Test advice: 13 tips to ace your psychometric test

Applying for a new job can be a daunting experience. Taking a psychometric test however, doesn’t’ need to be.  

If you find yourself feeling nervous about an upcoming assessment, fret no more. We’ve summarised some of our top tips to consider when taking an assessment as part of the recruitment process.

1. Learn the why

Knowing the purpose of the tests and how the results will be used during the recruitment process will guide your focus during preparation and potentially ease any stress.

2. Find out which tests you need to take

Personality questionnaire, cognitive ability test, situational judgement or something else? If you’re not sure, you should contact the HR or recruitment teams to find out more about what you are required to do. This will help to reduce any pre-test anxiety and you will feel ready for the upcoming assessment.

3. Practice makes perfect. Well almost.

There are many resources online which allow you to practice different psychometric tests and receive feedback on your scores. This could be helpful to not only improve your answers but to be generally more aware of what you will be asked to do.

4. Make sure you can use a calculator efficiently

Numerical reasoning is not testing your mental arithmetic but instead your approach to data and relevant interpretation skills. Being able to use your calculator will make you feel more at ease.

5. Refresh your maths skills 

It is easy to forget how to calculate percentages, fractions, ratios and decimals when you haven’t used them in a while.

6. Read more broadly 

Widening your vocabulary by reading different sections of the newspaper or from sources you wouldn’t normally look at may help you feel more confident when asked to complete verbal reasoning tests.

7. Be honest

Personality questionnaires may include elements that test whether you are answering questions openly, so being dishonest and inconsistent can get flagged. Asking someone else to complete an online test for you often backfires when candidates are required to validate their scores in assessment centre settings.

8. There are no wrong answers  

Personality questionnaires do not have right or wrong answers, the questionnaires are used to learn about your working style, how you may work in a team and whether you share similar values to the company you are hoping to work for.

9. Seek advice 

Especially if you are worried about the tests, ask colleagues, friends or even look at online forums for further advice on how to approach the tests. Asking people that have first-hand experience is invaluable.

10. Be healthy and comfortable

Think back to your days of studying for exams and employ your exam practice! Whether you can choose when you do the test or it is a set session, make sure you are well rested, hydrated and have eaten well. If you have more flexibility complete it at the point in the day when you are most focussed, and in an environment you feel comfortable in.

11. Read the instructions properly

If you skip over the instructions to find you can’t go back and don’t know what you are supposed to be doing, you will struggle. Usually if the psychometric assessments are online, the instructions are not timed, so spend a generous amount of time understanding what it is you will be doing.

12. Don’t despair if you aren’t successful

If you have not gained the position you wanted, it may simply be that you aren’t suited to the working environment, workload or you are simply too similar to existing team members to offer something new. It doesn’t reflect on your personal worth and you may be better off working elsewhere.

13. Seek feedback 

If you are not successful in your application ask for feedback if it is not provided, this will help you in future attempts and you will be able to identify whether you simply weren’t suited to the role within that company or if you actually did something wrong which reflected badly on your application.

If you’re taking a psychometric test why not visit our Psychometric Test Advice pages for more information and advice on how to excel in a range of different assessments.


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