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Psychometric test: definition, types, and tips

A psychometric test on a candidate or an employee allows companies or recruiters to obtain information on traits such as...
29 June 2022

A psychometric test on a candidate or an employee allows companies or recruiters to obtain information on traits such as cognitive ability, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, or results orientation. 

Having this data is synonymous with having a general picture of the applicant or employee to be tested.

With this article, we want to give you some background on what psychometric tests are and what types there are. We will also share some tips to apply to this test.

What is a psychometric test?

A psychometric test is a test of an individual’s psychic abilities and is reflected in a final result in numerical value. 

These types of tests are prevalent in recruitment agencies and HR -Human Resources- departments, which use them to gather information about the psychological traits of applicants. 

The objectives behind an occupational psychometric test are:

  • Identify abilities, aptitudes, competencies, values, traits, likes, and dislikes. 
  • To detect potentials and limitations.
  • To screen the most suitable candidates and those who best fit the culture and philosophy of the company.
  • Know in advance performance and behavioral patterns. 
  • Distinguish the outstanding competencies of each candidate.

Types of psychometric tests


The recruitment and selection team must clearly understand the organization’s needs to make a complete and unambiguous analysis. There are no good or bad tests, no right or wrong answers. What is relevant is the result and whether those chosen are the most in line with the company’s standards.


The classification of psychometric tests varies according to what they are intended to measure.

Thus, there are three types of psychometric tests: 

  1. Intelligence.
  2. Aptitudes and skills.
  3. Personality.

We will see them in more depth.

Psychometric tests: definition, types and tips

Intelligence

Psychometric intelligence tests seek to measure

  • IQ (intelligence quotient).
  • Learning capacity.
  • The application of new knowledge.
  • Specific analysis and synthesis skills.
  • The capacity and facility for decision-making.
  • Initiative and proactivity in problem-solving.
  • Adaptation to changes.

The most commonly used are:

  • Raven’s Test. It focuses on concentration levels and skills related to observation and logic.
  • The Terman Merrill Test. is one of the most widely used psychometric tests to measure IQ.

Aptitudes and skills

Psychometric tests of aptitudes and skills measure: 

  • Job skills and competencies.
  • The applicant’s potential in the development of professional practices.

The most representative are:

  • Cleaver’s Test. It measures reactions and performance in situations of work overload and stress.
  • The Moss test. It measures the social adaptability of the person intending to know and predict their behavior.
Reliable candidate selection

Personality

Psychometric personality tests seek to qualify the ability of applicants to:

  • Interpret situations.
  • Adapt.
  • Relate.
  • Handle internal conflicts. 
  • Develop social skills.

The most common are:

  • The Big Five. It considers the top 5 personality traits: it focuses on openness to new experiences, tenacity, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional state.
  • The 16PF Test. It identifies 16 traits and asks 170 questions about responses to different work situations.
  • The SHL or OPQ32. It shows how traits influence job performance, has 104 questions, measures 32 characteristics, and is based on choosing the most and least similar options to the applicant’s personality.
  • The SJT. It provides answers on problem-solving skills.

Tips applicable to psychometric tests

The performance of psychometric tests by HR departments and recruitment agencies can benefit from the implementation of a series of tips shown below:

Take care of the environment surrounding the test

Whether the test is face-to-face or an online psychometric test, a calm and comfortable environment is critical for the applicant to achieve maximum concentration, as reflected in the results. 

Take care of the environment surrounding the test

Limit the completion time

Controlling that the psychometric test does not take too long makes it possible for the applicant not to end up exhausted. On the contrary, what is essential is to maintain an optimal concentration level from start to finish so that the results are accurate and without distortions caused by fatigue.

Combine tests

Combining several psychometric tests makes it possible to assess applicants from different angles and analyze their performance in various competencies. Of course, these competencies must be related to the job. 

Establish needs before testing

Before designing and writing a psychometric test, the people in charge of conducting it (the HR department or the recruitment agency) must be clear about the needs to be covered

Good design and wording will highlight the best applicants for recruitment.

The digital transformation many companies face brings a need to articulate new control systems that allow them to ensure that the processes are carried out under assumptions of total honesty and respecting security premises.

SMOWL’s remote monitoring service for personnel selection and recruitment processes guarantees that security protocols are respected and that tests are carried out with fraud and malpractice controls.  

Do you want to know first-hand what we offer in this service? We encourage you to request a free, no-obligation demo.

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