Date posted: 25/08/2016

What is Psychometric Testing?

Become a student affiliate

Discover the accounting and finance world by signing up as a Chartered Accountants ANZ Student Affiliate. It’s free and just takes a few minutes.

Sign Up NowAbout Become a student affiliate

Psychometric testing isn't just a fancy term - there are solid reasons behind why employers require you to take these tests. Find out what you need to know before you go for one.

Psychology and getting a job

Employers want to know you will be the right 'fit' for their role. They can build a picture of you based on your CV and even an interview but sometimes want more. Often employers will turn to Psychometric testing for help.

What is psychometric testing?

Psychometric tests are designed to help employers and recruiters assess if you're a good match with the organisation and the role. It's not judging you as a person. It's just another way employers can ensure that they get the best person for the job.

One type of test is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. This asks a series of multiple choice questions, and puts the answers on a sliding scale. These place you into one of 16 psychological types. Knowing your 'type' will help the employer determine who is best suited to the challenges, rewards and responsibilities of the job. Other tests could include aptitude test or personality questionnaires.

Some employers are moving towards game-based assessments as part of the recruitment process which helps identify candidates that may be the best fit quickly, accurately and is a more enjoyable experience for candidates. These gamified tests feel less like an assessment which means you're less stressed, providing employers with a more accurate reflection of how you will perform at work, and they get a better idea of your abilities.

Why is it important?

The thought of doing some kind of psychological testing can be off-putting. Will it point out fatal flaws in your psychological make-up or reveal your private, most personal thoughts?

The short answer is "no". Questions cover things like your likes and dislikes, general intelligence, numerical and verbal skills, mental agility, cognitive speed, attention span, numerical reasoning, personal motivation, aspects of work that you think are important, and more. If you're unsure about it, do a bit of general research online about the various types of tests - it will help settle your nerves.

After the test most employers provide some feedback. This could range from specific feedback relating to your answers or an indication on where you rank against the rest of the applicants/students in Australia and New Zealand. There are no right or wrong answers for these types of tests, so while it is very hard to provide you with an indication of how you could improve your skills, you will be better prepared next time as you have gone through the process once, and will know what to expect.