‘A psychological test is any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person’s capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways’ The British Psychological Society
Put simply, psychometric means ‘mental measurement’, so a psychometric test can measure aspects of the individual such as ability, personality, motivation, competencies, behaviours and interests.
Some of the benefits of using psychometric tests as part of the interview/selection process are:
- Objective – not influenced by personal feelings or opinions
- Systematic – working to a fixed plan
- Reliable – able to be trusted, because they are consistent across administrations and sample groups
- Valid – measures of what the tests set out to measure
The candidate benefits from:
- Equality and fairness of treatment for all test takers.
- All candidates are being assessed against each other, under controlled conditions, regardless of gender, diversity of background or age
The company benefits as testing can help them:
- Identify the candidates with the potential to fit job demands and be high performers (recruitment, selection, and promotion)
- Reduce time, costs and mismatches in recruitment and selection
- Clearly demonstrate fairness and equal opportunities for all
Why Use Selection Tests:
The rationale behind using tests in selection is the better an individual performs on a test, the better that individual will perform in the workplace. The skills tested must be specifically applicable in the job. For instance when looking for a PA it would not be appropriate to test for mechanical or spatial ability.
Tests should not be used on their own, as a sole basis for hiring people, but should form part of the selection process.
Types of Selection Tests:
There are 100’s of tests available so the company needs to select the most appropriate test for the skills they are looking for.
- Intelligence/Ability tests
- The Golden Triangle – looks at job analysis, person specification for the role and candidate Test results
- General Ability Tests (GAT)
- Aptitude tests
- Critical Reasoning Tests
- Personality Tests
- Work Style Tests – Thomas international Personal Profile, Hogan
- Work Style Inventory – DISC
Note: The word ‘test’ is generic: Some tests are not tests per se, so can be interchanged with words like questionnaire, inventory, tool, assessment or instrument.