Psychometric tests have been an integral part of the hiring process for a long time. Therefore, it’s no wonder that such a sensitive topic got nested in many myths and urban legends. Here are 6 major myths about aptitude tests busted so you could look at them from a new angle.
Myth #1 - It’s very easy to cheat at an aptitude test
One of the major myths about aptitude tests is that cheating is a piece of cake. Since most of the tests come with multiple answer options participants think they can figure out the answer the employer is looking for. Well, this is not quite true. There are indeed some test types where you can easily choose a reasonable answer. Some test takers believe that lying on such a test will go undetected since it’s all personal information.
Well if you think that you can easily outsmart an aptitude test, I have a bridge to sell you! People tend to forget that psychometrics is a study of human psychology and test architects know that people lie. There are plenty of techniques for each of the aptitude tests that could expose your bluff. For instance, a social desirability validity index shows how likely is a candidate to have faked their answer.
Myth 2 - Using aptitude tests is illegal for enterprises
Somehow people got the idea that making aptitude tests a part of the hiring process may subject companies to legal risks. Examinations are a transparent part of the hiring process, no less valid and objective than an interview, resume competition or a background check.
The main requirement in most countries is that all questions and tests are directly related to the job an applicant is aiming to obtain. If an enterprise chooses to use a valid test crafted by professionals, it is most likely legal for your employer to use it.
Myth 3 - The results are definitive
Once you have been graded it doesn’t mean that these results will stick with you for life. Most of the tests show your fitness for a particular role at a certain moment. If you don’t like the results, you should interpret them as a starting point for further enhancement of your skills.
Practicing aptitude test may help you identify the areas where you have minor flaws that need improvement and contribute to your growth as a professional. Besides, every hiring process is unique in some aspects. Your answers may not be perfect while your skills and experience could be of a bigger priority for the employer.
Myth 4 - Psychometric tests put everyone into the same barrel
The next popular myth is that aptitude assessments work off generalizations. It is a common mistake to think that testing has to inflict boundaries on people and that it works off rigid types and categories.
Psychometrics is indeed aimed mostly at revealing certain features of personality but only to the point of forming a better understanding of the diverse nature of a personality. Such analysis allows us to predict, to a certain extent, how unique people will act under certain circumstances.
Myth 5 - Assessments are not fair
It’s a logical assumption that testing is objectively not good because your success in passing it is determined only by achieving or not achieving some score. Nevertheless, aptitude tests are as fair as, for instance, resumes. An employer can scrap a good candidate simply by not finding certain information in their resume.
Moreover, some enterprises use programs that filter all resumes which don’t contain needed keywords. By contrast, psychometric testing can become an additional screening that would highlight small details about your personality that can increase your chances to get the job.
Myth 6 - There is no use for aptitude tests outside of the hiring process
While the most common usage of psychometric assessments is as a part of the hiring process in there is also a huge potential for them in the later stages of one’s career. An aptitude test can become an indispensable tool for the HR department. Personal or behaviour assessments can have an impact on building highly effective teams or developing talent. As a bonus, information collected over time may help in preventing burning-out and employee turnover.
This is not a definitive list of the myths surrounding aptitude tests but, hopefully, some fog has been lifted. Next time when you’ll hear another “hideous” thing about psychometrics you might be more skeptical about the nature of these myths.