|General Introduction To Psychometric Tests|
If you are a graduate or you are just about to graduate, chances are, you will have begun to think about your graduate job hunt - indeed, you might even have already started in earnest dipped your toes into the application process for some careers.
In this article, we will look at the application process for graduate jobs; in particular, psychometric testing. These days, many of the larger companies that advertise their graduate schemes will have a set application process which will often involve attending an assessment centre (see our E4S article about assessment centres for graduate jobs) at some stage during your application and also taking part in a psychometric testing process.
|When Will I Do A Psychometric Test?|
Well, the answer to that question is, you could be asked to do psychometric tests at any stage during the application process for graduate jobs.
|What Are The Different Types of Psychometric Tests?|
So, we know that the psychometric test is there to give employers a broader picture of your capabilities and of your personality and it is much more accurate than if you were rhyming off a few well rehearsed answers in interview. Now let’s look at how the psychometric test is divided up and brought together to form that fuller picture:
Ability / Aptitude:
The first type of psychometric test we will look at is ‘Ability’ or ‘Aptitude.’
Some sections of these types of psychometric tests are the ones where there are right and wrong answers so, obviously, the aim is to get as many correct as you possibly can. The tests are timed so when you are doing practice psychometric tests, aim to get a balance between both accuracy and speed. Don’t worry if you don’t complete these tests as they are often designed to make completion almost impossible. The aim is just to answer as much as you can in the time provided.
Rather than a ‘pass mark’ for success on these psychometric tests, your results from these tests are compared to a demographic chosen by your employer. So they might be placed against results gained by the general public, people of the same education level as yourself, or they might be compared against the results of people who have taken the test, previously.
The Ability / Aptitude psychometric test includes:
Numerical reasoning tests
This is where your brushing up of your GCSE match will come in useful because these tests will assess how you interpret data and extract information from charts, graphs and statistics.
Depending on the type of graduate job you are applying for, there could also be a basic arithmetic test, too, and this is one of the sections where there are right and wrong answers.
Verbal reasoning tests and non-verbal reasoning tests
The verbal reasoning test will look at your comprehension skills and how you interpret a given piece of information.
The non-verbal reasoning test is another type of test which is timed and again, there are multiple choice questions with right and wrong answers. These tests look at how you spot patterns and sequences so they are likely to crop up if you are applying for graduate jobs in the fields of engineering or the sciences for example.
And remember, you haven't necessarily failed if you run out of the allotted time given to complete the test.
Logical reasoning tests
Logical reasoning tests might see you being presented with a passage of writing and you will be asked to proofread it to see if you can spot grammatical errors, omitted words and incorrect spellings.
Also, if technology and innovation is your field and you are hoping to land graduate jobs with a focus on this, then the type of psychometric test likely to crop up for you is a test designed around logical reasoning.
For this type of psychometric test the assessors will be analysing how you arrive at certain conclusions when given problems and challenges to work through. This conclusion might not necessarily be the same as everyone else’s conclusion, but if the employer is looking for innovative thinking for their graduate programmes, this could mean success for you. Assesses how you get to a conclusion when given basic information to work through. Given information or rules to apply to arrive at a conclusion.
Aptitude / Ability Tests summary
In psychometric testing, aptitude tests are designed to provide you with situations like you are going to come up against in your daily work life with that company. You might never have been faced with these tasks before and so the assessor will be looking at your ability to learn new skills related to the job you will be doing.
Ability and aptitude tests are often multiple choice in exam conditions. Some aptitude tests might be done on paper but these days, as you might expect, more and more are being done via computer programs.
Critical thinking and situational judgement tests:
This type of psychometric test is designed to assess your natural response to given situations. So, this is where you shouldn't be looking at your fellow candidates and seeing them as your competition. As much as possible, you need to be yourself.
This part of the test is sometimes done online before you get deeper into the official application process. From the information presented to you, as well as the company deciding whether you are a good fit for their graduate jobs, you can also decide whether the job is a good fit for you. The test might be designed as a fun game or quiz and shouldn’t be seen as a failure if you don’t succeed in the game.
Actually, what you need to do in these situations is see the fact that you couldn't do the quiz as a reality jolt - you've just saved yourself a lot of time by not pursuing a graduate job that wouldn’t have suited you in the long run. Likewise, the company offering the graduate programmes has saved time and money by not continuing with your application despite the fact that you might have all the relevant qualifications.
So, this type of psychometric testing is designed to measure your suitability for particular graduate jobs rather than your ability. There is no success or failure at this level. Just remember, you will get more from your role if you are finding it stimulating and rewarding so assessors can either see that you are very suited to a particular graduate job, not suited at all - or, they might even think you could be better placed in a different area of the company.
If you want to test this out before you apply for jobs then try a free situational judgement test (SJT) here.
Especially in the ‘Personality’ are of psychometric testing, there is nothing to gain by trying to compete with your fellow candidates. Again, this is an area where you really need to be yourself.
The ‘Personality’ psychometric test will be tailored the the graduate job you are applying for and will assesses your behaviour and preferred way of going about things in given situations. Employers will look for certain characteristics for particular jobs.
These tests are usually in the form of questionnaires and are not timed. Employers will get an idea of how you deal with other people in given situations and how motivated you are, for example; how you go about things in your own way. Whilst it might be tempting to try to second guess what type of answers the employers might be looking for, this is not a good tactic because you could be way off track. Answer the questions as honestly as you can - some questions might ask you to rate yourself in certain situations - and again, if you don’t get through, look upon it as a lucky escape rather than a failure.
Try a free personality test here.