Psychometric tests are often used by employers during the interview selection stages to assess a candidate’s character and potential ability to determine whether or not they are either suitable for the role or a great personality fit for the team.
Most psychometric tests are completed online and generally requested before an offer of a face to face interview.
There are many different types of psychometric tests and you may be asked to complete more than one depending on the specific job role.
Personality questionnaires have become a commonly used recruitment tool, and candidates may come across them at both the early stages and the late stages of the recruitment process. Research has shown that personality tests are highly robust predictors of job performance, and are used for both selection and development as a result.
Candidates will be likely to encounter personality questionnaires in all industries and all sectors, however candidate are most likely to undertake these tests in graduate schemes and recruitment for larger companies with high recruitment volumes. These tests may be online and unsupervised or they may be pencil and paper tests at an assessment centre.
With thousands of job applicants to choose from, it’s common for employers to use aptitude testing to sift the good candidates from the mediocre. The most common way for employers to use numerical reasoning psychometric tests is online, after they have accepted your CV or initial application form. If you pass your online test, larger employers tend to then invite you to an assessment centre. Often employers ask you to sit a repeat test as the assessment centre to verify that you are indeed the same person who scored that great score on the online test, so don’t get your friends to help with your online test!
The great thing about the numerical reasoning psychometric tests used for employment selection is that they are not the same as a maths test. You don’t have to remember formulae or write long proofs. The important characteristics of a numerical reasoning test are:
- Multiple choice answers - no longhand answers or showing your working-out.
- No prior knowledge required - no equations to memorise (or surreptitiously write on your arm).
- Use of calculators permitted - no mental arithmetic required.
- Strict time limits - some are generous while some are very short.
- Relevant to the workplace - modern tests are based on the kind of numerical information you would deal with in the job.
- Based on only the information given - you should not make assumptions about data you are not given.
Why do employers use verbal reasoning psychometric tests? Because they are better at predicting candidates’ job performance than interviews, CVs and other traditional methods of selection. To quickly get a feel of what a real verbal reasoning test looks like, take one of our free practice tests below.
Employers use your verbal reasoning score, together with other selection factors such as interview performance, to help them decide which candidate is most suitable for the role. Verbal reasoning psychometric tests used in selection usually take the form of a written passage followed by a series of questions with possible True, False or Cannot Say responses. It is important you know and appreciate the meaning of each response if you are to score highly.
- True - The statement follows logically given the information contained within the passage.
- False - The statement cannot logically follow given the information contained within the passage.
- Cannot Say - It is not possible to determine given the information contained within the passage alone; i.e. more information would be required to say for certain.
Inductive reasoning psychometric tests, diagrammatic reasoning and abstract reasoning are often used interchangeably. Whilst they are in fact slightly different tests, the concept behind both inductive reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning is to test the candidate’s logical problem solving ability. Inductive reasoning tests are a common form of aptitude assessment, after numerical and verbal reasoning. These tests are typically used to test candidates for engineering and technical jobs.
Inductive reasoning psychometric tests are one type of psychometric tests frequently used in selecting applicants for job roles such as engineering and IT. You have to think logically and methodically against the clock to spot patterns in the sequence of graphics. Usually the best way to approach inductive reasoning tests is to spot a pattern in the first two or three figures and quickly test out your theory by checking if this fits with the next figures. Practice will help.
Diagrammatic reasoning psychometric tests (often used interchangeably with abstract reasoning tests) are commonly used aptitude tests used by recruiters to assess a candidate’s ability to think logically and solve complex problems. Candidates applying for roles which require high level of problem solving ability and logical reasoning, such as management consulting, engineering and finance are likely to encounter a diagrammatic reasoning test, or similar logical reasoning test.
These tests will be time limited and will be multiple choice formats, the number of choices will vary considerably depending on the type of diagrammatic reasoning test issued. This test may be either pencil and paper format, or more likely, will be an online version, and may or may not be supervised. Candidates will be shown a flowchart of diagrams and/or symbols which form an equation. This you will need to decipher which combination of diagrams will harbour with particular outcome in a sequence. For example if the presence of a particular symbol “M” input is present, it may flip the next diagram or output in the sequence 90 degrees, or change its colour etc.
Candidates will need to discover the rules associated with particular symbols or diagrams, and apply them by selecting the correct answer based on those rules. These questions will not be work place relevant and will appear abstract in nature, these tests will also be time limited.
Logical reasoning psychometric tests are a broad group of aptitude tests which test candidate’s problem solving ability. These tests may be encountered for any position at any level of recruitment, but they may be particularly common when recruiting for positions which require significant problem solving ability or higher use of logic.
Depending on the type of test, the questions may or may not be work place relevant, and will typically be time limited, multiple choice format. They may be pencil and paper format or they may (more likely) be online format, both supervised and unsupervised. In the strictest sense all reasoning tests (i.e. verbal, numerical etc) are logical reasoning psychometric tests as they require the use of logic, however when referred to by employers they will be testing a specific form of logical reasoning (i.e. inductive, deductive etc).
Verbal comprehension aptitude tests assess a candidate’s ability to read a passage of information quickly, and identify relevant information from that passage. For example a question may require a candidate to scan through a passage of information regarding a current event, and the candidate will be presented with a list of statements which may or may not be correct, requiring the candidate to select with statement is correct/incorrect based on the passage above. This will be undertaken under timed conditions and the candidate will have to read the passage quickly, and answer the questions accurately.
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