Preparing for Psychometric Assessments: A Psychologist Explains

Last Updated, 3 June 2024
Written by <a href="" target="_self">Nicole Wren</a>

Written by Nicole Wren

young man in white shirt at a computer looking concerned

Preparing for Psychometric Assessments: A Psychologist Explains

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Career Advice

Psychometric testing has become a cornerstone of recruitment processes in Australia, used by a variety of large employers to assess candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality traits, and potential job fit. As a psychologist and career coach, candidates often ask me just what psychometric testing is all about, and how to prepare for psychometric assessments when they form part of the recruitment process.

What Is Psychometric Testing in Recruitment?

Psychometric testing involves standardised assessments that measure various psychological attributes, such as cognitive abilities, personality traits, and specific skills relevant to the job. These assessments are designed to provide objective data to employers, aiding in their decision-making process during recruitment.

They are often used in high-volume recruitment campaigns, which can attract thousands of applicants. While psychometric assessments form only part of the recruitment process, they can help form a picture of you as a potential employee.

Types of Psychometric Tests

Generally, psychometric testing in Australia uses either cognitive tests or personality tests:

Cognitive Tests: Assess numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and abstract reasoning skills.

    Personality Tests: Assess your strengths, weaknesses, and work preferences to ensure your personality aligns with the job requirements.

    Which Australian Employers Use Psychometric Testing?

    In Australia, numerous organisations across various industries rely on psychometric testing to streamline their hiring processes and ensure they select candidates who not only meet the technical requirements but also fit well within the organisational culture. For example:

    The Australian Public Service (APS)

    Many APS roles require psychometric testing, and include assessment of your cognitive skills and personality traits. APS roles are often looking for emotional intelligence traits.

    Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS)

    Psychometric testing is used as part of QAS’s recruitment process. This usually includes a range of abstract questions, a personality test and behavioural questions.


    With QANTAS, you can expect a general aptitude test, a personality test and a motive test.

    Commonwealth Bank

    Utilises psychometric tests to assess candidates’ problem-solving abilities and emotional intelligence, crucial for roles in customer service and finance.


    Incorporates psychometric assessments to evaluate candidates’ communication skills and ability to work under pressure, essential for positions in telecommunications and technology.


    Integrates psychometric testing to gauge candidates’ leadership potential and teamwork skills, particularly for managerial and executive roles within the banking sector.

    How to Prepare for Psychometric Assessments in Australia

    Preparing for psychometric assessments is key to performing well and showcasing your capabilities effectively:

    Research the Employer’s Expectations

    Identify key competencies and traits valued by the employer to tailor your preparation accordingly. This information can be found in the position description of the role you are applying for. Familiarise yourself with the organisation’s values and culture to align your responses with their expectations.

    Practice Online Assessments

      Use reputable websites offering practice tests to simulate real testing conditions and familiarise yourself with the format and timing. Practice managing your time effectively during assessments to complete tasks within the allocated timeframe.

      Seek Feedback and Improve

        Reflect on your performance after practice tests to identify areas for improvement. Consult with career counselors or psychologists to gain insights into your test results and areas where you can enhance your skills.

        Psychometric Testing Examples

          Numerical Reasoning Psychometric Test Example Question

          You are planning a budget for a project that requires purchasing equipment. The cost breakdown is as follows:

          Equipment A costs $5,000 and is expected to last for 5 years.
          Equipment B costs $8,000 and is expected to last for 8 years.
          Equipment C costs $10,000 and is expected to last for 10 years.

          Assuming straight-line depreciation and no salvage value, what is the total annual depreciation expense for the project?

          A) $2,600
          B) $3,000
          C) $4,000
          D) $5,000


          To solve this question, we calculate the annual depreciation expense for each equipment and then sum them up.

          For Equipment A:
          Annual depreciation = Cost / Useful life = $5,000 / 5 years = $1,000 per year

          For Equipment B:
          Annual depreciation = Cost / Useful life = $8,000 / 8 years = $1,000 per year

          For Equipment C:
          Annual depreciation = Cost / Useful life = $10,000 / 10 years = $1,000 per year

          Total annual depreciation expense = $1,000 + $1,000 + $1,000 = $3,000

          Therefore, the correct answer is B) $3,000.

          Verbal Reasoning Psychometric Test Example Question

          Read the following passage and answer the questions based on the information provided:


          “In recent years, technological advancements have significantly transformed the way businesses operate. One of the most notable changes has been the shift towards remote work. Remote work allows employees to work from locations outside the traditional office setting, often using digital tools and communication platforms to collaborate with colleagues and clients. This trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the importance of flexibility and adaptability in workforce management.”


          Which of the following statements is most likely to be true based on the passage?

          A) Traditional office settings are no longer necessary for effective business operations.
          B) Technological advancements have reduced the need for digital tools in remote work.
          C) Remote work was not popular until the COVID-19 pandemic.
          D) The COVID-19 pandemic has had no impact on workforce management practices.


          To answer this question, we need to identify the statement that aligns with the information provided in the passage. The passage mentions that technological advancements have led to a shift towards remote work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It emphasises the importance of flexibility and adaptability in workforce management.

          Option A suggests that traditional office settings are no longer necessary for effective business operations, which directly correlates with the passage’s description of the shift towards remote work. Therefore, A) Traditional office settings are no longer necessary for effective business operations is the most likely true statement based on the passage.

          Abstract Reasoning Psychometric Test Example Question

          Study the sequence of shapes below and determine which shape should logically come next:

          A) Option 1
          B) Option 2
          C) Option 3
          D) Option 4


          To solve this abstract reasoning question, observe the pattern or sequence in the shapes provided. Analyse how each shape transforms or progresses from the previous one. In this example, the sequence might involve changes in rotation, reflection, size, or pattern within the shapes.

          After examining the given sequence, determine which option logically follows the pattern established by the previous shapes. Select the option that best fits the pattern observed.

          (Note: The image URL is hypothetical for the purpose of this example.)

          Personality Psychometric Test Example Question

          Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statement:

          “I enjoy working in teams and collaborating with others to achieve common goals.”

          A) Strongly Agree
          B) Agree
          C) Neutral
          D) Disagree
          E) Strongly Disagree


          Personality test questions like this one typically assess traits such as agreeableness, teamwork orientation, and interpersonal skills. Respondents are asked to select the option that best reflects their personal attitudes or behaviors in relation to the statement provided.

          In this example, the respondent’s choice indicates their level of preference for teamwork and collaboration. The scale ranges from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree,” allowing the assessment to capture variations in personality traits related to teamwork and cooperation.

          Understanding psychometric testing is essential for navigating the modern job market in Australia. By understanding how to prepare for psychometric assessments preparing effectively, candidates can approach psychometric assessments with confidence and maximise their chances of success in securing their desired roles.

          Nicole Wren

          Nicole Wren

          Senior Writer

          Nicole is the principal resume writer at Resumes to Impress. Nicole loves writing and sharing her knowledge about all things job hunting and career guidance.

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