Assessments

Psychometric test help

Psychometric testing is a key part of the graduate recruitment process. Here, we look at what you need to know to get through to the next stage!

If you’re currently applying for graduate jobs, you’ve probably come across the dreaded psychometric testing process. Designed to check out your credentials in various areas, they’re a favoured recruitment tool amongst big companies who need to ensure they’re getting the right person for the job.

When you’re on the receiving end though, it can be more than just a little bit daunting. Mostly because there is no way to alter the results or “cheat” the system.

Nevertheless, we have used our past experience and hours of research to compile a list of all types of psychometric test and how you can do your best in each one.

Aptitude tests

Aptitude TestsThese are usually completed online or on a printed answer sheet, a bit like your typical exam. The whole purpose of them is to assess your cognitive and reasoning abilities, and you’ll normally be given a strict time limit to complete the tests.

You’ll be given instructions before you start, so always read them carefully. If it’s the case that it’s a multiple choice test with no penalties for wrong answers, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you run out of time, it could be a good plan to just guess.

However, some tests also give negative marks for wrong answers and in this case you should leave one that you are unsure of blank and answer the ones you know first.

Of course, you should plan your time well so you’re ideally never in this position anyway! Make sure that you have everything you need, such as a calculator if you’re allowed one.

Aptitude tests often include:

  • Verbal tests: such as verbal reasoning and analysis
  • Numeric tests: such as mathematical calculations
  • Diagrammatical tests: such as logic and interpretation questions

If you feel like testing out your abilities in any of these tests or want an idea of what one looks like then check out Kent Universities example tests (don’t be put off by the paint style photo).

Personality tests

Personality TestPersonality tests are different to aptitude tests in the sense that there are no right or wrong answers. They’re all about giving an employer an insight into your personal working style and how you might behave in the workplace.

Typically, this sort of test might ask you questions about how you prefer to work. You’ll probably notice that you’re often asked the same question several times but just worded differently. This is to give consistency and to ensure that you aren’t just answering how you think you should (which you should NEVER do).

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the MMPI are commonly used personality tests. You can find plenty of information on how they work online, so it’s worthwhile doing some further research if you know you’ll be doing one of these.

In the end though, personality tests are really about telling someone what you’re really like. Preparation should be around familiarising yourself with the format rather than perfecting your answers.

If you feel that you are having to make up a personality to fit the job then it’s most likely that it isn’t for you!

General hints and tips

Be prepared

be preparedPreparation is key to acing psychometric tests! There are several places online where you can practice. Check out sites such as Psychometric Success and Job Test Prep for aptitude tests, and Team Technology and Finding Potential for personality tests.

They’re a great way to get a feel for how things will work and identify any areas that you might struggle with, so you know where to focus your efforts.

Stay calm

We know it’s easier said than done, but you’ll never perform at your very best if you’re stressed out and worried.

Stay calm and get yourself in the right frame of mind.

Be honest!

When it comes to personality tests, there are no right or wrong answers. They’re often geared up to catch you out of you start to try to manipulate your answers, so avoid trying to do what you think is ‘right’.

Answer honestly, and you’ll give the company a well-rounded view of what you’re really like. If you’re cut out for the job in question, it’ll put you in the best position for impressing.


Have you experienced psychometric tests as part of the recruitment test? What tips would you share with other graduate job seekers?

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