Psychometric Tests: What are they and how can you pass?

Psychometric tests, also known as personality tests, have been part of the recruitment process for many years. If you have applied for a graduate role or gone for a job that requires a specific skill set, it’s likely you will have had some experience of this type of test in the past.

Modern employers regularly use psychometric testing as one of the many weapons in their arsenal of recruitment tools to help them weed-out less suitable candidates. Personality tests are typically the next stage of testing after job-based competency tests have been completed.

Once employers have found candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills for the role, then they want to find the right personality types. That leaves them with a much smaller group of qualified candidates they can invite to an assessment centre or interview.

Can you tell them what they want to hear?

Many people approach personality tests with the idea that they’ll simply tell the employer what they think they want to hear. For example, personality tests are commonly carried out for air traffic controllers as employers need a very specific personality type. So, when asked to ‘Rate your attention to detail on a scale of 1-10’, even if you can be a bit slapdash, the temptation would be to give yourself a perfect score.

However, personality tests include checks to detect your level of honesty. In many cases, very similar questions are asked multiple times but worded differently to catch out those who are trying to pull the wool over the employer’s eyes.

There are also questions that ask candidates about undesirable behaviours that the vast majority of people would have demonstrated in the past to detect their level of honesty. Even the time you take over some questions might be flagged as unusual and could raise some doubt about the veracity of your answers.

The moral of the story is, honesty is always the best policy.

So what can you do to pass?

1. Practice makes perfect

Many people are complacent when taking psychometric tests and assume they’ll be able to pass without doing any practice. However, like any other type of test, the more practice you do and the more familiar you are with the different question and test types, the better you’re likely to perform.

Here’s a sample test you can try at home.

2. Try to find out what type of test you’ll face

There are lots of different psychometric test types and providers out there so it makes sense to do everything you can to find out exactly which type of test you’ll face. Some employers will provide information and even sample tests you can use to practice, but many will not provide any details at all.

If you are not given sufficient information about the number of questions, the time you’ll have or the format the test will take, we recommend taking a proactive approach to find out more. You should:

  • Contact the employer’s HR team or your recruitment agency to see if they have any information to provide;

3. Read every question very carefully

As we’ve already said, it’s often the case that certain questions are repeated but with a slightly different wording each time. Inconsistencies in your answers to these questions will be a cause for concern for the employer, so make sure you read every question extremely careful.

4. Take a good look at the explanations

Each group of questions will have a specific explanation to accompany it. Take your time over these explanations as a failure to understand what you’re required to do will certainly not reflect well on you.

5. Be confident and believe in yourself

That might sound like a cliché, but this is not the be-all and end-all. If you answer the questions truthfully and still fail the test then it’s a sure sign that the job was unlikely to be a good fit for you.

The expert assistance you need

At Linguistica Recruitment, we provide expert support and assistance throughout the recruitment process to help you land your dream bilingual role. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV or call 02397 987 765 to find out more.

The 4 Real Reasons Why you didn’t get the Job

Have you ever noticed that, whenever you receive feedback from an interview for a job you didn’t get, the news is almost always overwhelmingly positive? Most of the time, the recruiter or interviewer will tell you that you performed tremendously and seem like just the type of person they would love to hire, but another candidate just had a little bit more experience. That can’t always be true, can it?

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, so could it be that there are a few other reasons why you didn’t get the job that no one is brave enough to tell you? Having spoken to hundreds of hiring managers over the years, here are some of the most common reasons why candidates really didn’t get the job…

1. You’re too ambitious

You might argue that there’s no such thing as being too ambitious, and to be honest we’d probably agree with you. However, someone with lots of ambition who hopes to progress quickly may not always be the best fit for a particular role.

As an example, if a candidate is clearly very bright and driven but is applying for an entry-level position with no real scope for progression anytime soon, they may not be happy with their position for very long. Rather than having to hire again in the near future, it would probably be easier to hire a candidate with a little less ambition who is likely to be content in the role for the longer term.

2. Bad luck follows you around

There are plenty of good people in this world who are genuinely unlucky; however, a job interview is probably not the best time to air your grievances. If you’ve had to leave one job because of an ill parent or were laid off from another because of a personal health problem, then even if those events were completely out of your control, it’s not the best time to bring them up.

It’s important to remember that the hiring manager wants someone who will make their life easier. They will not have the time or energy to help you work through your personal issues, particularly when you’re unproven.

3. They hired someone internally

Sometimes, no matter how well you perform in the interview, you were never going to get the job. There are occasions when posts are advertised externally simply to tick the relevant boxes, when an internal candidate has already been promised the role. In this case, unfortunately, the hiring company has completely wasted your time.

4. You criticised your colleagues

When it comes to discussing previous positions you’ve held, a common mistake candidates make is to overshare. No matter how awful your past employer or colleagues might have been, you should not speak negatively about them as it will only reflect badly on you. When you need to vent, speak to your family and friends. Some candidates may try to get around the negative connotations of criticising colleagues and employers by starting a sentence with “I don’t want to talk badly about anyone but…”

This type of talk will only distract from your positive qualities, so just don’t do it at all!

Receive honest feedback from our team

At Linguistica Recruitment, we work with you to help you secure your next bilingual role. If that means giving you honest feedback and providing a few professional pointers so you don’t make the same mistake again then we will. Take a look at our current vacancies, submit your CV or call our team on 02392 987 765 today.