Psychometric Testing

by Claire Walsh and David Hoad

Some well-known tests

There are many different psychometric tests and inventories on the market and it is important that test users research which instruments best suit their needs by talking with the test providers and checking information with the British Psychological Society or Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The following list provides an overview of some of the more commonly-known ones.

Personality profiles

The 16PF

is a trait-based instrument which assesses 16 individual personality characteristics and is used for both selection and development purposes.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

is a type profile which provides individuals and teams with an insight into their own and others’ personality styles. It is used for individual and team development.

The Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

is a trait questionnaire which assesses underlying personality traits and is used in assessment contexts and to support individual and team development.

The Managerial and Professional Profiler (MAPP)

is a self-report questionnaire, designed to measure the characteristics which are important in an occupational setting.

The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI)

is a tool for increasing awareness of what motivates people and how their priorities change when faced with conflict or opposition.

Orpheus

is a work-based measure of personality which assesses traits that will help to understand an individual’s work style preferences.

Firo-B

focuses on interpersonal relationship styles and is used to assess how an individual’s personal needs affect that person’s behaviour towards other individuals.

Interest and values inventories

The Strong Interest Inventory

assesses interests to help identify career options.

The McCann Windows on Work Values Profile

assesses how values drive decision making and behaviour and is used for personal and team development.

Ability and aptitude tests

The Able Series of ten tests

is based on real-life scenarios and covers abilities such as numerical and verbal reasoning, problem solving and analytical skills.

The Destiny Series

consists of four ability tests used for clerical and secretarial roles.

Fastrack

measures problem solving and analysis skills.

The Management and Graduate Item Bank (MGIB)

assesses critical reasoning skills required by professional and managerial staff.

Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal

measures critical thinking skills relevant to problem solving and effective decision making in organisations.

Raven’s Progressive Matrices and Vocabulary Scale

measure the ability to interpret abstract problems and make sense of complex information.

Other

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)

is used for understanding how different conflict-handling modes, or styles, affect interpersonal and group dynamics and for learning how to select the most appropriate style for a given situation.

Most, but not all, psychometric tests require accredited people to administer and interpret them. Some may require BPS level A or B in occupational testing, whereas others may require special accreditation from the test providers themselves. You should always check who can administer, score and interpret the test results before making a decision about which tests to use.