What are Psychometric Assessments? Are they reliable? What is their use and how can I attempt them better? These are questions that might have bothered while applying for jobs or before an entrance exam. Let us clear it for you and find out best ways to attempt these tests.
The usage of psychometrics in the process of selection and recruitment has progressively increased in India during this past decade. However, not all of us are sure about what constitutes psychometric testing. We know for sure that Psychometric testing is governing hiring decisions, so we need to find out a way to ace these tests.
Before we do that, let us understand what psychometric tests are.
In simple words, Psychometric testing is the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. It is a scientific way of determining an individual’s skills, interests, and intelligence. In fact, 75% of companies in the United Kingdom use psychometrics for recruitment. Leading organizations like Deloitte, JP Morgan, Procter and Gamble and HP make the best of Psychometric assessments to make efficient hiring decisions.
Psychometric tests are designed to understand applicants’ personalities, aptitudes, interest, behavior, intelligence. A psychometric assessment can access and measure with what degree of dominance an attribute exists in an individual.
For example, the famous car company Ford Motor uses a two-part psychometric test namely, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning tests to objectively evaluate and select applicants. Prestigious Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys include psychometric assessments as an integral part of their hiring process.
Apart from being used for recruitment, psychometric tests play a very crucial role in the process of career guidance and analysis for students from higher secondary education to post graduation level. Young professionals who have just graduated can leverage psychometric tests to choose a career path.
Through a psychometric assessment, students and professionals can discover their abilities, strengths, and skills, accordingly, choose a career path. There are several psychometric tests to gain insight into an individual’s learning style, career interests, aptitude, and motivation.
Why do we need psychometric assessments at all?
We all remember our academic milestones. The crucial transition between 10th standard and 12th, consisting of the great dilemma between arts, science, commerce and more and it continues till the final and the greater struggle of what kind of jobs to apply for.
Let us take a moment to reflect upon these phases of transition. Were these decisions driven by love for a pursuit, abilities, and interests? Most of the decision making would have been heavily influenced by family, friends, and one’s own box of knowledge.
A comprehensive and concrete psychometric assessment, before we make career-related decisions, guides us towards a suitable career path. Psychometric testing is not a typical grading system. It is an analysis of an individual’s aptitude and interests.
Reliability and Validity of Psychological assessments
There is one common doubt among people who are new to Psychometrics, how can we depend on these assessments for such important decisions? How do we trust these tests?
Once designed, all psychometric tests and assessments are thoroughly tested to measure their reliability and validity.
What is reliability and validity?
Reliability and validity are two technical and crucial properties of a test that determine the quality, functionality, and effectiveness of the test.
Reliability refers to the consistency of the characteristics of the test. For example, a person takes the test again which he/she has previously taken, will the test results be similar, slightly different, or completely different? When a test results in similar scores for a person who repeats the test, it is said to be reliable.
Validity refers to how well the test measures the characteristic it is supposed to measure.
In simple words, an intelligence test’s focus is intelligence. If the test involves statements about personality traits or interests, it is not a valid test to measure intelligence.
The goal of using psychometrics for career guidance and recruitment is to determine and interpret individuals’ social, emotional, and psychological makeup and thus help ensure person-job fit, i.e., individuals are well aligned in ability, interest and personality to job roles and work activities.
Psychometrics assessments are scientifically designed; therefore, they offer an objective, fair and standardized procedure for making decisions that have great impact on individuals, organizations, and society.