3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fear Psychometric Testing Apr26


3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fear Psychometric Testing

be yourself oscar wildeNow that I’ve shared a brief overview of psychometric testing in the recruitment process, and our ultimate guide to psychometric tests you might encounter on the job hunt, it’s time to look at what it all means for you: the job-seeker, the professional, the individual.

Who does psychometric testing benefit? Is testing yet another hurdle on the path to employment – or worse, a potential threat as you settle into a new job?

noted professor at an Indian business school had this to say about psychometric testing (and he wasn’t joking) as he described candidate reactions ranging from “mortally afraid” to “out rightly negative:”

“…People thought of [psychometric testing] as some kind of a rejections device, an invasion into their privacy and as something mysterious.

Even for the most enlightened ones, psychometric testing appears to be a concept and practice that is shrouded in mystery, some kind of mumbo-jumbo, and a kind of pseudo-science.”

In my experience, his description is pretty accurate; we seem to carry some pretty heavy baggage when it comes “testing.” We don’t want anyone to judge us and we certainly don’t want anyone to measure us – at least not in an hour. And yet, going back to the Economist article that launched this series, the industry of psychometrics is huge and growing. So what’s a job seeker to do?

Here’s my top 3 reasons to keep a level head when it comes to psychometric testing and why you shouldn’t dismiss their value quite so fast:

They’ll save you time

If you’re screened out by a personality test, chances are the job wasn’t for you. Recruiters will know things about a role that you won’t find on the standard job description. Your fit with the current leadership team, the match of your skills to the jobs’ requirements, your ability to handle stress and stay motivated –these are all traits that can (at least partially) be scientifically measured against what the true lay-of-the-land will be at your 90-day review.

Tests are a helpful tool in looking to see what, if any, roadblocks you might face in fitting in. And, at the end of the day, tests are a much fairer assessment than someone’s gut instinct on whether or not you’ll cut it.

They can help you stick to your values

It’s been said that HR professionals regret their hiring decisions 50% of the time. What about you? How many job offers have you thought twice about 3 months into the role? Psychometric tests can help deter either side of the hiring process from fitting a round peg into a square hole. If the fits not there, your test results might be able to identify that long before you’re banging your head on your keyboard.

After all, there’s times when – despite red flags (i.e. the boss you already don’t like 15 minutes into an interview) – the lure of a killer salary, stacked benefit package or dream location is too hard to pass up.  In those cases, a psychometric test may help keep you in line with your own instincts. Collective wisdom says those enticing “bonuses” don’t add up to much anyway if you’re not happy in the role.

They can increase self-awareness (and help you get the job)

A good testing process is transparent (what the company is looking for) and provides feedback (how you measured up). If you’re paying attention and engaging in the psychometric testing process, you just might learn something: your personal work and communication preferences, your strengths and weaknesses and even your innate talents. The story of “you” (what makes you tick at work, what you’re good at) – will all be plainly articulated in your test results in a way you might not have stopped to measure before:

Managing staff once you’re high enough up the ladder seems like a given, but do you truly like lead?

Should you be in charge of managing project execution when shooting off the start-gun is your sweet spot?

And remember, with all the popularity of psychometrics, the interview process is still the final check-and-balance. Ask for feedback. What did your test show? Be open to the test and what it might raise for you.

It’s worth saying again psychometrics are just one tool in the hiring managers docket. Your performance or “score” is rarely the only factor influencing a decision on whether or not you’ll move forward or get hired. But, no question, they do help recruiters zero in on whether or not you’re suited to the job.  When a company can identify what makes a good cultural fit, and find the right assessment tool to help narrow the goal posts, it can become part of the corporate language and provide some commonality for assessment purposes. And that, in the long run, benefits you.