Every organization is keen on making right hiring decisions that of finding the right person for the right job. When hiring goes wrong it can be costly, in terms of time, money related to recruitment, training and induction procedures. In order to hire right, companies have realized that it does not suffice to go by the resume, references and interview(s) alone to gain insight into candidate's capability and personality.
Subjecting candidates to psychometric testing coupled with information provided in the CV and interviews are considered a better, more reliable hiring mechanism. So much so that online psychometric tests have become an integral part of every organization's hiring process.
So, what does an organization seek to measure through psychometric testing? And, how does a candidate benefit trying psychometric test examples? Find answers to these questions. For a well-informed candidate who knows what to expect and how to succeed psychometric tests can prove to be the password to move forward.
Psychometric tests were originally designed for use in education psychology. Francis Galton is referred to as the father of psychometrics, the science of measuring mental faculties and differential psychology. In the 19th century Francis Galton prepared questionnaires to measure how individuals responded to different scenarios. The responses obtained were used to investigate imagery in different groups of people.
In the current scenario, 70% of the world's employers are using aptitude tests as part of the recruitment process. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies in U.S use psychometric tests in recruitment and selection process. Psychometric testing is available for all levels of staff from directors and senior management to semi-skilled workers. Research data shows that by including psychometric tests in the normal recruitment procedure, the success rate of recruitment increases to 65%.
Industries and professions use psychometric tests. Sectors such as Information technology, telecom, engineering, energy, banking, management consultancy, accountancy, civil service, fire services, police services, armed forces and fast moving consumer goods and retail industry use psychometric tests in conjunction with other selection procedures. Besides being a valuable pre-employment screening tool, psychometric tests are used to improve HR-related activities, such as training and performance assessment, individual development i.e. in identifying personal strength and weakness as well as team and organizational development.
Psychometric test benefits
For an organization psychometric testing offers many benefits.
- How well the candidate can handle stress and cope with the intellectual demands of the job.
- A good psychometric test provides fair and accurate results each time it is administered.
- To identify if the candidate has traits specific to 'that' particular role.
- To determine whether the candidate's attitude match with the company's work culture.
- A scientific approach to reduce human bias in selection and recruitment.
- Test is statistically accurate and measures what it is supposed to measure in a fair and consistent manner.
- The test results are reliable, tend to predict success in the role more effectively.
- Quick and effective way of short listing of unsuitable candidates in early stages of recruitment process.
- To take more informed recruitment decisions, reduce recruitment costs and the probability of hiring mistakes.
- To recognize individual's potential rather than just skills that have been acquired retrospectively.
- To gain in-depth understanding of a candidate's nature.
- The test is reliable. It measures in a consistent way. The potential error is small and is quantifiable.
- Compares individuals on common criteria and decisions can be made without bias against any particular group.
- Can illuminate training needs and identify management potential.
- Match qualities available with qualities that are desired.
Online psychometric tests are extensively used in selection of programmers, system analysts, software analysts, application programmers, graduate level IT trainees, technicians, bank entry-level positions etc. Depending on the type of skills, abilities required for a certain position, the test form will vary. By trying psychometric test examples and appearing for a psychometric test the candidate stands to gain a lot.
- Appearing for psychometric tests boosts confidence level and to obtain a general overview of the test parameters.
- Helps candidates identify themselves, their interests and preference.
- Identify potential which the candidate was not aware of earlier. It can open new avenues of development or new career paths so as to make an informed career choice.
- Useful for students and professionals to determine where their talents lie or their core areas, identify skills and abilities.
- Candidates can focus on new skills.
- Personality tests provide an opportunity to learn more about candidate's personality, and the job for which he/she is being assessed.
- Aptitude tests reveal key aptitudes. It helps to identify the career choices that best match key aptitudes.
- Online psychometric tests can be taken from anywhere; candidates can widen their horizon/reach.
- The test results provide a comprehensive source of information that will help compile high quality CVs and letters of application.
Psychometric testing is a tool to measure individual intelligence, aptitude and personality. Though its application is appropriate for any setting, be it organizations (private and public) or educational institutions, companies use psychometric testing as part of their pre-screening process in hiring new employees and to assess potential areas for training and development of existing employees.
Psychometric tests fall into two main categories - either a personality questionnaire trying to measure aspects of an individual's personality or an aptitude test to measure intellectual and reasoning abilities. The tests are objective in nature.
The purpose is to assess logical reasoning or thinking performance. There are several different tests, which uniquely identify aptitude ability. There are questions that test numeric ability, mechanical reasoning, abstract reasoning, spatial reasoning, verbal ability, language usage and spelling. The questions start out relatively straightforward and get steadily harder.
The questionnaire has multiple-choice questions. Typically, the test might allow 30 minutes for 30 questions or so. The test is strictly timed.
Verbal ability test: Knowledge of English and reasoning ability is measured. The test consists of questions that test ability to spell words correctly, use correct grammar, understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions.
Numerical ability test: The aim is to measure ability to perform tasks involving numbers. The test consists of questions on basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. A more complex questionnaire will include critical reasoning questions, blocks of information to be interpreted.
Non-verbal reasoning involves the ability to understand and analyze visual information and solve problems using visual reasoning.Like,
Abstract reasoning test: Candidate has to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then choose a solution. These tests are also called as diagrammatic reasoning, creative or strategic reasoning tests.
Spatial reasoning test: It checks the ability to mentally manipulate two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional shapes. Its applicability is relevant in engineering settings, architecture and interior design where there is need to work with complex plans.
Mechanical reasoning test: As the name suggests, mechanical reasoning or mechanical aptitude tests are meant to assess mechanical and physical concepts. The test is mandatory for military jobs and emergency service. Questions usually asked are regarding various mechanical devices like shafts, clamps, wheels, sliding rods, weights, conveyor belts, pulleys, levers, tools, springs, and simple electrical circuits, workshop arithmetic. Mechanical reasoning test questions will be industry-specific.
There is a noticeable shift in companies placing more value into finding the right personality for their organization. Employers have realized that the behavior of individuals and teams in the workplace impact the success and growth of the organization. Consideration of qualification and a candidate's personality almost enjoy equal weight. The word personality stands for individual characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and acting while facing a range of situations.
The test is aimed at understanding how a candidate feels, reacts or responds. There are personality tests that are designed specifically to test suitability of candidates for particular job/particular traits. The response or reaction provides indication regarding candidate's enthusiasm, motivation, traits, values and attitude. It is valuable in gauging if the candidate's personality would fit in with that of the company's work style.
The most popular and widely used personality test in the world is Myers Briggs type indicator or MBTI for individual/group. There are no 'right or wrong' answers to the basic question test. The test categorizes a person on four scales with two choices on each scale. There are 16 combinations of personality types defined by the MBTI. It can identify introverts, extroverts and other categories like judging/perceiving, sensing/intuitive and thinking/feeling. Though there are some characteristics in almost everyone, the test is more about discovering dominant personality traits, recognize strengths or areas of potential weakness.
The test is also a widely used self-development tool. Using Myers Briggs personality test people are able to know their 'personality type' based on which they select the perfect job, the ideal spouse, the most suitable business associate or effect changes for overall development.
For companies, MBTI is helpful
- To assess how a person will react in various work situations
- How a person will fare in particular job functions
- How well a person will work in a team
- To determine who can perform what function and for how long
- To assess areas which require training/development
Preparing for psychometric testing
A psychometric test is held for candidates who have fulfilled initial job selection requirements like qualification and experience. Those companies who have opted to use psychometric test as a method to further short-list candidates will forward a letter of invitation mentioning test date, place and time.
Having received the psychometric test intimation, you are well aware that getting the job or moving to the next stage of selection process is now based on test performance. Pre-examination tension haunts almost everyone. It's very natural. More so, thinking about the unknown elements of the test. For the unprepared candidates psychometric tests represent a real challenge. Not for those who plan and prepare well in advance. Trying to solve psychometric test examples can significantly improve your confidence and success rate. There are a number of free psychometric tests and assessments available via the Internet.
Doing online psychometric tests will improve your skills, significantly reduce anxiety levels, help in familiarizing with test format, content, certain terms etc. On the whole, it will help in getting over obstacles that may hinder bringing out your true capabilities.
- The test can be paper-based or online test.
- The test can also be conducted before or at the end of an interview.
- The test is strictly timed and has a detailed set of administration instructions.
- The test is objective type (multiple-choice form) and scoring is the same for all persons.
- Test instructions will be given before you start the test and there will be some example questions to try, with no time limit.
- Very few people manage to finish the test. The object is simply to give as many correct answers as you can.
- The test is a means to compare you with an 'ideal employee'
Practicing for online psychometric tests
It is becoming increasingly common for organizations to use the Internet to conduct psychometric test. This approach has distinct advantages over paper-and-pencil tests. It is cost-effective, and scoring and interpretation are done immediately.
The most comprehensive list of free psychometric tests, psychometric test examples and questionnaires are available on the web. There are free practice psychometric test with answers, explanations and an interpretation of scores. These tests are not only for first-timers but also for those who have taken the test earlier and not gone to the next selection process.
Practicing free psychometric tests can improve your performance. Practice completing a free psychometric test and check out what employers will learn about you. These tests are indicative only; the results can be saved for analysis and target further practice. Start by looking at sample questions and tests online. Put your skills into practice and be well prepared for the big day.