These are exam like tests designed by occupational psychologists and are used by employers in their recruitment and selection process to measure a candidates ability and personality. Their aim is to provide employers with information about a prospective employee and thereby help them find the most suitable applicant for their vacancy.

The word psychometric is from the Greek words for ‘psyche’ (mind) and ‘metron’ (measure).

The tests are usually timed and are designed to measure natural ability and are not about achieving the highest score. They are typically standardized pen and paper tests which are scored and compared against established norms.

It is important to note that psychometric tests are just one of the tools used by employers in the selection process.

What do psychometric tests measure?
The tests are used to measure an applicants:

  • Intelligence
  • Aptitude
  • Personality
  • Ability to handle stress
  • Ability to learn
  • Verbal ability
  • Knowledge
  • Emotional instability or stability
  • Logical thinking
  • Traits
  • Numeric ability
  • Abstract reasoning

There are two main types of psychometric tests
Personality and interest tests
Used to assess a candidates attitude towards work, their motivation and also behaviour. They also assess how an individual behaves in relation to their environment and how they perform tasks and do things.

Aptitude and ability tests
These focus more on a persons problem solving skills and their ability to think things through logically. They are also aimed at seeing how candidates work with other people and whether they can cope in demanding situations.

How do psychometric tests benefit employers?

  • They help employers to select the right employee.
  • Help to reduce staff turnover by ensuring that the most suitable person is employed.
  • They can show employers if a prospective candidate is extrovert or introvert.
  • Can help identify an applicants IQ level and ability to do the job properly.

Tips for taking psychometric tests

  • Be as honest as possible in your answers.
  • Do not spend too much time thinking about each question, if you come across a difficult question that you cannot answer then leave it and move on.
  • Prior to the test prepare yourself by taking mock tests, you can even ask the employer for sample questions of what you may be asked.
  • Practise taking tests working against the clock.

Which employers use psychometric tests?
Most medium to large sized companies and organizations use them in various sectors like IT, engineering, finance, banking, consultancy, accountancy, the public sector, and retail.

  • Private business
  • The civil service
  • Local authorities
  • Fire service
  • The Armed Services
  • NHS