Preparing for a psychometric test

Psychometric testing is becoming increasingly popular amongst employers as a means of working out the suitability of potential employees upon interview. Preparing for a psychometric test will help to improve your scores and make it easier to focus on what is being sought in the testing process.


The types of assessment

There are two types of psychometric tests: ability and personality.

Ability (also known as aptitude) tests are typically timed and have defined right and wrong answers. Most people associate these with IQ tests, but in reality, organisations very rarely measure IQ. This testing method measures the numerical and verbal reasoning skills and where necessary, add abstract reasoning or information checking based on the actual position they are interviewing for.

Personality assessments focus on individual behaviours or the way you approach or solve a problem. These assessments explore personal characteristics that are relevant within the workplace. The format is usually a series of questions where you select your individual preference from the statements presented.


How to prepare

  • Plan ahead – make sure you know where to be and at what time
  • Find out which assessments you will be asked to complete, how long each will take and if any are timed
  • Ask if you can take any additional items to assist you, or if these will be provided on the day
  • Try to obtain some practice questions beforehand to ensure you have a basic expectation of what may come up in these assessments
  • Be yourself – many of these assessments have built-in measures to explore where a candidate is responding too positively or negatively based on social norms


What does this tell a potential employer?

Here is a snapshot of what each psychometric test will demonstrate to a potential employer.


PPA – Personal Profile Analysis: Providing an insight how to people behave at work, giving employers a greater level of certainty when recruiting, identifying where to maximise learning and development budgets and understanding where to boost morale to avoid staff turnover.


GI – General Intelligence: This measures a person’s “mental horsepower”. By understanding how quickly candidates can learn and retain new skills and procedures, employers will have a reliable prediction of their potential grasp to develop in a new role. This also gives an indication of how well those employees will respond to training.


EI – Emotional Intelligence: This questionnaire tells employers how well candidates understand and manage their emotions, how they will interpret and deal with the emotions of others and how they apply this knowledge in managing relationships.