One of the most notable trends in the field of job recruitment today is conducting psychometric and assessment tests. Today, more than ever, getting hired requires one to be aware of and prepared for the possibility of having to take a psychometric test. Such tests examine, among other things, candidates’ skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, and attitudes.
The key to outperforming the competition and achieving the desired advantage is practising. However, one of the greatest challenges is knowing which test to practise for. Therefore, it is important to understand the main types of assessments big firms use:
- Aptitude tests – The main goal of aptitude tests is to assess various cognitive abilities. Normally, aptitude tests contain two main sections: a numeracy section and a literacy section. These may be accompanied by sections on spatial awareness, abstract reasoning, deductive reasoning, and more. The numeracy section consists of two types of questions—numerical literacy and numerical reasoning. While numerical literacy questions examine basic calculation skills, numerical reasoning questions require a higher level of application of interpretation and analysis. The verbal section also consists of two main types of questions — text analysis and linguistic-based questions. The text analysis questions require basic reading comprehension skills and the ability to draw logical conclusions from short passages. The linguistic-based questions include word analogies and odd-one-out questions. Additionally, they require an extensive vocabulary. One example is the EPSO tests which are used to assess applicants for European Union agencies.
- Behavioural tests – As different types of jobs require different types of personalities, behavioural tests are intended to highlight the specific personality traits particular positions require. Each employer chooses a different method to examine these traits: personality questionnaires, leadership tests, motivation tests, and/or situational judgement tests. One of the most common types of behavioural tests is personality tests. Personality tests are used to create a psychological profile of a candidate, and they are designed specifically to evaluate that candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Usually, the tests aim to examine a candidate’s level of assertiveness, social skills, tendency to dominate, etc. Situational judgment tests, on the other hand, consist of an array of questions that examine how a candidate reacts to different workplace situations.
- Assessment day exercises – These exercises are based on human interaction assessments. Unlike aptitude and behavioural tests, these exercises do not come in the form of a written test, but rather are carried out by assessors and psychologists. The time constraints a candidate experiences during assessment day exercises are intended to increase pressure and examine the candidate’s ability to cope. The two most common exercises are role play simulation and group exercises.
So how can this information be helpful? Before attending a job interview, gather as much information as possible about the process you are about to face, and start preparing for any possible assessments. Knowing the exact type of psychometric test your potential employer uses will enable you to find the most suitable practice resources — those that ensure you are as prepared as possible to outperform your competition, gain an advantage, and get hired.