Demystifying Psychometric Tests Continue To Be Used


    In today’s world of recruitment, psychometric tests continue to be used in the hiring process. These tests, designed to measure a candidate’s cognitive abilities, personality traits, and behavioural patterns, have become a ubiquitous tool in assessing the suitability of a candidate for a specific role. However, like any tool, psychometric tests are surrounded by myths and misconceptions that need to be addressed.

    Understanding Psychometric Tests

    Psychometric tests are divided into three primary categories:

    1. Intelligence Tests (IQ Tests): These assess a candidate’s cognitive abilities and potential for learning. Particularly useful in scenarios where substantial training is involved, these tests gauge how quickly and effectively a candidate can pick up new skills.
    2. Aptitude Tests: Focused on measuring a candidate’s innate abilities in performing certain tasks or skills, these are often used in early career stages to guide job seekers or to understand a candidate’s potential.
    3. Personality Tests: These explore various aspects of a candidate’s character, emotions, and behaviours. Widely used tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Big Five Personality Traits test, and DISC.

    Myths and Realities

    1. Myth: Psychometric Tests Are Infallible.

    Reality: No test is perfect. Psychometric tests should be one of many tools used in the recruitment process. They offer insights but aren’t definitive predictors of job performance.

    1. Myth: Tests Are Biased Against Certain Groups.

    Reality: While historical biases existed, modern tests are more inclusive and diverse. It’s crucial to select tests that have been validated on a diverse population to ensure fairness and accuracy.

    1. Myth: All Psychometric Tests Are Similar.

    Reality Each test is unique, measuring different traits and abilities. It’s important to choose the right test based on the specific requirements of the role.

    Effective Use of Psychometric Tests

    There is lots of great advice about how employers can use psychometric tests and the British Psychology Society may also help.

    1. Choosing the Right Test: It’s vital to select a test that aligns with the job role and the skills required. The test should be validated and respected in the industry for its accuracy and predictive power.
    2. Timing: Implementing psychometric tests at the correct stage of the recruitment process is crucial. Ideally, they should be used after initial screening but before final interviews.
    3. Interpreting Results: Understanding the context of the results is as important as the results themselves. It’s recommended to use trained professionals for interpretation to avoid misjudgements.
    4. Integrating with Other Methods: Psychometric tests should complement other selection methods like interviews, CV analysis, and reference checks. Relying solely on these tests for hiring decisions is not advisable.

    Advantages of Psychometric Testing

    – Objectivity: These tests provide an unbiased assessment of a candidate’s abilities and personality traits.

    – Standardisation: Their standardised nature allows for fair comparison among candidates.

    – Predictive Power: They can predict certain aspects of job performance and fit.

    – Self-awareness: For candidates, these tests can offer insights into their strengths and weaknesses.

    Challenges and Considerations

    – Cultural Differences: Some tests may not account for cultural differences, leading to skewed results.

    – Changing Dynamics: The evolving nature of work and roles means that tests need regular updates to stay relevant.

    – Cost and Accessibility: Some tests can be expensive and may require professional administration, adding to the recruitment cost.


    Psychometric tests, when used correctly, can be a powerful tool in the recruitment arsenal. They provide valuable insights into a candidate’s capabilities and personality, aiding in making more informed hiring decisions. owever, it’s imperative to use these tests judiciously, understanding their limitations and ensuring they are part of a broader, more holistic recruitment strategy. By debunking the myths and understanding the realities of psychometric testing, recruiters and hiring managers can leverage these tools effectively, leading to better hiring outcomes.