Unhappy at the prospect of tests

I have made it to a third interview for an HR manager’s post. I was
expecting this to be an interview with directors, but have found out it is to
be a psychometric test. My company looked closely at using this method but were
unconvinced by the approach. We tested people who have proven track records within
a certain field only to find that the test results did not match what we ‘knew’
to be true. I don’t like the idea of being tested on this basis. What do you
think? Should I tell them about my misgivings?

Clive Sussams, recruitment consultant,Malpas Flexible Learning

As you are probably aware, it is not unusual for candidates to have either
psychometric testing or to attend an assessment centre as part of the selection
process for roles at senior officer and above.

It is quite understandable that you will have an opinion about the relevance
and suitability of psychometric testing as you are an HR professional.
Consequently, if you are unhappy with the selection approach I think you should
discuss your misgivings with the company. If, however, the organisation
normally uses psychometric testing as part of its selection procedure it is
unlikely that an exception will be made in your case.

You will need to decide how committed you are to pursuing this particular
job. If it is a good opportunity and you believe your skills will be enhanced,
then it will be necessary to undertake the appropriate testing.

Remember if you obtain the HR manager’s job you will be in an ideal position
to influence the recruitment process in the future, including the relevance of

Allison Sheard, consultant, Chiumento

Psychometrics are commonly used as part of the selection process for senior
roles and many organisations value the information they give about prospective

Usually test results form only a part of the information about a candidate,
the rest being gained from interview and/or demonstration of skills. If you
were to decline to take part in psychometric tests, or highlight your
misgivings, you run the risk of being taken out of the selection process altogether.

Even if you were unhappy about the tests you used with your current
employer, a prospective one is likely to take a negative view of someone who
does not want to take part in the full selection process.

Overall, psychometric testing can be a very useful part of the recruitment
process. Taking the tests and getting feedback on them may also help you feel
more positive about the nature of tests and their validity.

Louise White, consultant – EJ Human Resources

You need to be careful how you approach the issue with a future employer, as
they may not take too kindly to someone questioning their interview process. It
is not unreasonable though to find out exactly how the tests are going to be
used and how much influence the results will have on the final decision.

In my experience, they are normally used to complement the interview process
and iron out any concerns over issues such as whether or not you are a team
player etc. It would be very unusual for a candidate to be rejected on test
results alone.

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