Psychometric Test: How It Came Into Existence?

Being the smartest of all existing races in this world, the mankind has always delved deep to understand their nature. By nature, it does not mean only the ways an individual reacts, but also the causes behind that have forced him/ her to respond in a particular manner. Human race has been obsessed with their nature and have always been curious to know about their personality traits.

Personality research holds a history of hundreds of years, if not more. As the human race shifted to being ‘modern’, personality assessment came in as one of the key factors to understand the diversity of approaches. In fact, sociologists and psychologists have come up with methods and techniques that have been used widely in every sphere.

Right from forming an organisational structure with the human involved in it to check the behavioural techniques of the employees; assessing the employees’ personality inventories to taking interviews; figuring out the behavioural traits of an interviewee to creating reports of their reactions, introducing rating scales to assess their reactions and answers, and behavioural observation- everything comes under one roof- personality test. You can learn more about personality tests on PrepTerminal.

Now that we have spent so many words on the usefulness of personality test in organisations, let us focus on the one that is the most appropriate of all- the psychometric test.

Introduction to Psychometric Test

As per reports, psychometric test is considered as one of the most scientific and standard method to be used inside a business organisation for measuring individual behavioural styles, capabilities and responses towards collective organisational decisions. Psychometric test is a standard one on which organisations can rely and take the test results to come across real time decisions.

Picture this: you are the human resource manager of an organisation and have been handling interviews, and candidate selection for the last few years for your company. It’s normal that you come across many candidates in a day. While you meet people dressed in accurate formal attire, there come some who are extremely talented for the designation, but have paid very less attention to their attire. Now whom to choose? Being a HR manager you cannot be biased and cannot choose the one that impresses just by his/ her appearance. Instead you go for a round of interview and decide the right candidate for the designation you are offering.

On the flipside, candidates these days come in prepared and they know how and what to answer. Psychometric tests are designed to measure candidates’ appropriateness for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude. This particular test helps in identifying the parameters to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required to perform the role. Employers use the collected information of the test to identify the hidden aspects of a candidate that otherwise would have been difficult to extract from a face-to-face interview.


The other side of the coin exists as well

We have said about the positive sides of this particular test method. On the flipside, there are candidates who believe that psychometric test is not a good measure to assess their real abilities, personality traits, and suitability for the job.

However, psychometric tests re are constructed to be objective and unbiased, to extract only statistically examined results. This is done using standard methods of assessment where every candidate is presented with the same questions and instructions. Hence, it makes psychometric tests a very reliable option in predicting candidates’ performance providing accurate evaluation of the result.


Keeping the pros and cons in mind, here are some useful tips for organisations to employ when they consider psychometric test within their selection process:

  • Usually, the most difficult questions in a psychometric test are always placed at the end. However, this does not make the questions less important. Neither do the candidates get extra point for figuring out the hard questions. It’s the answers that matter.
  • If you are considering psychometric test as an aptitude test, make sure as an organisation, you have all the questions in the numerical reasoning test. The test is designed so only a particular percent of candidates can correctly answer all questions within the time limit.  
  • When structuring Questions for an aptitude test, always keep the questions simple. It’s precisely because these questions are generally very easy that people tend to make simple mistakes with them.
  • Personality tests can be used to identify the level of honesty of the candidates. These honesty scales are called social desirability. Foe this organisation should place a question where the aspiring candidates have the space to boast about him. An interviewee who denies these undesirable behaviours that are extremely common will receive a high social desirability score which is used to identify fakers.  
  • In aptitude tests, organisations can also skip questions. Instead they can include situations, and real time cases to understand if the candidates is wasting time, or moving onto the other sections to complete the test first. While candidates contain the nature to waste more than a third of their time on a handful of tough questions. One should always prefer that one candidate who has spent equal time to solve on each question.
  • Companies should add numerical reasoning questions in the test paper. This would help them in measuring the ability of an applicant to interpret numerical data. Also check if the candidate is using the simple calculator. Because anyway you are not going to hire the applicant based on his math skills.
  • See if the candidate is able to maintain a serious and concrete attitude throughout the course of interview.  
  • Applicants come prepared. So do not believe everything based on their behaviour and responses. Answering the test questions without preparation is not possible and the results would show that to you. Organisations need to make informed decision to demonstrate a candidate’s full potential.
  • Personality tests are designed to incorporate several questions for measuring an identical personality trait. Hence, the way candidates respond to questions throughout the interview session is important to assess them for the next level.


While this list is definitely doesn’t consist all the useful tips for an organisation to conduct a successful psychometric test so that they can welcome capable candidates, but it surely have the important ones.

Apart from the ones we have mentioned above, organisations can also consider including timed and non-timed tests in the interview session. It is always recommended to allow a break in between each test for the candidates so that they can perform in a better manner.