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Psychometric assessments measure employees’ or potential candidates’ aptitude, personality traits, behavior, and motivators. They help in evaluating suitable and culturally fit candidates for different job positions.
This guide serves as a detailed handbook for understanding psychometric tests. Test-takers, as well as recruiters, will find rich insights into the benefits, types and applications of psychometric tests, irrespective of their specialty and functional industry.
A psychometric test evaluates individuals’ cognitive skills and personality traits. It helps assess whether candidates can thrive in a specific professional role. This type of assessment helps understand aspects of mental ability and behavior that organizations may face difficulty gauging during conversations and interviews.
A psychometric personality test is a standard and scientific method equally significant in educational and recruitment settings. It offers an unbiased evaluation of a broad range of parameters, such as logical reasoning, industry-specific aptitude, role-specific qualities, type of personality, and more.
Organizations prefer using psychometric tests in recruitment because of a strong correlation between psychometric test scores and job performance. The predictive qualities of a psychometric assessment further serve as an essential foundation for streamlining the hiring process.
The traditional approach to hiring is instinctive and heavily dependent on interviews and elaborate CV descriptions. Psychometric tests eliminate this element of subjectivity in the decision-making approach and provide fair, bias-free talent assessment.
Psychometric evaluation enables hiring managers to measure an individual’s abilities to process information, solve problems, and make decisions while assessing their behavioral attributes.
Humanly sifting through all job applications can be a time-taking process. Psychometric assessments enable companies to focus on suitable candidates by narrowing the search.Moreover, using psychometric tests in hiring ensures recruiting professionals who are more likely to fit into the company’s environment. This is because various aspects of psychometric tests help gauge culture fitment and consistency among individuals.
Psychometric tests use proven methodologies to measure personality traits and aptitude. Hence, they promise greater validity than conventional interviews.
A psychometric test produces reliable and similar results under variable conditions. The score received for various candidates is precise, unbiased, and consistent.
Psychometric assessments are usually of the following two types:
Personality tests are a form of psychometric assessment that helps identify specific personality traits required to perform a job role efficiently. These tests offer significant insights into candidates’ key qualities, motivations, behavioral styles, etc.
The science behind testing personality
Personality tests usually follow two major schools of thought- trait-based and type approaches. While the type theory categorizes personalities into introverted/extroverted, the trait theory measures the degree to which key personality traits exist in an individual. The type theory defines individuals as either introverts or extroverts, in varying intensities.
Trait-focused personality assessments are all based on the Big 5 Factor model, also known as the OCEAN model. Developed in the 1970s, this model enlists five major personality traits among humans in varying degrees.
Candidates possessing this trait have a natural penchant for adventure and art. They are curious, creative, and open to change.
Candidates who possess conscientiousness are organized and have a sense of responsibility. They have the drive to achieve their goals and are highly reliable.
Candidates who possess extraversion indicate various characteristics, including sociability. They draw their energy from day-to-day social interactions or gatherings. Such individuals are mostly cheerful and assertive in their approach.
Agreeableness is indicative of a candidate’s kindness. Such individuals are trusting and helpful.
People low on neuroticism are emotionally stable and exhibit calmness and composure when facing problems.
Cognitive ability tests evaluate the mental abilities of individuals. They help measure critical thinking, logical reasoning, verbal ability, and problem-solving skills. These assessments also evaluate how individuals use past experiences in novel situations.
The science behind testing cognitive ability
Cognitive ability tests measure two essential components of human intelligence: fluid and crystallized. While fluid intelligence includes reasoning, crystallized intelligence revolves around facts and information acquired via experiences.
When must cognitive ability tests be used
The cognitive ability test is beneficial in situations when:
Psychometric testing helps:
Psychometric profiling assessments are psychological tools that employers wish to use to ascertain candidates’ suitability for various roles. These tests vary in subject matter and content to evaluate some of the most sought-after skill sets. Some prominent psychometric testing tools used in recruitment are numerical, verbal, and logical reasoning tests.
In addition to the advantages enlisted in the earlier sections, there are two main reasons why employers use psychometric assessment tests:
Mercer | Mettl’s online platform enables recruiters to make great people decisions with a comprehensive suite of talent assessment and hiring tools. With its extensive library of tests and simulators, Mercer | Mettl’s assessments evaluate candidates’ knowledge, underlying abilities, behavioral attributes, and skills with utmost accuracy. There is a wide range of psychometric, cognitive, role-centric, and technical assessments available for making well-informed recruiting decisions.
Mercer | Mettl's psychometric tests are designed to offer detailed information related to candidates' behavior, personality, and motivators. As a result, recruiters can employ a holistic approach, including technical assessments, to hire a fit candidate.
Mercer | Mettl's library of pre-built assessments helps gauge candidates efficiently. Customizations further allow hiring managers to design specific tests for different job positions to improve assessment objectivity. This allows for matching job roles and business requirements with favorable assessment outcomes.
With a seamless process flow, Mercer | Mettl's tests offer a positive experience to candidates. Additionally, the intuitive structure and user-friendly interface ensure that candidates don't face challenges navigating the test, improving candidate engagement and experience.
Psychometric assessments help shortlist relevant candidates from a large talent pool. This evaluation in the initial stages allows the hiring team to recruit suitable candidates for different job positions. Therefore, hiring managers need to identify business needs, match requirements with specific job positions, and pair different tests with psychometric assessments for optimum results.
Psychometric assessments objectively evaluate candidates. As a result, the outcome is reliable, and it helps hiring managers make data-backed decisions.
The two most common types of psychometric assessments are:i) Personality assessment,ii) Cognitive assessment.
Psychometric tests are designed to measure candidates’ personality and behavior. These tests may evaluate IQ if designed in a specific customized manner.
Mercer | Mettl’s psychometric tests are scientifically-backed; therefore, they accurately assess candidates’ personalities, behaviors, and emotional aptitudes.
Psychometric tests help hiring managers gauge personality traits, cognitive intelligence, attention to detail, decision-making, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and learning agility.
Originally published December 3 2019, Updated July 21 2023
Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.
Psychometric tests measure an individual’s personality traits and behavioral tendencies to predict job performance. Psychometric assessments gauge cultural fitment, trainability, motivations, preferences, dark characteristics, etc., to hire and develop the right people.