Psychometric testing in interviews
Personality questionnaires or psychometric tests can help a potential employer judge if a candidate is suited to a role by determining the type of personality they have.
The tests indicate attributes such as team-working, confidence, communication skills and reasoning, which can often be difficult to assess in interviews.
Common in many businesses, psychometric tests are being increasingly used in the agriculture and food sectors, particularly by larger companies for graduate roles.
“We are seeing more and more of these tests, primarily for trainee sales roles,” says Grace Nugent of agriculture employment specialists DeLacy Executive.
“Very often applicants have practical experience of working on farms, but employers want to see if they have the attributes that can help in sales and other roles.”
While they may seem intimidating, Miss Nugent says it’s important to remember there are no right or wrong answers in psychometric tests.
“There are a wide range of tests which try to put you in certain scenarios to see how you would react,” she says.
“It helps the employer understand your working style, which is what is important from their perspective.”
The tests can also reveal if you would be suited to the role on offer.
If you are prone to worrying, for example, you perhaps wouldn’t enjoy a highly stressful job where you have to make important decisions quickly.
“These tests can help you understand how you might fit into that job or company,” says Miss Nugent. “If you couldn’t do the job, then you wouldn't want to go forward in the recruitment process anyway.”
Even if you are sure you are right for the role on offer, the worst thing a candidate could do is try too hard, she adds.
“There are online tests you can try out to see what kinds of questions you might be asked, but the best thing is to be honest.
“Don’t predict answers you think your employer wants, otherwise it could produce an inconclusive result and might indicate you are trying to sway them or cheat on the test.”
- be yourself, as you don't know exactly what qualities the interviewers are looking for. The tests usually contain checks to make sure you are being consistent, so answer as honestly as possible
- select answers that spring to mind rather than thinking about their meaning
- don't worry about your answers - there are no right or wrong answers and your CV and interview provide lots of information about you, so your test result is not the be all and end all
- as there are no right or wrong answers, you can’t revise for psychometric tests. However, to get a feel for the style of questions you might be asked, you can try out practice questionnaires ahead of your interview, which are available free-of-charge from many websites