Psychometric Testing

24 Jul 2009

You Can’t Beat Psychometric Testing

As published in Computer Weekly

More than 70% of top companies now use psychometric tests – and there is no way to trick them in order to get a job says job agency body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. They also warn that trying to guess the “right” answer to test questions is not only impossible but will probably reveal someone as a liar.

Psychometric tests aim to predict a person’s behaviour, particularly for job recruitment purposes. As such, they are used increasingly to discover teamwork potential in the I.T. industry – and 60% of people going for management position will face such tests at some point.

“Psychometric analysis is not mystical – the results are systematically calculated against recognised models from the answers you give to tailored questions,” the Confederation says in a new report.

“Questions are carefully balanced against each other to ensure that the interpretation is an accurate reflection of your unique personality. There are no right or wrong answers.”

“Give honest responses and enjoy the opportunity the employer has provided to help you describe yourself.”

There are two main types of test: one measures a person’s characteristics relative to one another, while the second measures a person’s profile against a specific group, or the whole population. Tests typically involve multiple-choice questions such as, “Put the following words in the order which describes you best: systematic, concise, sociable, enthusiastic,” or, “Which are you most: persistent or articulate?”

The Confederation says it is unusual for a job offer to be jeopardised by a test: “A trained recruiter will probably attribute no more than 15% of the decision to the analysis. The impression you give at an interview is generally far more important.”

The Confederation adds, “Many organisations use tests to analyse teams and the way they work together, to devise the most effective structure.

“If you are facing psychometric testing in your existing role, view it as a valuable exercise which should enable you to work smarter and more effectively with your co-workers.”

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