In a nutshell, psychometric tests are assessment tools designed to measure your work behavior, personality, and cognitive ability to designate your potential to excel in a specific job position or career. This form of testing has become very integral in today’s staffing programs and should be part of your career development as well.
To avoid hire-horror stories where candidates present stellar resumes and rock interviews but perform atrociously at work, employers are turning to more data-driven factors to help them make more cognizant decisions. Aptitude tests perform excellently in this regard. They test the key components that make up your cognitive aptitude, including critical thinking, learning ability, information application, and problem-solving, among others.
To increase your employability and take out the fear factor of aptitude tests, it is vital to make use of free psychometric tests beforehand. In most job-seeking scenarios today, psychometric assessments will be the first obstacle you must overcome in order to get a new job.
Here are two key psychometric tests that you may need to consider to enhance your success rate in job seeking and transform your career:
Also known as occupational tests, personality tests will measure your suitability for a role by exploring your behaviors, values, and interests. These assessments are designed to measure your ‘typical’ performance in specific job roles. They are normally open-ended tests with no right or wrong answers but rather subjected to standardized psychological analyses and comparisons for each assessment.
There are numerous types of free personality tests, such as the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), which tests your personality to check if it fits within the job or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which places you in one of 16 personality groups.
In most personality tests, you will be presented with questions or statements that describe various ways of feeling or acting. Such tests will ask you to record how much you agree on a two, five, or seven-point scale.
As mentioned prior, there are no right or wrong answers here. These questions are meant to reveal or describe ‘who you are’ as an individual. One of the key benefits of personality tests for both you and your potential employer is that it helps determine how well you will integrate within a team or a company.
Aptitude or cognitive assessments are psychometric tests that measure your cognitive abilities or intelligence. Such tests will evaluate you based on a variety of skills and competencies that are vital to performing well across different job areas.
Most employers use aptitude tests to measure what is referred to as an individual’s ‘maximum’ performance. Unlike personality tests, aptitude tests are timed and require a person to choose from multiple options with right and wrong answers. As such, these tests are close-ended. The following are types of aptitude tests:
- Numerical Reasoning Tests: these tests require you to interpret statistics, data, graphs, or charts to evaluate your ability to deal with numbers quickly and accurately. Numerical reasoning tests will typically challenge your knowledge of currency conversions, percentages, ratios, trends, and rates.
- Abstract Reasoning Tests: these tests evaluate your ability to identify the relationships between a series of images, patterns, and shapes. Abstract reasoning tests are good indicators of strategic thinking. They show how well you can cope under pressure and how quickly you can pick up new concepts.
- Error Checking Tests: these tests assess how quickly and accurately you can detect errors. They are very common for applicants seeking clerical and data input opportunities.
- Situational Judgment Tests: in these tests, you may be given hypothetical work-related situations and asked to choose preferred courses of action from a list of options. Situational judgment tests are designed to test your ability in various areas, including job performance (learning, resilience, creativity, and development), cognitive abilities (problem-solving, planning, and prioritizing), and social intelligence (motivation, support, and teamwork).
- Spatial, Technical & Mechanical Reasoning Tests: among these tests, spatial tests evaluate your ability to think about objects in both 2-D and 3-D and draw conclusions about such objects from limited information. Technical and mechanical reasoning tests your ability to understand and apply technical and mechanical concepts. Such tests are often applicable in the application of technical jobs such as engineering positions as well as armed forces and emergency services roles.
- Clerical Ability: these tests evaluate your skill level when applying for clerical or administrative roles. Some of the skills tested include data filling, error checking, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and document management skills.
The Bottom Line
Practicing with free psychometric tests online will increase your confidence and enrich your familiarity with the questions, formats, and different types of assessments. This can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the job positions you seek, allowing you to be better prepared for your next job role. For example, you may find that you perform excellently in aptitude tests, but you may need to brush up on your personality skills.
While these tests may seem intimidating, you, as a job-seeker, can take advantage of them to refine your skills and abilities. In this case, practice will always make perfect and can certainly help you with nerves and demystifying the challenge ahead.