Psychometric testing

What is Psychometric testing?

Another common method of selection used by organisations is psychometric testing. It is behaviour based and can include games and fictional scenarios where the candidate needs to select the best answer. Often this will be done to sift applications before the interview stage. However candidates may be required to complete some of this style of testing at an assessment center, on the day of their interview.


Some examples of psychometric testing include:

  • Verbal reasoning – your ability to understand written information. This can test grammar.
  • Numerical reasoning – how you think using numbers. This can include ratios, fractions and percentages.
  • Abstract or spatial reasoning – your ability to understand patterns, logical rules or work with shapes. These are usally games and can be used by consultancy and accounting firms.
  • Personality – questions about how you behave, to predict how you might act in a work situation (there are no right or wrong answers).
  • Situational judgement tests – set a scene and ask what you would do in that situation.
How to Prepare

You do not need to have previous knowledge to complete a test but practice will be beneficial for example it will benefit you to work on your math skills before you complete a numerical reasoning test. There are practice tests online and applicants are encouraged to practice before completing the online assessments, and before going to their interview. The practice tests will usually provide feedback so that you can see your weak areas, and work on those. More often than not, organisations will inform you that this will be part of your interview.

Tips for taking psychometric tests
  • sit somewhere quiet with no distractions and try to stay calm
  • have a pen, paper and calculator to hand
  • do the tests on a laptop or PC and use headphones if you have them
  • make sure you have a reliable internet connection
  • log on with plenty of time ahead, close down all other windows and maximise the test window
  • check the timings – some tests will actually tell you how long you have for each question, for others you may have to work it out. Some tests are timed whereas others will provide an estimated time so that you have a guide as to how much time you need to spend on the particular test.
  • read the instructions carefully.
  • do not use the back button in your browser as it may end the test without saving your answers
  • if you can’t answer a question don’t stick on it and lose time– take a guess and move on. Some tests will allow you to flag a question and return to it. Be sure taht you have that option before moving on without answering the question.
  • if you answer a question and have time before the next one appears, use the time to calm yourself with a couple of deep breaths.
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