Although they can sound a tad intimidating and mysterious, psychometric tests are just a way of measuring a person’s skills, abilities and/or personality traits. Employers use them as part of their selection process, as a way of directly comparing potential candidates and assessing their ability to do the job. If you are applying for a graduate scheme or internship with a large employer, you can almost guarantee that you will be given some sort of test.
Tests are generally be divided into two types:
- Ability – measuring numerical, verbal and/or diagrammatic reasoning.
- Personality – probing how a person may behave in certain situations.
The sector that you’re applying to will largely dictate the type of test you’ll be asked to sit. For example, jobs in finance or that involve dealing with numbers will require you to take a numerical test. On the other hand, a law firm may ask you to take a verbal reasoning test, to see how you interpret and respond to written information. These are generalisations though. Find out about the particular application process of the companies you are applying to by checking the recruitment webpages of their websites.
You could be asked to complete a test at any stage of the recruitment process, often as part of an assessment centre. This could be before or after being interviewed (or both). Some companies (typically in banking) may even require that candidates attain a minimum score in a numerical reasoning test before releasing their application form!
If you are invited to take a psychometric test then the best way to prepare is:
- Practise. Mathematical puzzles and brain teasers are good ways to get used to the kind of logical and analytical thinking that the test will require. Make use of the puzzle section of all those free newspapers!
- Practise. QM Careers has a subscription to one of the providers of these tests. Contact us to sign up for a mock online numerical and verbal reasoning test and receive feedback on your performance with tips on how to improve.
- Practise. We also have a number of books about psychometric tests available to borrow, which include lots of practice questions. QM library also has some psychometric testing books.
As you can see, there is no easy option. So before the demands of the Autumn term start piling up, start practising now to improve your score. If you’d like to sign up for a practice psychometric test, have a look through some of the books we have available or to have a more general chat about psychometric tests and application processes, then give us a ring on 020 7882 8533 or drop in to see us in WG3 Queens’ Building.