About psychometrics

Types of psychometric assessment

Ability tests

Ability tests measure your ability to perform or carry out different tasks and have been found to be the strongest predictor of future job performance. The tests most commonly used are:

  • Verbal reasoning - these are designed to measure your ability to interpret verbal information and reach correct conclusions. Verbal reasoning is important for any work involving the communication of ideas or the understanding of written information. It can also be important for work requiring analytical thinking.
  • Numerical reasoning - these are designed to measure your ability to analyse and draw inferences from numerical information and data. Numerical reasoning ability is important for a variety of roles where working with data is key.
  • Logical reasoning - these are designed to test your ability to analyse abstract information and apply this in determining outcomes and patterns. Logical reasoning ability is important for a variety of roles requiring complex problem solving.
  • Checking skills - these are designed to measure your ability to quickly and accurately detect errors in data.

Employers will typically be looking for you to achieve a certain standard or pass mark on these types of assessment.

Read our guidance on completing Elements and guidance on completing Aspects Ability, our two suites of ability tests.

Personality questionnaires

Personality questionnaires are used to assess your workplace behavioural style and preferences, i.e. how you typically like to act. They are designed to measure those particular aspects of personality that determine, or are predictive of, successful performance at work; how you handle relationships at work, your thinking style and how you manage tasks, and your feelings and motivations.

Assessing personality has been proven to be an effective predictor of performance at work. This is because we tend to focus more on the kind of tasks we prefer engaging with, and as a consequence we become much more skilled in these areas. Conversely, when operating outside of our preferred way of behaving, we may feel more challenged and be less inclined to persevere to develop high levels of competence.

Read our guidance on completing Dimensions, our personality questionnaire.

Motivation and values-based assessments

How an individual performs at work depends on more than just their capability. Possessing the requisite abilities, skills and behaviours is not enough – it is the individual’s motivation and engagement in combination with capability that produces optimal performance.

Motivation assessments focus on an individual’s values and motivations in the workplace. Their purpose is to measure the factors that help stimulate and energise people in their daily working lives.

Read our guidance on completing Drives, our motivation assessment.

Competency-based assessments

Competency-based assessments focus on the skills and knowledge that you demonstrate in the workplace. They can be used in a variety of situations, from recruitment and selection to coaching and development.

Competency-based screening questionnaires are used to help identify those candidates who are most suitable for the role. They are often used at the initial stage of recruitment as a way of shortlisting candidates.

Read our guidance on completing Aspect Styles, our competency-based screening questionnaire.

Situational judgement tests (SJTs) are also used as a fast, robust and engaging way of identifying those candidates who are most suitable for the role. SJTs are designed to measure a variety of factors required to be successful in a particular role (or set of roles) within an organisation.

Read our guidance on completing Judgement, our situational judgement tests.

Competency-based feedback questionnaires can be used to identify strengths and development needs in order to facilitate performance improvement. This may be part of a 360° feedback process.

Read our guidance on completing MultiView, our competency-based feedback questionnaire.

Why organisations use psychometric assessments

For recruitment and selection

Many employers use psychometric assessments to help them identify the right person for the job. The assessments provide an independent measure of your competencies, abilities, personality and motivation. This enables an employer to build a complete picture of you and assess your suitability for a role in an objective manner.

Assessments are often used as one part of a multi-stage recruitment process, alongside application forms/CVs, assessment centre exercises and interviews.

For development

You may be asked to complete psychometric assessments as part of your appraisal review or a learning and development programme. By completing these assessments, you can gain valuable insight into your strengths and development areas. This can help drive further training and development plans.