06 July 2015 | Career Advice | Guest Author
So you’ve left university and finally motivated yourself to start applying for jobs, an email comes through “congratulations, we would like to invite you to do a psychometric test for the next stage of your application.” Before the inevitable panic that comes with the word ‘test’ sets in, it’s worth getting to know a little bit more about what a psychometric test is, what it’s for and how it can actually help you find the right job.
Tell me more
Psychometric tests are used by companies across the UK to find out more about the skills, personality and abilities of potential candidates. Unlike a flawless CV or a well-rehearsed interview, these tests get to the bottom of who you are and how you’re going to fit into a company. When you’re applying for roles, you’re likely to come across some form of a psychometric test because 70% of UK companies with more than 50 employees use them when they’re recruiting new talent.
It is not a case of ‘one-size-fits-all’ because depending on the qualities that an employer is looking for, or the skills they need, the test will vary accordingly. Options range from competency and personality based tests that demonstrate your working style and approach in different situations, to ability tests and skill based assessments that focus much more closely on role-specific qualities.
Employers know what they want when they’re hiring a new person, which is why the targeted questioning and profiling of psychometric testing really works. The test allows employers to see through CVs and polished interview responses so that they can get to know the person behind the qualification and how they’ll really fit into their organisation.
Make the psychometric test your friend
That’s the benefits for the employers, but really, these psychometric tests are a way to ensure that you’ll enjoy the job you choose and will fit right in at your chosen company. The psychometric test isn’t there to trick you or catch you out, because there’s no right or wrong answer.
Based on the answers that you choose over the course of the assessment, employers can see a profile of your personality and how you work best. The impression that employers get of you is completely anonymous, which can work in your favour if you tend to get a bit nervous at interviews or you haven’t got 6 impressive references to wow your prospective employer with. What’s more, the test puts everyone on a level playing field, because every candidate has to answer the same set of questions in the same time. The fact that there are no right and wrong answers to the test means that you cannot cheat or lie on it.
By being totally honest about how you would respond in certain situations and being true to yourself, even if you don’t get the job, you know that this is a role that wouldn’t have suited your personality anyway. The test itself might sound intimidating, but it is just a few questions that could either be situational or general opinions to find out how you would respond in a real-life work scenario.
The test can either be done online or in an assessment centre, but as long as you take the time, read the questions properly and give them your full attention, you will get the result that best reflects you. By using the psychometric test to find employees that are just right for the role, companies ensure that their new staff will fit in at work and be able to thrive. This way, you’re more likely to have the enthusiasm, skills and happiness to enjoy your work and keep motivated. Don’t let the thought of psychometric tests drive you psycho. By being honest and taking the time to really understand what the question is asking, you’ll find yourself in the perfect role in no time at all.
Patrick Bell is Managing Director at Genesis Associates, a recruitment company that specialises in finding the best talent across engineering, sales and the creative industry. Providing expert guides to enhance candidates’ existing skills and relocation support for global hires, Genesis Associates provides the full package.