Psychometric Test: What Is It? and Why Do Recruiters Use It?

Psychometric Test: What Is It? and Why Do Recruiters Use It?


Getting into a dream company is by no means an easy feat. It requires you to clear some challenging hurdles and tests. Most colleges and universities stress the importance of an interview. However, most of the top companies today include psychometric tests as one of the main recruitment steps during the hiring process.

An interview process is fairly subjective and though a candidate’s skills and experiences are assessed fairly accurately, a lot depends on the interviewer’s gut instinct regarding a candidate.

And that’s where the objectivity of psychometric tests comes to play.

Here’s a complete information guide on psychometric tests, including details about the top psychometric tests available, and the best companies offering psychometric mockups.

Psychometric test

Table of Contents

What is a Psychometric Test?

A psychometric test is an assessment or activity that is used to measure a candidate’s personality traits and cognitive ability. It is conducted to evaluate the candidate’s skills, knowledge and abilities, to determine his or her job or academic potential.

In most graduate scheme applications, they are now a common hurdle to pass. The tests in these cases are closely related to the field of study that the applicant applies for.

Although there are many test styles and formats, in this article we will concentrate on the three main areas. Psychometric tests take various forms like numerical, mechanical, logical, verbal, etc.

Most of these tests are conducted online, usually involving multiple-choice format. Sometimes paper-based tests are also used and in few other cases, tests are conducted in person in an office.

In most job hiring processes, the candidate will be provided with an email link. And the length of the test matches the mental agility required to rapidly deliver accurate responses.

The three most common psychometric testing areas are:

  • Aptitude tests
  • Behavioral tests
  • Assessment centers

Aptitude Tests: These tests’ goal is to assess a candidate’s intellectual capabilities, competence in numerical, logical, and analytical reasoning skills, literacy skills and more.

They target to measure the candidate’s capabilities to implement particular job-related skills and then predict consequent job performance.

Behavioral Tests: These tests are used to narrow down on the specific personality traits that can give the employers an idea about the perfect match for specific roles.

Often used to determine if a person would correctly fit in a particular work environment, they can come in various forms like questionnaires, leadership tests, motivation tests and situational judgment tests.

Assessment Centers: These are the tests that are carried out by assessors or psychologists and are based on human interaction assessments. These exercises use job-specific skills and simulations.

Why do Recruiters Use Psychometric Test?

If you’re in the process of applying for jobs, it’s best to understand all the aspects of a psychometric test, to equip yourself better. If anything, it can give you an edge over other candidates.

Most companies use psychometric tests as part of their recruitment process as it is one of the best ways for them to evaluate your intelligence, skills and personality.

Based on your psychometric test scores, they decide whether or not to hire you. These tests indicate your potential to excel in a position or career. They are also ways for the company to evaluate your team spirit, capacity to process information and your ability to cope with stress.

Psychometric tests alone do not decide your chances of getting hired.

Nevertheless, it’s a very important factor of evaluation often considered in combination with your CVs, cover letters and other assessment rounds.

Companies use psychometric testing for two primary reasons. Firstly, to reduce the HR recruitment costs and secondly, to ensure onboarding of top quality candidates to avoid employee turnover.

You’ll be tested for numerical, verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills because the main objective of a psychometric test is to assess a candidate’s ability to perform the duties of a job or a role.

And hence, to stand out among the crowd, practice is crucial.

These tests, mostly administered online, help in streamlining the recruitment process and reveal top applicants efficiently. Employers usually receive many applications for one particular role. Hence psychometric tests serve as a quick and easy way to reduce the size of the applicant pool.

Psychometric tests are considered to be reliable indicators of a candidate’s potential and suitability. A strong correlation has been identified between a high score and consequent excellent performance in the assigned role.

Verbal and numerical reasoning tests are popular with employers since they test the crucial comprehension and arithmetic skills that are highly useful in a workplace. The testing under pressure indicates the candidate’s ability to cope in a demanding role every day.

Although few prospective employees may dislike this standardized testing, it does bring impartiality into the recruitment process.

Psychometric testing may seem like an intimidating prospect initially. However, unlike a few other recruitment stages, you can prepare yourself to avoid any unpleasant surprises. And increase your chances of securing a final stage interview with a high psychometric test score.

Top 5 Psychometric Tests

Apart from the challenges of correctly understanding and answering test questions, dealing with time constraints is another obstacle.

Time frames are provided for both aptitude tests and assessment exercises to evaluate a candidate’s ability to cope with time pressure.

Hence it’s a no-brainer that an ample amount of practice before the final assessment can be beneficial to your success.

Here are few of the top 5 psychometric tests used by companies around the world to assess and recruit suitable candidates.

Personality Profiling

Personality, by and large, remains consistent across all contexts. Although there are no fixed answers on a personality test, employers use the potential employees’ test scores to compare with a given job requirement to seek a match.

An individual’s answers can indicate if they have the qualities that match the company’s vision.

In most companies, personality profiling is generally used as the first step in the recruitment procedure. Although sometimes it is carried out after analyzing other specific abilities.

Some companies include personality tests during their online assessments. While few others ask the candidates to take the test paper home and return it upon completion or use on-the-spot filling methods.

Few popular personality tests used by many companies throughout the world are:

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
  • DISC

Verbal Reasoning Assessment

Many companies use verbal reasoning tests as the most common way to assess a candidate’s qualifications, potential and comprehension skills.

Different types of verbal reasoning tests like sentence completion tests and analogies are used to assess an individual’s proficiency with the English language.

To assess managers, professionals and graduates, few other complex verbal reasoning tests are used. Generally, a verbal reasoning test will have a short text passage along with true or false answers.

Instead of measuring an individual’s fluency in the English language, or grasp over vocabulary, such tests aim to evaluate their ability to think constructively, generate written reports, and communicate information clearly and concisely.

Verbal reasoning tests assist employers in discovering an individual’s capacity to identify critical business-related issues.

A verbal reasoning test is also used to measure a candidate’s ability to produce clear organizational reports and articulate business-related issues perfectly.

Numerical Reasoning Assessment

An individual’s analytical and logical skills are evaluated in a numerical reasoning test. The ability to interpret and analyze numerical data presented in a graphical or tabular form, is measured through these tests.

Most companies use mathematical reasoning to deduce an individual’s problem solving and decision-making skills.

The results of the numerical reasoning tests are used to evaluate an individual’s capacity and efficiency in identifying and solving critical business-related issues.

A candidate is evaluated on topics like statistics, ratios, percentages, and graph interpretation. To achieve business goals, organizations rely on system-generated numerical data or numbers communicated by key stakeholders. Hence every individual in an organization should be capable of interpreting these data to drive results and monitor the organization’s progress.

A numerical test comprises of situational questions based on business descriptions, presented in the form of tables and graphs. Each business situation has a corresponding set of four to five questions with multiple choice answers. Based on the numerical data, the candidate should decide the most appropriate answer. Numerical reasoning assessments are always timed.

Though time limits vary for different tests, 50– 60 seconds per question are the standard limits.

Situational Judgment Test

This psychometric test is commonly used to assess a candidate’s ability to solve problems in work-related situations and the questions are also based around this. They are designed to evaluate an individual’s capacity to solve problems in difficult and critical situations.

This analysis provides a glimpse of an individual’s leadership qualities and also gives a fair idea about the candidate’s employee skills. Often tailored according to different function such as sales, customer service and IT, the test has many short work-related scenarios. Along with this, it has multiple possible responses for an individual to choose from.

The candidate is usually required to rate responses based on a scale. The scale can vary from strongly undesirable to strongly desirable.  Unlike other psychometric tests, these are usually not time-based.

Logical Reasoning Assessment

Logical Reasoning tests are used to evaluate an individual’s critical thinking skills, analytical, and deductive reasoning abilities.

These tests contain non-verbal content and a candidate needs to interpret and analyze numerical or pictorial patterns along with shapes and numbers. To reflect a targeted skillset, it is sometimes called as Inductive Reasoning or Abstract Reasoning. 

Consisting of questions like identifying the next figure in a sequence, these tests commonly include components from both diagrammatic and numerical reasoning assessments. They are mostly used in the application process of service and consulting firms. 

Best Companies that Offer Psychometric Mockups

For any kind of test, practice is the key. To feel confident and avoid stress on your test day, ensure to put in the required number of hours. 

Here’s a list of some of the best companies that offer psychometric mockups.

Saville Assessment: Well known for its psychometric tests and personality questionnaires, Saville Assessment is a consultancy and talent acquisition firm. With an extensive library of assessments, their tests are used by industries and employers around the world. You can sign up and get access to a few of their free mock tests.

Kenexa Tests: A recruitment service turned psychology consultancy, the psychometric tests of Kenexa are used by companies to hire the best candidates. With a wide range of aptitude tests available, it is one of the best tests to assess an individual’s ability to work under pressure. Take a look at their available mock tests to familiarize yourself with the questions.

Cubiks Tests: With a range of online tests based on verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract reasoning, Cubiks Tests is the psychometric test provider for many big and small firms. They also have several free tests available for you to practice before the big day.

Cut-e Tests: Cut-e is a talent measurement company with a variety of psychometric tests available to fit company-specific formats and question types. Their tests are slightly different from other assessments with different structuring, testing environment and formats for each task. Practicing their mock tests will increase your confidence and also highlight any areas where you need more knowledge or preparation.

Criterion Partnership Tests: A leading psychometric test provider, their wide variety of online assessments help employers to evaluate a candidate’s performance in different work-related tasks or situations.  Most of the tests are created by their occupational psychologists designed to determine a candidate’s inclinations and preferences within the workplace. 

Revelian Tests: An Australian aptitude test provider, Revelian Tests help recruiters identify the most appropriate candidate for a job, mainly when recruiting for graduate roles.  Used globally by several employers, it is one of the most popular psychometric test providers with several mock tests available for you to practice.

What to Know Before Taking a Psychometric Test

A psychometric test consists of multiple-choice questions that need to be answered within a specified time limit. The test’s length and time varies, depending upon test type and provider.

These tests are an assessment of one’s mental agility. Hence, to answer the questions without compromising on the accuracy you need an ample amount of practice and preparation.

Certain tests might seem overly ambitious and that’s usually because that’s their intension. Although you need to focus on rapidly answering the questions, don’t rush ahead to complete the test.

It’s common for several psychometric tests to be conducted in the same session. For example, you may be required to sit a numerical reasoning test followed by a situational judgment assessment and a verbal reasoning test on the same day.

It’s best to gather as much information as possible about the test structure beforehand to help prepare better.

Once you find out that your job recruitment process consists of a psychometric test, contact your employer about the test details such as number and type of tests along with the provider used.

Although they may not be able to disclose the name of the provider, it is always worth an ask, since similar kind of questions are asked usually.

While few employers may conduct paper-based tests, mostly psychometric tests are conducted online either remotely or in an assessment center. If it’s a home-based assessment, you’ll be provided with a time window, usually around 48 hours, to take the test.

Some tests employ adaptive questioning algorithms, where the test difficulty varies according to correct answers logged successively. This means as you continue to provide correct answers to the questions, the tests increases in difficulty.

Psychometric tests are slowly becoming an integral part of most hiring processes nowadays. Hence it’s advised to not take it lightly. A little preparation beforehand can go a long way in helping you land that dream job.

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