Psychometric Testing Myths – Untrue

Psychometric testing is a development that has taken years to grow into the reliable tool that it is now known as. Of course, there will always be sceptics who question the validity and reliability of the testing process, the results, and the way in which these tools can assist in guiding you on the correct career path, or as part of the selection and evaluation process when applying for a job.

Unreliable Results

Psychometric testing has been proven to be a much more reliable  means of assessment for recruitment, promotion, and career choices. Much more so than human judgement which is based almost solely on subjective factors. Yes, in a personal situation you may be presented with all the relevant information required, however, subjective bias will always take over. This is not done on a conscious level and is usually not intended, however, it does happen. Buried cognitive bias within the interviewer, distorts the view of the person being interviewed. A good psychometric test is thoroughly tested and evaluated for it’s reliability and validity within the recruitment industry. The tests are standardised and judged according to whether or not it successfully assesses the intended criteria. The tests undergo extensive scientific methods of evaluation to identify bias and eliminate it.

What is important to know is what the test it aimed at evaluating, and how the results are being evaluated  and interpreted.

The Pigeonhole Effect

Inductive Reasoning

It cannot be denied that there are certain psychometric tests on the market today that do allocate certain personality types into a single category, based on the results provided by the test. These tests are typology based psychometric tests. What must be remembered is that not all psychometric tests are typology based, and those that are only indicate a very small portion of the human personality. Pigoenholing usually occurs based on the way in which humans interpret the results, rather than the tool itself.


Yes, there are psychometric tests that are long, monotonous, and just seem like pages and pages of questions. Most people really don’t enjoy undertaking these tests because of how time-consuming and tedious they actually are. This is, however, not the general norm for all psychometric tests. Many of the available personality or behaviour assessments on the market, take less than five minutes to complete, which may be attributed to the fact that the answers provided are the result of presented stimulus rather than question after question needing answering.

You Have To Be A Trained Psychologist To Use Them

This is simply not true at all. Many of the assessment provider offer the services of  consultation to evaluate results for you. Other providers offer certification to member of the staff to assist them in understanding the testing process, and evaluating the results in the correct way. You don’t need  a psychology degree to obtain this certification.

If this is not something you are interested in, many of the consulting companies do provide online assessment tools which provide results and feedback for you, if you simply input the answers.

Easily Manipulated

Most psychometric tests are not prone to manipulation by person being tested or assessed. There are instances where you can obtain results that are not valid because you have not answered with all honesty. It is, however, not possible to manipulate a test to achieve particular results. When referring to personality tests, you may find that those being tested may not answer completely truthfully in an attempt to make themselves seem much better than they are. If the tests fit the purpose, the tests will be designed to identify this attempt at deceit and manipulation.

Not Worth The Investment

Making people management of Human Resources decision is a time consuming, labor intensive, and costly process. Yes, it may be costly to implement psychometric testing into you recruitment department, but is your business able to handle the huge losses which could result if the wrong person is hired for a position? Hiring the wrong person, and then having to dispose of them costs the company money. Productivity is lost, reputations are damaged, and  the team spirit is put on edge.

If you think of the implementation of psychometric testing in this way, the benefits of undergoing the implementation far outweigh the often astronomical costs relating to losses for incorrect placements, and loss of earning during the process of removing that person from the staff. Companies cannot afford to carry lost costs which are caused due to human error.

They Can Only Be Used For Recruitment

Psychometric testing has so many uses and benefits. Recruitment and selection for job positions is simply one use. These kinds of tests are used throughout life to assess learning disabilities, behaviour issues, career selection, study selection, and even to determine whether a child is suffering from ADHD or whether their surroundings may be the problem. Often advanced children are misdiagnosed as having learning difficulties, and without psychometric testing they may always have been treated as such, and medicated accordingly. This would results in bigger problems later on. The medication is not fixing the actual problem at hand, it is simply masking the symptoms, leaving the unattended and able to rear their heads at a later stage, and sometimes in worse ways that can be imagined.

Psychometric testing in an amazing innovation. It is understandable to see why many are still sceptical. They haven’t been provided the necessary information to make an informed choice, or have not experienced such a test for themselves, and listened to the evaluated results. If they had, they may have seen for themselves how accurate the tests can be. You may also find that the older generations are still reliant on their “gut-feel” approach, unaware that there may be unconscious bias involved which could result in huge losses for the company. Progression and development are in place for a reason, you should all take advantage of what is on offer in order to create the best version of yourself.  Realise your potential, whether known or hidden, and reach for your dreams uninhibited.