Don’t be scared of a psychometric assessment

Psychometric testing is used extensively during the recruitment process to evaluate the compatibility of the candidate’s personality type for the job at hand as well as the organisation’s culture. However, it is also used on existing employees to assess team dynamics in the company and how best to utilise the talent at its disposal. Psychometric testing helps companies establish answers as to why some individuals may not be performing optimally in their roles and why others are better suited for a particular position; what areas in the company require attention and how best to go about developing these areas; who to consider for succession planning; and where best to harness the skills and potential of employees in the company.

Psychometric testing usually falls under three categories. These are ability testing, aptitude testing and personality testing. Ability testing measures a person’s potential to learn new skills or to cope with the pressures of a specific job. Aptitude testing is also job related, but focuses on specific job areas and how the test taker would perform in a defined role. Personality testing covers how a person acts in the workplace in relation to different personality types and and suggest to management how to get the best results from someone with a certain personality type.

There is no pass or fail in these tests. Every person is unique with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of psychometric testing is to get an objective, scientific assessment of what these strengths and weaknesses are so that a company can make a decision of how best to use you or to select the best candidate for a specific job.

Accredited psychometric assessments used by credible companies have been developed by certified psychologists specific to the needs of a workplace assessment and selection tool. It is important to note that psychometric testing should not be used as the main selection tool, however should be viewed in conjunction with a person’s qualifications, experience and interview results.

Our advice should you be requested to complete a psychometric test is to be completely honest. Don’t answer questions based on what you think the company wants to hear. Discrepancies in your answers will be picked up. Relax. After all, it’s just an assessment that you can’t fail and you don’t want to go into it looking like you are hiding something or tying to be something you are not.

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