[AMA] I work for a Psychometrics Company - Ask Me Anything

I often have plenty of people who are really interested when i tell them what i do and i think there's a lot of misconception out there about the assessments.

Happy to clarify any questions OzBargainers have.

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    do you know anything about what Sydney Trains use for trainee driver testing?

    For example: Is it more important to answer more questions, or is it more important to answer what you can accurately. Also, do you loose marks for incorrect answers?


      not sure to be honest but i would imagine there is a degree of cognitive testing to look at your problem solving and ability to think on your feet.

      From what i understand actual knowledge of their processes and safety is far more important once you get beyond the initial screening

  • +2 votes

    Are we allowed to know which company (all good if not, I've just done so many its like oo oo is it one I like or dislike haha)?
    Do you believe you can study to do better at psychometric tests?
    What type of people do you expect to see do well at psychometric tests and do you feel its accurate?
    Do various companies look for different scores for the test or do they usually look for the top X?
    If you're given 20 mins to do the test, but its expected to take 30 mins, is it better to finish all the questions early or just the number of correct questions?
    Is it better to skip ones you can't do or to try them all (do you get minus points to skip?)
    Are different questions worth different points?

    • +1 vote

      In order of questions:
      1 - no i cant give that away unfortunately
      2 - you can familiarise yourself with psychometrics in general but really the only test you can do well/poorly at is cognitive ability. Behavioural or Trait based assessments it's best to be yourself because if you get hired under the pre-tense you possess X trait (lets say Assertiveness) and you actually dont… you're going to hate forcing yourself to be something you arent.
      3 - under our recommendations we would always encourage businesses to look at what is relevant and important for the role, also high scores are not necessarily good either (eg excessive competitiveness would be a negative)
      4 - unless time taken is considered in the results this has no impact as to the speed you complete, although if you take an extremely long time when there is no limit it may look like you're over thinking it.
      5 - the cognitive test we provide gives no option to skip, but i have done others where you are better to skip than guess because it would bring you back to these questions at the end if you had time.
      6 - generally yes but it also depends on whether its normative or not.

  • +6 votes

    What is the conversion factor to convert your results to Psychoimperial?


    What's psychometrics?

    • +1 vote

      Measuring how crazy you are.

      • +1 vote

        Hmm, are the scores worked out in inverse proportion to the majority of society these days or in a more objective way?


      It's the science of how people answer questionnaires.

      But that's not what psychologists will tell you.

      I'm only half kidding.

      The test of abilities measure something, like IQ, but personality measures… Sheesh…


    how do you measure your psychos? is it per person, or per kilo?


    For a what?


    Which specific companies have benefited most from psychometric based hiring? It seems the Australian military have gone backwards since introducing it. Is there a flagship organisation, preferably in a technical field that has improved using it.


      Generally most providers will have case studies on their website for their hero clients but like with any tool really it comes down to the application and the people running them in terms of effectiveness.

      I know that IBM are definitely leveraging these and now even looking into how Big Data and AI can be leveraged to further improve their results.


      Which specific companies have benefited most from psychometric based hiring?

      People flogging the test, of course.


    What's the evidence that the use of psychometric testing in hiring results in any benefits to overall company productivity, workplace culture, staff turnover, or any other concrete factor?

    edit: Sorry this may come across as a combative question (wonder what that says about my psychometrics). I have to admit to some skepticism, but I'm generally interested in the answer to this question.

    • +1 vote

      There are plenty of studies out there in regards to the use and application of Psychometrics in terms of effectiveness (in fact for our assessments we go out of our way to ensure they're registered and peer reviewed for academic reliability, validity and repeatability.)

      There are also others out there (that might be a four letter acronym) which are widely regarded as complete nonsense yet through market share and effective marketing are somehow still frequently used in workplace settings. So not all assessments are equal

      The other approach would be to look at what the traditional methods of hiring are which is:
      Resumes - that recruiters spend an average of 5-10 seconds reviewing
      Interviews - Which are inherently biased by the recruiter/manager (eg you like what i like or you studied where i studied so therefore either consciously or unconsciously i'm giving you an advantage in the process)
      Past experience - gives little to no indication of your ability to adapt to the new companies environment and process/culture.
      References - Anyone who lists a reference who would ever give a substandard review is foolish at best and a moron at worst so they arent reliable either.

      • +1 vote

        Thanks, good answer.
        Yep, hiring is broken. My concern is that psychometric testing if not very strongly evidence based may just be another layer of brokenness adding a veneer of scientism on top of the other processes, and I guess we're probably on the same page that the four letter acronym (also called corporate astrology) is something like that.


          100%. Not all assessments are equal and whilst some are very froth and bubble others are based on sound science and psychological constructs.

          If they aren't implemented correctly they can do more harm than good which is why we focus a hell of a lot of effort on implementations


    I've seen a lot around learning agility & using this to facilitate a career change, especially within technology.

    Is this something you specifically measure & something you see getting more attention?


      mental agility in general is one of the most important factors in performance whether its starting out or changing careers. Being able to adapt to new processes/information/technology and pick these up and run with it quickly is essential.

      In team or customer facing environments this is where EI becomes more critical but ability to learn quickly is still essential.

      The example we use is that two people could apply for a role with equal university results but if one studied 5 hours a day to achieve theirs versus candidate two who studied 2 hours a day to achieve the same result, they are not actually equal.


    I am amazed anybody takes psychometric testing seriously.


      Depending on your line of work, plenty of employers definitely do


      HR professionals take it very seriously. It's a very important part of the selection process. Because it is testing and sort of meaningless and big words and testing and makes the selection process sound "scientifically" robust….even though they'll pick the candidate who claims to be David Boons cousin (because how cool is that!)


        All the recruiters I've been to roll their eyes and say "Yeah, just don't answer 'Strongly disagree' on everything". So long as the result comes out 'average', we don't care.

        Easy enough to pick the 'right' answers anyway, and spot the twin questions "Do you like chocolate" with "Do you dislike chocolate" a while later in an attempt to weed out the 'cheaters'.

        What a waste of time.

        I'm a ESFJ, by the way, so extremely suitable for the shitty job where you need someone to blame for everything. Left me know if you want me to be something else.


          That may work in some instances, we have checks in place for people who think they can game the results as well as central answering.

          An average score would probably eliminate you any way because there'd be other candidates who ended up being a better fit.

          And most recruiters at agencies who would give you that sort of advice clearly have no interest in finding the right fit for you so if you just want any job then yea sure go for it



            we have checks in place for people who think they can game the results as well as central answering

            Yeah, we can see them. The only real check is to make people take it multiple times, but you don't do that, so fail.

            "Do you think winning at all costs is ok?". Well, I'm applying for a sales job, so definitely. Counselling job? Nah. The question is meant to test aggression, like that's hard to spot.

            For the sales job you'll get the 'alphas' and the psychopaths, so fine. For the counselling one you get the empathetic nice folk and the psychopaths, so well done there too.

            It's been about 10 years since I last had my skull bumps checked, I mean my aura examined, I mean my palm read gah whatever, the people giving the tests were of the opinion it was bollocks then so you're about 15 years behind the curve. All that was said was "Well, so long as you don't peg any of the meters…"

            Interesting how all these tests only rate 'positive' attributes, assuming the negative is a lack of the positive, eg in the contrived example above a lack or aggression is assumed to be empathy. Briggs-Meyer would be much better if one of the attributes was "(profanity)". But I'm sure your tests work, lol.

            When I see a 'personality' test spit out "Complete (profanity) & (profanity)" I might take notice.

            And of course the good old CYA "well, these tests are only part of the big picture…".

            Y'know who else is big on personality tests? Scientologists.


              @D C: you seem to be an expert so i don't see why you need to ask anything at all :)


                @Getschwifty: I find this sort of codswallop mildly interesting. It's old codswallop, by the way as it pre-dates WWII.

                Anyway, feel free to show my disdain is misplaced, empirical studies would be nice. Oh, you mean there isn't any? No-one can even agree on the definitions of what you are testing? Colour me surprised.

                But then again I'm a Scorpio, so what did you expect?

                I wouldn't be surprise to find, like Meyer-Briggs, it was invented by a couple of bored housewives one afternoon.

                (I see the profanity fairies sprinkled their magic over my last reply. Anyway, does your flavour of b-o-l-l-o-c-k-s identify anyone as a c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e w-a-n-k-er- & d-i-c-k-h-e-a-d?)

    • +1 vote

      Its the cheapest and quickest way to cull a large number of people applying for jobs.


    Very interested, would say this is a small field with great variation in uptake from org to org, even large orgs you’d expect to be all over it

    How extensive is your psychometric offering?
    Are you a psych?


      We offer end to end solutions for everything in the employee life cycle whether it's recruitment or development

      I'm not a psych but we have colleagues I work with locally and globally who are

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