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Psycho-technical tests in job interviews: definition and types

Psycho-technical tests in job interviews assess abilities in candidates that are considered essential to access different professional positions. However, this...
18 October 2022

Psycho-technical tests in job interviews assess abilities in candidates that are considered essential to access different professional positions. However, this type of personnel selection test has both supporters and detractors.

One of the main criticisms is that there are not enough studies to validate their suitability in the professional field since they were initially designed for clinical purposes.

Based on the above, this article will discuss what psycho-technical tests are and what types exist. With this information at hand, you will be able to judge if the psycho-technical tests in job interviews are appropriate for the selection processes of your company or organization.

What are psychometric tests in job interviews?

Psychotechnical tests in job interviews are tools used by psychotechnics, a branch of psychology that aims to explore and classify different abilities of the candidate through specific tests. The ultimate goal is to orient and select the profiles best suited to a position.

Although psycho-technical tests can be used at different times in the business environment, in personnel selection tests, they are shown as channels for classifying candidates, especially in positions requiring particular abilities.

In this sense, the position’s needs dictate which battery of psycho-technical tests you need to perform to receive valuable results in return.

For example, in positions of great responsibility, it is necessary to assess tolerance to pressure, adaptation to change, maturity, responses to crises, motivation, or verbal and numerical abilities.

Psycho-technical tests in job interviews

Types of psycho-technical tests

Unlike psychometrics, which aims to assess mental ability and functioning, psycho-technical testing is concerned with exploring and classifying individuals’ abilities.

However, for more in-depth analysis, psycho-technical and psychometric tests are often combined in recruitment interviews.

Psychometric tests focus on the three major groups of assessments:

  1. Aptitude tests measure intellectual ability in memory, numerical knowledge, or reasoning.
  2. Personality tests provide data on the candidate’s resistance to pressure or emotional intelligence.
  3. Tests of knowledge in a given area.

If we focus on the psycho-technical tests, we can differentiate the following 5 types.

Verbal ability tests

These tests to measure the candidate’s verbal ability are based on spelling exercises, definitions, oral comprehension, use of antonyms and synonyms, etc.

The objective is to analyze the candidate’s oral and written comprehension, expression, and communicative skills.

Numerical ability test

This test proposes challenges that yield results in the ability to understand, reason, and cope with numerical operations.

The candidate must solve arithmetic operations and other mathematical problems depending on the position to be filled.

Spatial ability test

The spatial aptitude test seeks to measure the candidate’s ability to differentiate shapes, distances, positions, and volumes and to represent objects and figures in 2 and 3 dimensions through puzzles, rotation tests, or figure creation.

Psycho-technical tests in job interviews: definition and types

Attention, Retention, and Concentration Tests

Psychometric tests of attention, retention, and concentration also evaluate the reaction to pressure and stress.

This can be achieved, for example, by proposing challenges in which the test taker must remain attentive and concentrated in repetitive and monotonous exercises. The pressure is increased by setting time limits for their resolution.

Abstract reasoning test

In this test, the test taker’s observation capacity and logical organization come into play. The aim is to qualify their ability to solve logical problems through abstraction.

This is achieved with exercises such as finding analogies in a sequence of figures, completing numerical or graphic series, discriminating between alternatives, or solving problems that combine numerical abilities with the search for mathematical patterns.

Pros and cons of psycho-technical tests in personnel selection

Some recruitment experts warn that considering their clinical origin – which we mentioned in the introduction – they are tests that require specialists who know how to detect the type of tests to be used.

This technical staff must have the necessary training and experience to know how to interpret the results in a professional and relevant manner.

As a positive feature, psycho-technical tests for personnel selection allow the analysis of aspects of the candidate that are not easy to detect during an interview.

Experts in the field point out that the person who wants to get a job always tries to generate the best impression and may not be totally sincere.

Nowadays, psycho-technical tests are combined with job interviews and more innovative personnel selection techniques such as Assessment Centers.

Psycho-technical tests can be performed remotely as long as there is an internet connection and a system that creates a safe, respectful, and efficient environment for their correct performance. In this sense, our proctoring products are specially designed to help the process.

Request a free demo and discover why we are leaders in this type of strategic service for your evaluations.

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