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Career help: How to prepare for your psychometric test

Recruitment is expensive, stressful and time consuming for employers. With all the endless CV revisions, job searches, interview preparation, job interviews and other career help, it can feel pretty much worse for a graduate looking for a job.

One method companies use to help them get recruitment right is Psychometric Tests.

Psychometric tests as a source of career help

Psychometric tests help companies find out more about you – the stuff you won’t or can’t tell them, such as how you are really likely to respond in different situations and what your core strengths and weaknesses are.

The tests they use may also cover personality, numeracy, reasoning, literacy or memory skills, depending on the skills and aptitude needed for the role.

Tests help employers match the right ability and strengths to the right job. They also help employers work out what areas of further growth and development a person might need.

That’s how you should view them, too, as a way of working out whether a certain job is right for you and / or as a way to find out what further areas of training and development you need.

There’s no point in trying to outwit a psychometric test; they are usually pretty accurate anyway. It won’t work if you try to answer the questions in the way you think the employer wants them answered – in fact the tests will probably work against you and show that you are lying.

Besides, you wouldn’t really want to end up in a job that just isn’t right for you, or without support to develop the skills you are going to need to do the job well… would you?

Preparing for a psychometric test

Psychometric tests can be taken before or after an interview and some companies will have further tests for you to take after you’ve been offered the position.

You will be invited to complete the psychometric test by answering a series of scenario type questions. This is usually online or via a computer programme. You might be asked to put things in order or you might be asked to respond to a staged scenario, such as how you would go about managing two competing deadlines.

The same questions will usually be asked over and over, but in different ways so as to measure accurately your skills and attributes. You will usually need to complete the questions within a set period of time.

The best way to prepare for a psychometric test is to practise being yourself! Begin by thinking about what you like doing. Think about jobs, paid or unpaid, that you have had in the past. Think about scenarios at college or university, especially project or group work.

Once you begin the test, just aim to put down the first answer that comes to mind. Don’t try to pre determine what you think they want you to say. Once you have completed the questions the software will analyse your answers and produce a profile. You will usually be able to download and print a copy of the results to keep.

Remember, as well as helping the employer to find out more about you, psychometric tests are a good way of helping you to learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses, what type of role and work environment you’ll work best in and areas where you can benefit from further career training and development.

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