Psychometric tests – why is it important in Recruitment

Interview session between a man and a woman

Psychometric tests: Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the curtain after you submit your resume for your dream job? Yes, you got that right, the screening process happens just after submission and next, you are invited for an interview.

Usually, most organizations fix psychometric tests or aptitude tests for the screening process.   A psychometric test is now a common part of the interview process. This often takes different forms but is generally termed psychometric because it aims to assess candidates’ cognitive abilities and personality types. 

More so, this type of text is administered online and may span from 30 minutes to 1 hour maximum. Also, questions used for the psychometric test consist mostly of a series of questions that require you to submit your answers within the given time frame. 

Therefore, If this is your first time hearing about a psychometric text or you haven’t encountered this type of screening yet, you are likely to have your first soon as they are very popular in top companies’ interview process. To help you find balance, the article covers what psychometric tests are, how they work 

Relevant: How do Recruitment Agencies Screen Candidates? Step-by-Step Guide

What is a Psychometric Test?

A Psychometric test, also known as an aptitude test, is a type of assessment used to measure the ability of candidates as regards specific criteria needed for a role. 

Psychometric tests measure the cognitive abilities and skills needed to judge a person’s personality. This is an extremely important tool used by different organizations for recruitment into different positions.

Also, Recruiters employ this screening method because depending wholly on resumes and cover letters does not do justice to the real potential of candidates. 

More so, with a Psychometric test, recruiters can comfortably access the qualitative and quantitative skills of selected candidates which makes the process of interviewing a lot more easier.

Relevant: How to Answer Interview Questions Confidently in 2024

Why are Psychometric Tests Important to Employers?

There are many reasons why employers and recruiters use psychometric tests in the hiring process. Here are the basic reason 

1. Predict job performance

Well-designed psychometric tests can assess your cognitive abilities, personality traits, and skills relevant to the role. This helps employers identify candidates who are more likely to excel in the job and grow to become high performers as they grow in the role. 

Hence, this further leads to an increase in productivity and lower turnover.

2. Reduce Bias

Unlike resumes and interviews, which are subjective and prone to bias, psychometric tests offer a more objective way to assess candidates. This can help ensure that the hiring process is fair and gives everyone a chance to be considered based on their skills and potential, regardless of background or other factors.

3. Improve Efficiency

Psychometric tests can be administered to a large number of candidates simultaneously, saving time and resources for employers. This can be especially helpful in situations where there are a lot of applicants for a single position.

4. Identify Cultural Fit

In addition to assessing skills and abilities, psychometric tests also provide insights into a candidate’s personality and work style. This way, employers can easily determine whether a candidate is likely to be a good fit for their company culture and team.

5. Provide Added Value for Candidates

Completing psychometric tests often helps candidates understand more about their strengths and weaknesses, which is a good start for career development and self-awareness push. Additionally, some employers use the results of these tests to provide feedback to candidates, even if they are not hired.

Relevant: How to Answer Interview Questions with No Experience: Pro tips 

What are the main Types of Psychometric Tests?

There are two main types of psychometric tests, they are:

  • Ability test and 
  • Personality test 

There are many forms of each of these two mentioned above. but in this section, we shall be considering the ability test.

Ability Tests:

  • Cognitive Ability Tests:
    • General cognitive: Raven’s Matrices, Wonderlic Personnel Test, Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT)
    • Verbal: Vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing skills
    • Numerical: Math calculations, data analysis, problem-solving
    • Logical reasoning: Identifying patterns, drawing conclusions, evaluating arguments
    • Spatial reasoning: Mental manipulation of shapes and objects
  • Achievement Tests:
    • Subject-specific: Math, science, language, history, etc.
    • Vocational: Trade skills, technical knowledge
    • Professional: Legal knowledge, medical knowledge, business acumen
  • Mechanical Reasoning Tests:
    • Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT)
    • Ramsay Mechanical Aptitude Test (RMAT)

The most commonly used psychometric tests under this category are numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning:

Numerical Reasoning

A numerical reasoning test is one of the most common types of psychometric test, so you have to be familiar with this model

Numerical Reasoning is an aptitude test that assesses your ability to understand, interpret, and manipulate numerical data. It measures your skills in:

  • Basic math: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, ratios, and fractions.
  • Interpreting graphs and charts: Line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, and other visual representations of data.
  • Analyzing tables: Extracting relevant information from tables and making calculations.
  • Problem-solving: Using numerical information to solve practical problems and make decisions.
  • Data analysis: Identifying trends, patterns, and relationships within numerical data.

What to Expect in a Numerical Reasoning Test During an Interview:

  • The test is usually multiple-choice, with a set time limit (often 15-30 minutes).
  • Questions are presented in various formats, including graphs, charts, tables, and word problems.
  • You’ll need to use a calculator or perform calculations manually, depending on the test instructions.

Common Question Types to expect:

  • Interpreting Data: You’ll be asked to extract specific information from graphs, charts, or tables, such as identifying the highest or lowest values, calculating percentages or proportions, or comparing data sets.
  • Math Calculations: You’ll need to perform basic math operations, including percentages, ratios, and fractions, to solve problems.
  • Problem-Solving: You’ll be presented with word problems that require you to apply numerical reasoning skills to find solutions.
  • Data Analysis: You’ll be asked to identify trends, patterns, or relationships within numerical data, such as spotting outliers or predicting future values.

N/B: Numerical reasoning tests are not designed to test the limit of your ability in mathematics; rather, their purpose is to test how well you interpret data and how efficient you can be in handling these data.

Relevant: What Are The 5 C’s Of Interviewing?

Verbal Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning is an aptitude test that assesses your ability to understand, analyze, and interpret written information. In this test, you will be given either a passage or a sentence with missing words and required to provide the missing piece. It measures your skills in:

  • Reading comprehension: Extracting meaning and information from written passages.
  • Critical thinking: Evaluating arguments, identifying assumptions, and recognizing bias.
  • Deductive reasoning: Drawing logical conclusions based on provided information.
  • Vocabulary: Understanding and using words accurately and effectively.
  • Analytical skills: Identifying patterns, relationships, and key points within text.

What to Expect in a verbal Reasoning test 

Here’s what you can expect in each format:

Standardized Test:

  • Multiple-choice questions ask about the main idea, supporting details, inferences, or author’s purpose.
  • Open-ended questions require analysis of the text’s structure, logic, or rhetorical devices.
  • Timed sections test your reading speed and comprehension under pressure.

In-house Assessment:

  • Analyzing complex reports, data, or business proposals.
  • Summarizing key points from a technical presentation or written document.
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses of arguments presented in written materials.

Simple Steps to Prepare for Psychometric Tests:

In case you are anticipating a psychometric test, you don’t have to be scared. follow these steps to get prepared for your test: 

1. Research the Process:

  • Identify test type: Ask the company what type of test they use (aptitude, personality, etc.).
  • Gather resources: Find practice tests, tips, and explanations online for your specific test types.
  • Read the test overview: Understand the test format, timing, and content areas.

2. Practice

  • Take sample tests: Simulate the real test environment to build confidence and manage time.
  • Analyze explanations: Learn from your mistakes and identify areas for improvement.
  • Brush up on basic skills: Revisit math, reading comprehension, or logical reasoning concepts.

3. Stay Sharp and Rewind 

  • Get enough sleep: Rest prepares your brain for optimal performance.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast: Fuel your mind and focus for the test.
  • Relax and practice mindfulness: Reduce anxiety and improve test-taking composure.

4. Test Day

On the day of the test, arrive early. Avoid stress and ensure you have enough time for check-in procedures. Before you start your test, read the instructions carefully. Don’t rush, ensure you understand the specific rules and requirements. 

Moreso, when the exam starts ensure you stay calm and focused. Breathe deeply and avoid every form of distraction. Tackle one question at a time. Meanwhile, If you get stuck, move on

Don’t dwell on difficult questions, move on and come back later if time allows.

With these, you can face and tackle any psychometric test you encounter.


Psychometric tests are an important part of the recruitment process. It offers a unique way to assess candidates’ cognitive and mental abilities. 

There are two main types of Psychometric tests: the ability test and the personality test. Companies and organizations use numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning (both types of ability tests) to assess candidates’ cognitive abilities.

To ace your Psychometric test, ensure you research the type of test you would be given to you. Then, get as many past questions from the internet as possible to get ready for your next phase. With the steps listed above, you can be sure to ace your next interview. 

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