Psychometric Testing: A Guide for Job Applicants
What to expect when an employer asks you to get tested
If your potential employer is asking you to complete a pre-employment psychological assessment, this is a good thing.
Yes, it really is.
It means that they are taking pains to evaluate candidates with different backgrounds fairly and objectively, and to make well considered selection decisions.
It's also a very good indicator that you are applying to an organisation that will be great to work for, where you will enjoy the company of high calibre colleagues who are good at their jobs.
What's the process like?
Testing may be done online or in person, or a combination of both. Either way, when you undertake an assessment with Insight Matters you have nothing to fear. Your Psychologist will make you comfortable and put you at ease, with no nasty surprises or trick questions!
With Insight Matters you will only do modern occupational tests which assess your ability to handle information similar to that encountered in the real world, and/or your style of approach. We never use clinical tests or strange old fashioned psychological tools.
Depending on the depth of assessment your potential employer has asked us to do, the process may require anywhere from one to six hours of your time. Typically it's about three hours overall.
What kinds of tests and exercises will you do?
You may be asked to do a combination of things, such as…
- Numerical reasoning
- Verbal comprehension
- Simulation exercises which mimic key tasks
- Occupational personality profiling
- Interview with a Corporate Psychologist
How should I prepare?
It's not necessary to prepare in any special way, except perhaps to refresh your memory of common mathematical concepts, such as how percentages work. You will not need any special knowledge, or even general knowledge, to do well.
It is sensible to sleep well the night before and eat healthily — protein, vegetables and no sugar or alcohol — so that your mind is clear and energised on the day.
Should I be myself, or try to match the job requirements?
Some candidates worry whether they should present a certain persona. Don't!
If you believe that you are a good fit for the role, then being ‘you’ is by far the best way to perform well.
In fact, many tests have clever built-in mechanisms which reveal when someone is falsifying answers. At best, your profile will come out distorted and make you look a bit strange. At worst, you may appear dishonest.
So just be yourself.
What happens afterwards?
Your results will be analysed and submitted to your potential employer.
Please rest assured that at Insight Matters we are very, very good at doing this accurately, fairly and relevantly. You could not be in better hands for this kind of process. We even train other consultants how to do this.
Your potential employer will then consider your results in light of…
- Your experience
- Their interview impressions of you
- Comments from your referees
- The unique requirements of the role
- The level of training or support they can provide
- The availability of other skilled candidates
Based on all of these things, they will make their final recruitment decision.
Can I get a copy of my results?
Once you have been informed of the decision you have the option to receive feedback on your test results.
If you join the organisation this may be quite extensive, but even if you don't you can still receive some feedback over the phone from the Psychologist who assessed you.
— Stephanie Thompson