Getting ready for psychometric testing

How to use psychometric testing in recruitment

This looks at the information that can’t be seen easily on their CV – their personality.

Psychometric testing in recruitment is important to assess the suitability of the person you are looking to join your workplace. It doesn’t look at their experience, but rather the information that can’t be seen easily on their CV – their personality.

Using psychometric testing can ensure you not only find the person with the right skills for the role, but also the one who will gel with your existing team.

Here we look at the role of psychometric testing and how you can apply it to your recruitment process.

The function of psychometric testing in recruitment

Psychometric testing is designed for employers to better understand components of a person’s character. The test can look at a person’s:

Man ready to participate in psychometric testing

The test is there to create data that could guide your decision-making about a candidate.

Importantly, it is objective and impersonal, which will allow you to compare candidates much more easily.

While there isn’t one ‘perfect personality’ as different roles and organisations call for different personalities, it might highlight skills that will thrive in the role you are recruiting for.

For example, a role with a lot of stakeholder management would require an individual with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. These same skills, however, are less important for someone in an analyst or finance role where deductive reasoning is likely more function critical.

Similarly, if your managerial style is laissez-faire, it wouldn’t be fair for either party to recruit an individual who likes a lot of structure and constant input.

Applying testing in your recruit

Psychometric testing is never used in isolation. The output from the test will form just one data point in your recruitment process, alongside their:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Interviews
  • References

Typically, the best time to use psychometric testing is when you are confident of an applicant’s potential suitability for the role.

You’ve read their resume and were impressed; you’ve interviewed them and left feeling excited and perhaps have even phoned a referee. This means your investment in psychometric testing is reasonable and worthwhile.

Four types of psychometric tests

  1. Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI)

Probably the most well-known personality test, the MBTI asks questions to determine where an applicant falls when it comes to introversion and extroversion, perceiving and judging, intuition and sensing, and thinking and feeling. The results of this test will categorise the applicant as one of 16 personality types.

Psychometric testing can help you find a candidate that will gel with your team

  1. Caliper Profile

The Caliper Profile focuses on how personality traits will correlate to success at work. This assessment looks at both positive and negative traits and can be customised to target behaviours that are very important for certain roles. The test is made up of statements where you are asked to choose the one that most aligns with you.

  1. DiSC personality test

There are 12 personality types in this test, based on the categories of dominance, steadiness, influence, and compliance. This test is quite a bit shorter, with just 28 statements, each with four options that you must select from.

  1. SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire prides itself on being able to “predict potential”. It includes 104 questions about emotions, thinking style and relationships with people. You are presented with a number of statements and must choose the one that most aligns with you as well as the one that least aligns with you.


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