fbpx
What You Need to Know About Psychometric Testing
What You Need to Know About Psychometric Testing

psychometric testing - so many optionsOver the years I have heard many people refer to themselves and/or others as a specific personality type – as defined after doing some ‘psychometric testing.’ I won’t argue or debate whether anyone should be neatly packed into a box labelled Type A (i.e., ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, impatient, proactive and obsessed with time management) or Type B (i.e., even-tempered, patient, less competitive, easy-going, etc.). I’m much more comfortable with nuance and including psychometric testing as part of a larger process. I am also interested in exploring how temperaments operate at work and in general.

One client said to me:

“I realized the profession I was in seemed to attract a lot of Type A personalities, and I am so not a type A … I’m chill and not at all about competition or aggressively goal-driven. I like to be around people who are easy going and not so focused on beating someone to the punch. It made my place of work feel tense and unfriendly at times … I guess I just didn’t fit in.”

This got me wondering – how well do various personality types mix while working together? And, how can employees and employers use this information to have people working in roles that are a good fit for their unique dispositions?

psychometric testing - to predict personality and behaviourWe already know that no two people are identical (regardless of similar test scores), and we appreciate that peoples’ moods and behaviour can change depending on their circumstances and motivations. Where do we start?

Most of us have heard of various personality tests or psychometric testing. These are a standard and scientific method used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural style. Psychometric testing measures candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities).

Common tests measure familiar qualities like introversion, extraversion, personality, leadership, and aptitudes like numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and logic.

It’s a huge industry that ranges from free assessments to others that must be paid for and used under specific circumstances. The latter, more expensive assessments are administered and interpreted by people with an MA or PhD in Psychology (or similar background). Naturally, some of the free/cheaper tests are popular (e.g., Type A/B, DISC, Myers-Briggs, etc.) while others are obscure to the general population.

Many of these tests have been criticized as being part of pseudo-science where unvalidated opinions have been falsely equated with facts. When this happens ‘for fun’ by individuals, it can be fairly harmless. When tests with questionable reliability (or consistency) and validity (it measures what it’s supposed to measure) are used to make decisions about who should be hired or promoted, it’s a much more serious problem.

 

psychometric testing can be high stakesSafe Ways to Use Assessments in the Context of Employment

  1. Be careful about using psychometric testing to make hiring decisions since not all tests are reliable or valid – especially when used in ways that were not anticipated by the test developers.
  2. Use psychometric testing as part of your evaluation, not your main/only evaluation. Understandably, some candidates get very nervous during high stakes evaluations. If they never get a chance to speak for themselves or show what they’re capable of then it could result in lost opportunities – for employers and candidates.
  3. Consider using psychometric testing for non-threatening professional development so that test-takers get better insights about themselves and can make use of opportunities to become better individual contributors and/or leaders executives. That creates true win/win situations for employers and employees.

 

This is a huge topic with broad implications. If you’d like to discuss the use of psychometric testing in the context of

 

I invite you to book a free and confidential initial consultation by phone or contact me via email, or via direct message on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

Mentoring-by-the-Minute

If something urgent comes up, I’m also available by a voice or video on Magnifi, an expertise-on-demand app.

 

More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.

I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.

Please share this article using any of the social media icons below.

Latest Posts

Changing Jobs? Avoid These Interview Red Flags

Changing Jobs? Avoid These Interview Red Flags

With the Turnover Tsunami or the Great Resignation creating an employee-driven job market, employers in all sectors are facing a challenge in identifying and attracting qualified new candidates. Despite the challenge, it doesn’t mean employers want to lower their standards. Just because candidates may be harder to find, it doesn’t mean you’re the only viable candidate. In this blog, Dr. Helen identifies some red flags that job candidates should avoid displaying – even in a tight labour market.

Is Work-Life Balance Really a Thing?

Is Work-Life Balance Really a Thing?

Work-life balance: is it REALLY a thing? I think most of us want to think so, but is it really achievable? Or is it just a catchy buzzword, and something we tell ourselves we need in order to be happy? As we continue to reflect on recent changes, this is a topic that many of us are revisiting.

When Values Collide at Work

When Values Collide at Work

I’m sure you’ve noticed there is no shortage of social media conflict; heated exchanges between strangers, friends, and yes even family have surged when it comes to the “right” way of handling the ongoing public health crisis. As more people return to in-person and/or hybrid work, will some of these incompatible values make it harder to co-exist at work?

Look Before You Leap – Considerations Before Quitting

Look Before You Leap – Considerations Before Quitting

If the events of the past couple of years have inspired you to reevaluate your priorities and what you want out of life, you’re not alone! The pandemic has caused many people to think more deeply than ever before about work, values, purpose, and a deeper search for meaning outside one’s 9 to 5 existence. I believe this is part of what’s making more people consider quitting their jobs.