Psychometric Testing

Ben Latchford / January 6, 2015

Lincoln have an in-house psychometric testing facility, which clients and candidates may avail of to assist them in the selection process or to get a greater understanding of your own personality traits or skills. This unique in-house service can be used in tandem with our normal selection and advice facilities and creates a seamless profiling service, without passing part of the process out to a third party who may not be as familiar with client or candidate requirements or objectives. In addition to recognised personality tests such as 16PF and Myers Briggs, we are licensed to offer various ability tests including a range of numeric testing and are also qualified to test and administer EQi, the widely used test of emotional intelligence.

What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometric Tests are the jewels in the crown of modern psychology, and are more widely used now than at any time in the past. A psychometric test is a way of assessing a person’s ability or personality in a measured and structured way. Tests are best used in conjunction with other proven methods as test scores can only be understood in relation to other known facts about the individual. However, research shows that psychometric tests are among the best methods of predicting how well a candidate will cope with training and performing the job.

Understanding the ways in which people differ enables a wide range of questions to be addressed:
• What career or area within my chosen career would I be good at?
• Which candidate is most suitable and should be employed?
• What areas of future training are required?
• How can my interpersonal skills be improved?

There are three main types of tests: Ability, Personality and Interest. Some tests are used by employers to help them in their selection process, while other tests can help professionals with career decision making.

Ability tests are generally categorised into two areas: Attainment Tests, which examine skills and knowledge that you already possess. Aptitude Tests measure your potential for certain activities. They do not rely on any previous knowledge or training but rather on your natural ability or aptitude. Verbal reasoning and numeric reasoning are the two most common forms.

There are also more specialised tests that can examine specific skills:

Ability Tests

It has been shown that scores do improve if you become more familiar with ability tests and the type of questions you are asked. There are a number of ability tests but you are most likely to encounter a verbal reasoning and a numerical reasoning test. If you know in which you are weaker then practice.

Advice when taking a test:
• Make sure you understand the example items before starting the test and ask questions at this stage before going on to do the actual test.
• Be clear about time limits and work at an appropriate speed.
• Don’t be put off if some of the questions seem very difficult. Most ability tests will contain some items that are designed to be difficult for all test sitters, regardless of ability.
• Practising similar tests beforehand will help, especially if you have not sat such a test previously.

Personality Tests

These are designed to allow organisations to measure aspects of your personality. Unlike the tests listed above there are no right or wrong answers. They seek to present a picture of how a person will behave in particular circumstances and learn about the style in which you like to work. Well known tests in this area include the 16 PF and Myers Briggs.

Interest Tests

Interest Inventory tests are used primarily to aid occupational exploration by helping individuals identify occupational fields that contain career areas they might find interesting. These measures are based on many of the same assumptions as personality measures; where it is assumed that the individuals themselves are the most reliable source of information for describing how they typically behave.
Don’t try to make out that you have a different personality because you think it is what the company is looking for. The answers are inter-linked, so any kind of skew in the results will indicate that you have not been answering consistently and may invalidate the test. Be honest, answer quickly and intuitively.

Advice on taking a Personality Tests / Interest Tests:
• These are untimed and you are expected to answer all questions.
• The basis is that you are the most reliable source of information for describing how you typically behave or what your career interests are.
• There are no right or wrong answers.
• Don’t get bogged down in generalisations as to a certain extent personality questionnaires are crude measures.

Preparation Consultants at Lincoln are happy to talk you through the various tests and the best approach. Please call 01-6610444 or email for further information.

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