What are psychometric assessments?

The definition of 'psychometric' combines the words 'psyche', meaning 'mind', as well as the word 'meter', meaning 'measure'. Therefore, a psychometric test or assessment is a tool that measures a person's psychological characteristics. For example, they can measure characteristics such as personality traits, cognitive abilities, behavioural styles, leadership styles and much more.

Psychometric assessments provide an in-depth insight of what goes on under the exterior of a person – their intelligence, skills and personality – and can enable you to tackle a whole array of people decisions. Put simply, they can compare one individual’s performance with others, or show what the areas of strength and limitations are within an individual.

The science beneath it all

A psychometric assessment will typically use a questionnaire format, asking you to rate your agreement levels with certain statements, or perhaps indicate how frequently you feel a certain way.

Sometimes a true psychometric test does look like a quiz… but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface: over 100 years of theory, data gathered on other people, complex statistical techniques and the precise way the items are worded and drawn, or ordered. In fact, Thomas tools have been subject to rigorous scientific testing to determine their reliability and validity as psychological assessments, resulting in being registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

What they are used for

Commonly, psychometric tests are used to recruit new staff, identify people with the potential to be developed, counsel people to reach their potential, build successful teams, provide career advice, coach people, identify stress factors in an organisation, decide on the best organisational or team structure and create incentive programmes that really motivate.

The person administering your assessment will provide you with information on when they plan to test you and why. You will then find that access to the assessment is given via email.

Why you shouldn’t fear them

Although they may sound scary, behavioural profiling won't reveal 'good' or 'bad' qualities in a person. It simply provides an understanding of how someone prefers to behave in their working environment and the characteristics they will display. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers.

Feedback is therefore crucial to interpreting and understanding the results – we have a highly-skilled client services team to do this for you or we can train you through our accreditation courses to provide the feedback yourself. In fact, research shows that a lot of people enjoy a well-run testing process because the feedback gives them more information about themselves than the report!

Taking a Thomas assessment

When taking an assessment, being well prepared will ensure you produce the best and most accurate representation of yourself.