What in the World is a Psychometric Test?

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You may have heard the terms psychometric test, psychometric testing, or psychometrics before, but might not really understand what they mean – other than the idea that they’re related to pre-hire assessments or pre-employment testing.

To better understand what a psychometric test is, we first need to understand the field of psychometrics.

The prefix psycho- refers to the mind, or mental activities and processes

The suffix metrics refers to the application of statistics and mathematical analysis to a specific field of study.

What is it?

Therefore, psychometrics is simply the science of measuring the mind, mental activities, and mental processes.

A more straight-forward definition might be – the field concerned with the objective measurement of skills, abilities, knowledge, personality, and more.

So, a psychometric test is an objective way of measuring something that we cannot see or grasp.

There are many different types of psychometrics tests, and as experts in measurement and pre-employment testing, we’d like to set the record straight as to what the differences are.

Hiring with a psychometric test

As it relates to hiring, psychometric tests help us assess how compatible a candidate might be for a given role or for a given organization on the basis of their job-related abilities, work styles, personality, and more. In fact, psychometric tests have been used as early as 1905 and are very common today. Companies that are actively hiring often use third-party organizations to provide the proper type of assessment that makes most sense for the role they’re hiring for.

Keep in mind, psychometric tests are just one component of the overall hiring process. They are meant to supplement traditional methods like skills qualification, interviews, examination of past experience, group presentations, written exercise, etc.

Incentives for using a psychometric test

This wide-spread hiring methodology of using pre-employment assessments has a number of benefits and incentives. Specifically;

  • Measures are objective, allowing fair and consistent assessment of all candidates
  • Saves HR managers time by identifying suitable candidates
  • Predicts important job outcomes (performance, satisfaction, engagement, etc.)
  • Improves quality of candidates
  • Identifies candidates who fit the role and organization

What types of tests are there?

Psychometric tests related to hiring can often be divided into 2 categories:

  • Tests that provide context about who you are (Personality Testing)
  • Tests that show what you know or are capable of (Aptitude Testing)

psychometric test

What psychometric test does jobZology provide?

In looking at the image above, jobZology’s psychometric tests fall into the “Who are you?” category. Our host of assessments paint a picture about the things you like to do at work, the ideals you hold deeply important to you, how you typically think, feel, and behave, as well as the type of environments where you succeed.

While it is important for organizations to know whether a given candidate has the capacity to conduct a certain analysis, understand written information at a high level, engage in abstract reasoning, etc. it’s extremely important for them to understand who they are hiring. jobZology assessments help answer questions about candidates such as:

  • How are they wired?
  • What do they like to do?
  • Will they like the work I’m asking them to do?
  • What types of work environments do they prefer?
  • Can we offer that type of environment?

Preparing for a psychometric test

For Aptitude tests – the “what are you capable of” type of assessments –  there are many resources that attempt to guide individuals in “gaming” the system to score higher than is actually reflective of their true aptitudes. (We don’t recommend this.)

jobZology assessments – the “who are you?” type – differ from aptitude tests in that there is no right or wrong answer.  There is no way to “game” the system if you’re just responding based on who you are as a unique individual. There is nothing to practice or prepare for. In fact, individuals who try to respond in ways that are inconsistent with who they are may end up in jobs they are highly dissatisfied with!

The ultimate aim of jobZology’s pre-hire assessments is to identify the right candidate on the basis of their unique personal characteristics and how those map to the potential work they will be doing and the organization that is hiring them.

If you want to learn more about jobZology’s pre-hire assessments and our methodology, let’s talk!


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