Why your prospective employer wants you to take a psychometric test
Geetika recently got an interview call from one of the top MNC’s and she couldn’t be more excited. She has been applying for jobs for a while now, but without much luck. There is one problem, though - the company has asked her to take a psychometric test before the interview. She wants to put her best foot forward but has no clue how to prepare for this.
A lot of us have been there. You wonder what they are trying to find out. Two words– Personality and Trustworthiness. Long gone are the times when employers would base hiring decisions solely on professional qualifications and some vague, subjective assessment by an HR or line manager. Cultural fit and job role-personality match have become the top reasons-to-hire.
A study* by CareerBuilder reports that 58% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume. It is becoming increasingly difficult for employers to weed out such applications. Employers, therefore, are not leaving anything to chance.
More and more applicants are going to be facing such assessments in the times to come. It couldn’t hurt to know what makes these tests work and how to make the most of them.
Here are 7 ways psychometric assessments are adding value to the hiring process:
More Insightful Interviews
Scientific and reliable tools e.g. the Psyft Personality Assessment (PPA), the DISC profile or the MBTI vastly improve the quality of hiring decisions by allowing hiring managers to make more informed hiring decisions. They provide very relevant information on how likely an applicant is to handle work-related activities like working in teams, coping with pressure, managing stakeholders, finding creative solutions to problems etc.
Psychometric tests have also evolved to become much more sophisticated. With the advent of ipsative test design, it has become difficult for applicants to “fake/game” the results. The design of the test ensures that the test-taker can see no apparent pattern and hence, is forced to answer honestly. Any effort to rig the assessment is quickly spotted and will put a question mark on the integrity of the applicant. Employers want answers that truthfully reflect a person’s personality. It is a no-brainer that this is in the applicants’ best interests as well. You would not want to be in a job that does not suit your personality characteristics.
Often the interviewers are very senior people – functional heads or even CEOs. Their time comes at a premium. A quick scan of a personality report can help them quickly come to the point. Instead of shooting in the dark, they can frame very relevant, probing questions around both strengths and problem areas of the candidates.
Interviewers can make mistakes
Interviews, especially unstructured ones, are among the least valid of all screening methods. Chances of the interviewer’s ‘gut-feel’ being right are only as good as rolling a dice. Besides, hiring managers would have come to that role through various paths. Some are trained in managing people, some are promoted into the position and others are thrust into the role as a small company grows and expands. Whatever path they take, interviewing and selection of employees is probably not a part of their expertise. They will make mistakes.
Objectivity – avoiding biases
While it is easy to verify hard facts of professional qualifications, analyzing softer elements like personality, motivation, leadership skills etc., is a whole other ball game. When a person is asked to assess these qualities, personal biases creep in unconsciously. When hiring, it is too easy to look for and like people just like yourself!
Psychometric tests address this bias. A test does not care what an individual looks like, their gender, race, sexual orientation, height, weight, etc. With the help of these tests an employer can pre-define the ‘ideal candidate’ and all applicants can then be compared to it. A hiring manager can now focus efforts on those candidates that matched the criteria, not just whoever seemed like a potential new best friend.
Companies have also been known to use these tests as objective tie-breakers between two equally liked candidates.
Large organizations receive hundreds of resumes every week. Psychometric tests act as an effective filter on that flood of applicants. By filtering out candidates who are grossly mismatched to positions they applied for, these tests help narrow in on the people the company would want to spend time and energy on.
Test Candidate Seriousness
Completing a test requires time and effort from the applicant. It goes a step further than just uploading a resume, meaning that they really want the job. It’s a commitment tactic and it helps the hiring managers focus their time and energy on the candidates who are most serious about the opportunity in question.
So, the next time you are asked by a prospective employer to take a psychometric test, remember it will serve you just as well as the company. Not only would you realize whether the job is for you or not; you would also have gained some insight into your own personality.