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Psychometric Assessments – An Inevitable Alternative To Recruitment (Part 2)

Factors That Make Psychometric Tests Reliable

Most noteworthy psychometric assessments are created with the purpose of measuring an individual’s mental capabilities, behavioral style, and whether they are suited to carry out a role according to the required personality characteristics and intellectual abilities. Hence, reliability is critical to the success of psychometric tests.

Factors like stable traits and momentary issues, can both lead to a difference in test results. Organizations need to put into consideration the changes candidates undergo over time while assessing the reliability of psychometric tests, e.g: their environment, physical state, emotional, and mental well-being should all be considered. Test-based factors such as inadequate testing instructions, biased scoring lacking objectivity, and guessing on the part of the test-taker also influence test reliability.


Do psychometric tests measure what they are supposed to do? Just how reliable is the test?

It’s the second round of your interview. You are handed a pencil and a ten page Q&A. The HR person tells you that after the completion of this ‘Psychometric Test’, you will proceed to the final interview. You sit there perplexed and wonder, ‘how exactly will this matter in my interview shortlisting?’

The answer is simple. Psychometric tests are used in job interviews to discover who you are and how good you will be at tasks required for the job. There is no right or wrong answer in a psychometric test.


What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometrics, in short, means the measurement of the mind. Hence, psychometric testing broadly refers to a test that measures how our brain works and then provides a determinable measurement of our mental ability.


Why Test?

Psychometric testing is conducted to identify two major things.
1. To assess personal qualities, to understand your feelings, beliefs and thought process. There are no right or wrong answers here.
2. To measure performance, typically to test if you fit the profile the examiners are looking for. These questions have right and wrong answers.

According to research carried out by Network HR and Personnel Today, 78% of HR personnel consider psychometric tests a powerful tool for hiring. And now, over 80% of the Fortune 500 companies in the USA, and over 75% of the Times’ Top 100 companies in the UK are using this test for their recruitment.


Recruitment & Education

Psychometric test is used by organizations in recruiting, and also for filtering of candidates in cases where the pool of applicants is large. It is also used for performance appraisal of existing employees and to train staff. Educational institutions use psychometric tests in entrance exams to test the candidate’s aptitude and ability.


Types of Psychometric Assessment

Psychometric tests are classified into two, i.e. aptitude and ability, personality and questionnaires.


Aptitude and Ability Test

This test is administered to measure competence and intellectual ability. The logical and analytical skill of an individual is measured to determine capacity and performance in job-specific skills. Under this test, there are various areas of assessment, the most common being:

– Verbal reasoning
– Numerical reasoning
– Diagrammatic Reasoning
– Strategic reasoning


Personality and Questionnaire Test

The primary goal is to understand the behavior of a candidate in a situation, his preference, attitude, actions, and reaction. Using this in the recruitment process will help the recruiter understand if the candidate fits the needed profile, or fits into the work culture. Here, behavior, attitudes, interests, opinions, values are all considered.


Time factor

Time is another important factor in psychometric testing.
Some tests have a strict time limit to verify how fast a candidate is, this is usually for jobs that require speed. Tests without a time limit usually have difficult questions to determine the number of questions a candidate can attempt and get right.

However, there are tests designed to identify speed and accuracy. A test with sufficient but set time limit, where candidates will be judged based on the accuracy of answers given within the allocated time. In most cases, tests fall somewhere between these two extremes. A time limit that would allow sufficient time to complete the test. Candidates must be as quick and accurate as possible to be successful.


Method of administration

Computer-based and Paper-based psychometric testing are the two most used modes although verbal modes were one of the first media for the test.



As Personnel Today’s research suggests, a whopping 80% of employees in an organization never took any test during recruitment into their role. However, there is a huge room for growth in the field of psychometric testing. Above all, HR personnel and organizations should seize this opportunity, make use of psychometric tests and watch the quality of their recruits improve which will result in organizational growth.


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