What is a Psychometric Test and What is it Used For

Psychometrics is the branch of psychology that studies and measures the psychological characteristics of individuals. The purpose of a psychometric assessment is therefore to better understand an individual’s fundamental skills. It serves to reveal people’s natural behaviors. Originality of thought, emotional spontaneity, assertiveness, extraversion, pace, structure and adaptability are examples of personality traits and motivational needs that can be measured by a psychometric test or personality inventory.

Because of their effectiveness, psychometric tests are used in several contexts, including career counselling, staff recruitment, talent retention, and professional or personal development. There is no need to study or prepare for a psychometric test, as it assesses individuals’ innate and acquired motivational behaviors and needs. Rather, questions should be answered frankly, without thinking too much and as spontaneously as possible.

Moreover, there are no good or bad profiles. Used in recruitment, the psychometric test reveals whether (or not) there is a match between an individual’s natural behavioural tendencies and the behaviours sought for a given position. If the gaps turn out to be too large, it probably simply means that the candidate is naturally willing to take on a different position.

What differentiates a personality test from a psychometric test?

For a personality test to qualify as “psychometric”, it must be standardized, refer to a standard in the general population and have been scientifically validated and studied. The scientific validation of a psychometric tool is a long and expensive process. It is this scientific validation that differentiates the psychometric test from all other personality tests that are freely available on the web.

The most important criteria used to measure the effectiveness of a psychometric instrument are fidelity or reliability, and validity. 

Reliability refers to stability over time and consistency of results. To qualify as reliable, the test must provide similar results when the same individual takes it repeatedly at intervals spaced out in time. Life events and mood swings do not affect the score. This ensures consistency of results. Also, to be considered faithful, the instrument must generate constant scores. For example, if an individual’s assertiveness is assessed, their level of assertiveness is expected to remain the same throughout the test.

Validity is the most important concept. It refers to the ability of the test to assess what it was designed for. It refers to the characteristics that the instrument measures and the accuracy with which it measures them. Validity is an indicator of how accurately a person’s portrait can be drawn based on their test scores.

Even if a personality test does not have right or wrong answers, some individuals are afraid to reveal themselves or have a tendency, conscious or not, to enter their answers in a way that looks good, out of a desire to make a good impression. This is called social desirability. Most psychometric tools can detect these behaviours. It is then appropriate to question the validity of the score obtained and to investigate a little further with the individual in question. 

How to choose the right psychometric assessment instrument 

Choose a reliable and valid tool that will meet your needs. To get the most out of using a psychometric test, here are some things to consider in your selection. Go for a psychometric questionnaire that is simple to administer, that can be completed in a short time and that will generate a report that is both accurate and concise, so easy and quick to interpret. Make sure that the calibration population to which the test refers (reference population sample) is representative of the individuals you want to evaluate. Finally, promote a test whose interpretation of the results can eventually be done autonomously by the members of your HR team. 

Many companies use psychometrics to make informed hiring decisions, improve staff retention, develop conscious leaders, mobilize work teams, and develop skills. 

Are you someone interested in psychometrics and who would like to discover more about its possibilities? Try the MPO solution and complete the questionnaire today!


What is MPO?

  1. A reliable and valid instrument
  2. An easy and quick to complete questionnaire
  3. Instant results
  4. A formula adapted to your needs
  5. A program that you can use independently

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