There are two main types of psychometric assessment used in the selection process - Ability Tests and Personality Questionnaires.
Ability tests are used by an increasing number of employers in the selection process to measure specific abilities relevant to the job. The theory is that if you do well in the tests then you are likely to perform well in the job. They usually form part of the selection process alongside other methods such as interviews, presentations and group exercises.
Ability tests are timed and usually take the form of multiple choice questions. They are often designed not to be completed in the allotted time. Your score is a comparative measure of how you performed in relation to other students who have taken the tests. Tests are either offered on-line as part of the selection procedure or administered under standard test conditions by the employer. You will usually be given some practice examples to do prior to the main test and may even be sent a practice booklet in advance of your test session. You may or may not be told how you scored.
The two most commonly used tests are verbal and numerical reasoning though you may also come across others including situational judgement, spatial, diagrammatic, logical, analytical or inductive reasoning tests. The tests you are asked to sit, in addition to verbal and numerical reasoning, will vary according to the job you are applying for.
Thinking Style, Feelings and Emotions, Relationships with People are examples of the measures in personality questionnaires used in graduate recruitment. Note that personality questionnaires are not tests but are designed to give the employer a profile of your traits and the way in which you react in given situations.
They are un-timed and there are no right or wrong answers. There is no pass or fail. They usually check you are being consistent by asking similar questions in different ways so don't get caught out or try to guess what the employer is looking for. You can't really prepare for them; just answer the questions honestly.
You may get the chance to discuss the resulting profile with the employer and it may be followed up in a subsequent interview. Be comfortable challenging or reinforcing, where approriate, the results of the questionnaire if given the opportunity to do so.
Return to Psychometric tests
- Student Experience & Enhancement Services
- Print Services
- Estates Services
- Finance Directorate
- Human Resources Directorate
- Research & Knowledge Exchange Services