Acing Job Interviews: Why Employers Use Psychometric Tests and How to Prepare

Psychometric Test

You have an upcoming interview and learn that the recruiting company relies on psychometric tests in its assessments. What are psychometric tests? High school math like many people believe, or is there more to them? Why do employers use them? 

Better yet, how do you equip yourself for these tests and ace your interview?

Why Employers Use Psychometric Tests

Customarily, recruiters looked at CVs and qualifications to decide but they soon learned how ineffective this method was. Many candidates turned out to be poor fits, perfect qualifications notwithstanding. Other factors, like communication skills, team player attitude, approach to work, and personality contribute to a successful working atmosphere.  

They needed a more effective way of matching interviewees to the jobs that suit them. Enter psychometric tests. Through multiple assessments, employers can gauge a candidate’s cognitive ability, knowledge, and personality for the job role. Higher scores depict an ability to perform on the job.

These assessments are versatile and can be dispensed on a large scale, which makes filtering large applicant pools easier. Only those who pass the initial stage move on to the next. They also help reduce unconscious hiring bias, since employers rely on data and intuition to make hiring decisions. 

The tests also reveal a candidate’s work-related strengths and weaknesses along with their motivational drivers. This helps employers provide ongoing development opportunities suited to the employee’s needs.

Does Every Employer Use the Same Psychometric Tests?

The tests you’re presented depend on the role, industry, and company in question.

Accounting firms, banks, and other financial institutions may test an interviewee’s skills in numerical, logical, and verbal reasoning. 

A media house, communications, or PR firm, on the other hand, may present personality tests, situational judgment, as well as logical and verbal reasoning assessments.

As a general rule, most recruiters will be interested in the interviewee’s numerical, logical, and verbal capability. They will test you in these areas.

So, yes, there will be some math involved. Its goal isn’t to check out how awesome you are at math, rather if you can come up with solutions when presented with mathematical data.

Let’s explore three popular among recruiters:

Numerical Reasoning 

Personality profiling aside,  this is one test that appears in just about every psychometric testing you’ll come across.

They test your ability to assess and elicit suitable conclusions based off the numerical data provided. 

The math involved isn’t overly complicated, nor is it built to assess the limits of an interviewee’s mathematical capability. The recruiter wants to determine if you can employ mathematical data to come up with answers to problems.

Verbal Reasoning

Here, the recruiter is gauging your ability to apprehend written text. You’ll most likely receive a written passage followed by a series of questions predicated on that passage. 

You’re only required to answer using the information provided without making reference to any pre-existing knowledge you possess on the topic.

Logical Reasoning 

These assessments involve a series of shapes along with instructions to identify rules or patterns that may help you cinch the correct answer.

Their job? To measure your capability in reaching desirable conclusions centered on logic. Logical reasoning assessments may be presented at any level, but they are mostly used for positions that require higher use of logic.

How Can You Prepare?

Psychometric Test

Well, it’s natural to find psychometric assessments daunting, but that doesn’t mean they should keep you from applying for the job. 

Here are seven tips that may help you prepare and ace your interviews:

  • Determine the recruiting employer’s perception of an ideal applicant. Research the recruiting company to get a feel of their culture, values, and “ideal” employees. Get on the phone with the recruiter to establish what they look for in suitable applicants.  
  • Familiarise yourself with testing techniques. It’s easy to assume that you’ll blitz the tests simply because you’re exceptional at math or just cleared university. Psychometric tests measure an array of skills, traits, and consistency. You’ll need more than an ability to calculate or speed read English.
  • Attempt psychometric tests online. A quick search on the net will reveal numerous websites that offer free psychometric tests. Leverage these to hone your problem-solving skills in readiness for the actual tests. 
  • Plan your time. The assessments are designed to ensure only a small percentage of the candidates complete them. The recruiter receives tons of applications and relies on these tests to eliminate as many as possible. Start with questions you can tackle confidently then revisit the harder ones if there’s still time.
  • Consider the job description when choosing questions. A managerial position will attract tougher questions than an entry-level one. The position you’re applying for will determine the complexity of the test questions.
  • Avoid taking the test when you’re tired. Tiredness can undermine your ability to answer intelligence questions well or consistently. Take the test when you’re well-rested – physically and mentally.
  • Expand your vocabulary. Look up industry-related information on the web or in the papers to familiarise yourself with commonly used terms and phrases. It will come in handy in verbal aptitude assessments by increasing your comprehension. You’ll answer quickly and improve your score.
  • Use the tools allowed. The majority of numerical reasoning tests greenlight candidates to use calculators. They will say so upfront too. Read up on tables and graphs too.
  • Avoid lying on your personality tests. We all want to look good and secure the job but keep in mind that most personality tests measure the consistency of your answers. Know the strengths you want to portray and be consistent with them.

Passing the Test

Psychometric tests offer a level playing ground for candidates to showcase their prowess and land the job that suits them best.  Rather than shun these interviews, take the time to research the company and gauge your readiness for the role. Practice answering the questions. It will boost your confidence when tackling real tests.


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