The term psychometric testing can sound a bit daunting. This is partly because it has become a catch-all phrase applied to any kind of assessment activity used to evaluate skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, and attitudes.
Many companies who require you to complete some form of psychometric testing will make practice tests available to you via their website or in links sent directly to test candidates. If you are given the opportunity to practice the specific company style of test don’t pass it up. Different companies will use different types of tests from different providers, so don’t only practice one brand of test and hope it will prepare you for them all!
These are, most commonly, numeracy and literacy tests, and/or verbal and logical reasoning tests.
For verbal reasoning tests practice reading sections of text from a range of newspaper articles and websites (200-300 words) that deal with content for the relevant industry. Then summarise your reading. This will enhance your vocabulary and reading speed.
Refresh your memory of a range of mental arithmetic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages and ratios.
Look at charts, graphs, and data tables on relevant content. Then have a go at interpreting the data before you read the accompanying explanatory information. Think about trends and patterns in the data.
Inductive or logical reasoning
These tests vary across industries but it is likely that you will be asked to analyse a series of linked images and predict the next in the series.
You will need to work out the ‘rule’ or ‘rules’ that govern the pattern linking the shapes or other objects.
Useful things to consider include, are the objects changing in colour or shading? What type, shape and size are the images? Are they rotating?
The most important thing to remember, particularly when it comes to tests focused on behavior and personality, is that you cannot cheat or second guess these questions. This will produce an inconsistent profile and be ultimately unhelpful to you.
Work style preference
As mentioned above you can’t practice for these tests but you can reflect critically on the sorts of thinking and behaviours that the job role is likely to require.
You can then turn your attention to your own past experience and working style. Try to relate these reflections to the position you are now applying for.
These are designed to test how you would deal with work placed situations in a variety of interpersonal scenarios: with peers, managers and customers. You will rely on your personal experience, knowledge and reasoning.
Prepare by considering a variety of conflict and problem solving scenarios.
Leadership and motivational
Such questions test for qualities such as accountability, responsibility, and team-working abilities. They will be considering your decision-making, risk management and interpersonal skills. Unilever (for example) consider positive and realistic competitiveness to be an attribute of a capable leader.
Prepare by researching the kind of qualities generally accepted to be the sign of a good leader and then relate these to your own experiences.
Practice full length numerical, verbal, inductive, logical and diagrammatic tests online, with downloadable answer sheets that explain the solutions to each question. Register at www.assessmentday.co.uk/qmul/ using your @qmul email address.
Visit www.careerstagged.co.uk and type the work ‘psychometric’ to access a list of resources including advice and sample tests.