What to do when you are going for psychometric assessments
These days, psychometric assessments are being used for a staggering variety of roles, right up to CEO level. If applying for a job, you may be asked to attend an assessment centre with a large number of people, or to attend a one on one session where you take the assessments alone and may be offered a feedback session or a validation interview.
We are often asked by clients how to prepare for psychometric assessments. The first thing to remember is that you cannot learn the information on which you will be tested. They are licensed assessments, strictly limited to qualified practitioners.
Before the assessment:
- If you have any form of disability that may impact upon your ability to do the assessment, let the company know in advance so that provisions can be made. For example, there are different forms of certain assessments that can be given if a candidate is dyslexic.
- Find out how long the appointment will take and make sure you allow yourself ample time.
- Remember, this process is a part of your interview, so conduct yourself accordingly; dress smartly, make your appointment promptly and don’t be late. Be friendly and polite towards everyone you meet as these factors will most likely to be taken into consideration, particularly if personality profiling is part of your assessment.
- Have a good night sleep beforehand – many companies try to avoid testing candidates late in the afternoon, and for good reason, people perform better when they rested and more alert, so try to schedule your appointment in the morning or as early as possible in the afternoon.
During the assessment:
- If you don’t understand the instructions, or the examples, ask for clarification. It might sound obvious, but it is vital you understand both before beginning the assessment.
- Take a break between tests if possible, if one is not offered, then ask – performance generally begins to deteriorate after 50-60 minutes. Taking a break after 40 minutes can reverse this. Don’t be afraid to ask for a short break – it will improve your performance.
- If you are doing cognitive assessments online, make sure that you are doing them in a place where you will not be disturbed. Generally speaking, these will be strictly timed and it will not be possible to “pause” the test and return at a later time.
- Don’t worry if you feel you have performed badly on one of the assessments, it is difficult to gauge how well you have done. Additionally, most of the tests are designed so that only 1-2% of people can actually answer all the questions. Set it aside and move on to the next one.
- For personality assessments, the key is to answer honestly. Give the first answer that comes to mind and don’t over think it. Do not try to give answers that you think are desirable but untrue. There are social desirability scales built into the assessments and it will show if you do this. More importantly, if you are not going to be suited to the role or organisation, then you will have had a lucky escape.
After the assessment:
- Ask for feedback. Sometimes it will be offered. If it is not, then ask if it is possible to get feedback. In some cases, there will be a report written on your results and sent to the company. Ask if you may have a copy of this when the process is complete. Whether or not you get the job, it will be a useful and insightful thing to have and can perhaps highlight areas you may wish to develop.