to be multiple-choice questions, where you have to choose one correct answer from several answer options.  The most common ability tests include:

  • Verbal reasoning (analysing written information)
  • Numerical reasoning (interpreting statistical data)
  • Abstract reasoning (analysing a problem presented visually, usually involving patterns sequences)

Personality Profiling

What does it involve?

Personality questionnaires assess your behavioural style, opinions and motivations. As well as revealing your interests, preferences and values in a work context, personality questionnaires aim to establish how you:

  • Think, feel and act in different situations
  • Relate to others
  • Approach and solve problems
  • Cope with conflict and stress.

How to prepare:

While you can't study the exact content of aptitude or psychometric tests, there are measures you can take to prepare for them.

To prepare for aptitude tests, improving your logic and reasoning skills by:

  • word games
  • brainteasers
  • crosswords
  • maths puzzles
  • Sudoku

You can improve your verbal reasoning ability by reading, as this will increase your vocabulary and comprehension.

On the day, be sure to read instructions carefully and try to balance speed with accuracy.  If you are stuck on a question, do not waste time on it - go on to the next one and come back to it at the end if you have time.

For personality questionnaires, there are no right or wrong answers - you simply need to answer honestly and consistently.  If you go in with confidence, positivity, and a can-do attitude there is a very good chance that this will be reflected in your answers.