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Psychological skills and psychometric tests

By The Assam Tribune
Psychological skills and psychometric tests

Nurul Islam Laskar, [email protected]

Youngsters, nowadays, often have to face psychometric tests that measure their psychological aptitude. That’s the reason why psychometric tests are also referred to as aptitude tests. These tests are a common part of the job interview process at many companies and organisations across the world. They generally consist of a series of timed questions that are most often numerical (maths questions), verbal (reading comprehension questions), or logical (diagrammatic questions). On one hand, these tests are essential for job hunters, on the other hand, they are ideal for improving one’s overall capabilities. Therefore, it is worthwhile to practise as many psychometric tests as possible. We may start by practising a full range of tests to find out our strengths and weaknesses. Then, we can focus on improving our weakest areas by looking at solutions, watching relevant videos, and repeating until answering those gets easier and easier.

Psychometric tests are often difficult because they differentiate between candidates and provide enough data for employers to filter them. Besides, some tests are designed to be hard in order to see how candidates perform under pressure. With almost all jobs, there are certain skills required to perform the key responsibilities well. Required skills will vary from position to position, and we can learn what they are by reading job descriptions. But, there are also additional skills such as behavioural skills that almost all roles demand. Having strong behavioural skills can help us succeed in job interviews and also at work.

Behavioural skills, most of the times, fall under the general heading of good character, friendliness, maturity, common sense, etc., and many people assume that those skills come naturally. People may be smart and well-read, but, that doesn’t mean that they’ll always possess behavioural skills. These are skills that must be learnt and practised. The positive fact is that it’s possible to develop these behavioural skills, and to use them to enhance our careers. Now comes these specific questions, “What types of skills do employers look for when hiring?” or “What skills make an employee valuable to a company?” The answer is: “Many behavioural skills are social in nature. They gauge how well we get along with other people, including our supervisors, colleagues, customers, vendors, clients, and other stakeholders.”

Three types of psychometric tests are common – personality test, behavioural test, and leadership test. A personality test usually helps measure how well we’ll perform at an organisation based on our interpersonal skills, the motivation and inspiration that drive us, and the role that we can excel in due to our behavioural traits. A behavioural test investigates propensities towards certain kinds of behaviour and styles of interaction with others, rather than measuring personality traits. Behaviour is regarded as more changeable than personality, since we can adapt our behaviour depending on what is required of us in a given situation or role. Leadership assessment allows companies to fully identify the most suitable candidates for administrative roles. Leadership assessment includes two types of tests: personality assessment and the situational judgement test (SJT).

A lot of research has been done to study the role of psychological skills in developing excellence in athletes and other sportspersons. Here, the emphasis is laid on goal-setting, mental imagery, relaxation, and self-talk skills. This is applicable to a great extent in arenas other than sports as well.

(The writer is a motivational speaker and public relations consultant.)

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