Psychometric testing in Coaching and Performance Management Saturday, Jan 8 2011 


Ninety-one percent of respondents believe there is a direct link between investment in leadership development and organizational performance.” 
“It’s interesting to note that three of the less frequently used development activities are rated as some of the most effective (external executive coaching, leadership courses, formal mentoring schemes).” 

CIPD training and development survey in conjunction with the Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester, 2004. 

Nowadays it has been recognized that it’s often not technical expertise that makes an individual a good manager or a great leader, it is the way they behave that makes the difference. Emotional Intelligence is more significant than having a high IQ when it comes to managing and getting the most out of people.

Research has proven that the number one reason an individual leaves their job is because of the person for whom they work. The behavior of someone’s boss is crucial to the contentment, satisfaction and career fulfillment of their direct reports. Basically, if you don’t like the person you are working for, if they are not giving you the right encouragement or development opportunities, you are likely to move on to work for someone else. 

Have you ever considered how you interact with other people? How would others describe you? What are your attributes and where could you improve your behavior for your personal gain and for the good of the organization? How do you respond under pressure and how does that impact others?

Do people like working for you? If not, why not and does it matter? Actually, it does matter. Motivated individuals perform better than unmotivated ones and that hits the bottom line. Staff turnover is costly in terms of recruiting replacements and training them. Although some labour movement is healthy, vital experience cannot be replaced overnight. By comparison, a more stable workforce gives strength and certainty and increases productivity.

There are a variety of psychometric tools and methods like FIRO B, CPI 260, Hogan Inventory, and MBTI which can be used to make individuals more self-aware. This insight can be used on an individual personal basis or shared within a team to promote better understanding, communication and common goals. Coaching and mentoring can be carried out over a period of time with regular progress meetings as appropriate.

Psychometric Testing Helps Find the Best People for the Job Saturday, Jan 8 2011 


Initially developed primarily for educational psychology, psychometric testing has become a beneficial tool that companies use for recruitment as well as employee promotion. Utilizing psychometric tests allows companies to select the person most suited for the position that needs to be filled-either from a host of job applicants or from the roster of employees due for promotion.

Different Jobs for Different Personalities

Different jobs require specific sets of skills, intellect and personality. A position in sales requires a lot of interaction with various kinds of people so having a persuasive and pleasing personality is ideal. Managers, on the other hand, should have strong leadership skills and aptitude for strategy development. These attributes cannot be easily determined with a series of interviews and impressions are not always accurate. Through psychometric testing, however, companies will have a better idea regarding an applicant’s suitability for a specific job vacancy.

Psychometric Tests Measure Ability, Intelligence and Personality

Psychometric tests are developed by occupational psychologists to measure a person’s aptitude, intelligence and personality. Through these tests, employers are able to have an idea if a candidate has the capacity to handle a certain position in the company. Moreover, employers will be able to determine if an applicant is compatible with their working environment. Screening applicants through psychometric tests enables companies to find the right match for each job position. The results of these tests will serve to support a candidate’s initial interview.

Through psychometric testing, companies get to avoid the hit-and-miss of the hiring process. Screening applicants gets easier as employers get to focus on preferred attributes for the job and select the best suited candidate to hire and join their team.


Why use psychometric testing in career counseling Saturday, Jan 8 2011 



Before we discuss the use of psychometric testing in career counseling let us first see what does Career Counseling involve?


  • Identifying areas of work which are likely to provide high degrees of job satisfaction, work commitment and wellbeing at work. Signature Psychologies uses a range of validated psychometric assessment tools to identify areas of work to which the individual is ‘a match’.
  • Identifying personal strengths and limitations
  • Identifying barriers to career progression
  • A stock take of career to date – learning from the past in order to clarify direction and priorities for the future
  • Increased clarity about personal style, strengths, motivators and needs and how to match these with potential career opportunities
  • Learning how to conduct a productive job search
  • Enhancing self-presentation and interview skills
  • Making career decisions with greater confidence
  • Dealing effectively with work-related stress
  • Managing relationships and conflict at work
  • Implementing career plans
  • CV development
  • Understanding the factors influencing careers in today’s organizational world and the skills involved in managing your own career
  • Building personal and career resilience

Wherever an individual/student wants to make serious decisions about career choices – about choosing careers, changing careers, choosing higher education or training – psychometric tests are an objective measure of not just aptitude, but to a certain extent, of the likelihood of career satisfaction and success.   They help you to know yourself – not just what you’re good at but also to make you aware of those important areas that could use a little work, areas where you are not as strong as you could/should be. 
In general, psychometric testing can help students by:

  1. Providing an objective measure of often hidden abilities and form a robust foundation for making career decisions.
  2. Highlighting strengths and weaknesses
  3. Helping to identify interests
  4. Identifying skills
  5. Providing an insight into personality
  6. Providing insights into aspects of work

 The majority of students in and 5th and 6th form (11th and 12th grade) secondary institutions and a large number of those in tertiary institutions often do not know what they want to do; they do not know if what they think they want to do is something that would suit them and even more importantly they have no idea of where to go for advice and counseling.  While this method of testing is helpful, students must remember that it’s just one of several tools available and that it must always be used in conjunction with competent professional guidance counseling especially when used for career guidance.   No one thing or instrument can provide the magical and complete answers.  There is no quick magical fix-it when determining what career you want to pursue.  The tests can assist you and provide insights that may have eluded you, but always be aware that psychometric testing 

  • WILL NOT make decisions for you
  • MUST be supported by adequate professional guidance and counseling
  • WILL NOT rule in or rule out careers
  • WILL NOT take into consideration the economic realities of your situation
  • WILL NOT remove the hard thinking required when making career decisions

The use of psychometric testing within the field of Career and Educational Guidance is therefore understandably on the increase.  This is partly because, when used correctly, psychometric testing is wholly consistent with the aim of providing a high quality, non-discriminatory, independent, and objective Career and Educational Guidance Service.  The use of psychometric tests (where appropriate) can bring benefits to both the client and the Guidance providers, but these benefits will only be derived if tests are used properly.

Ideally, this type of testing is administered in conjunction with consultation from professional guidance counselors and should be readily and easily available for the majority of 5th and 6th form students. 

In short the the career interest questionnaires help us to identify which categories of work the counselee is most interested in according to certain career themes, such as active, analytical, caring/social or artistic/creative. We are often able to help our clients to move forward, embarking on a new career after a decision to make a major change, or perhaps for the first time, if they are school or college leavers. We may be helping them to re-launch their careers if they are returners to work after child rearing or a long period out of work for some other reason.


What is Myers & Briggs Type indicator –MBTI? Sunday, Dec 19 2010 

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of

psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is

that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic

differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Typology is the study of human differences. Typing people is not to pigeon hole us or to deny our uniqueness & replace it with superficial label. C.G. Jung described psychological types based on basic elements which when combined together, can be used to describe the differences among people.

A type is a group of characteristics that stands midway between the universal traits common to us all & those which are uniquely our own. Typology is a powerful aid to a deeper understanding of who we are.


C.G.Jung (1875-1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist, the founder of a distinctive school of psychological thought that is being continued and developed today by a world-wide network of Jungian analysts and sympathizers.

Jung was an explorer of the inner world of the psyche. For him this inner world, which he called the unconscious, was not simply a basement filled with forgotten memories and useless junk, but an ocean or forest filled with beauty and danger, life and death and meaningful discovery.

The basic elements

1. Extraversion & introversion: The extravert is someone whose energy and attention is directed outward to the people and world around him, and those objects are decisive in the adaptation he makes and the actions he takes. For the extravert, the world around him is the real world and he adapts himself to it.

In contrast the introvert’s energy and attention are directed inwardly. His own inner world is the real world which he adapts himself to and which determines his behaviour. He strives to protect the inner world from too strong and influence from the outer world. This outer world is less real for him and therefore of less influence than the inner world.

Extroversion and introversion form a pair of opposite basic attitudes to life. Each of use is both extraverted and introverted, for we relate both to the world around us and the world within, but we tend to favour one attitude over the other.

Common behavioral patterns

– Takes care to look good, say the right thing & do the right thing.
– If someone disagreed with the ‘generally accepted’ attitude, he’d become annoyed.
– His greatest need is to maintain social rapport. If someone wants to make differences he’d displeased.
– Arguments were not to be settled, they were to be smoothed over in order to preserve social harmony.
– He wants everyone to be happy.

– Reserved and does his own affairs but concentrated on supporting others.
– Does not feel much comfortable in a crowd, parties and social gatherings.
– The very first consideration is checking out what’s going inside, no matter what someone else said or did. He’d take that experience into himself and decide whether he liked it or not.
– Is not interested in a smashing wardrobe.
– No interest to be a group leader.

The difficulty is to identify the prominent type. Being an introvert does not mean that he has no extroverted side. Introverts do have their extroverted side coming out when visiting others, entertaining and in many other activities, but this takes more energy than the extroverts. For extroverts these are very easy tasks, which they like so much.

A simple questionnaire to identify your type:

Introvert Extrovert

When speaking to strangers I Sometimes hesitate I find it quite easy
When I am in a new group I tend more to Listen Talk
People would call me Quite and reserved Open and easy to know
When learning about a new subject I like to Read about it Hear about it
When it comes to money I am inclined to Save Spend
When planning a dinner I prefer having 4 people 12 people

Try to decide whether you are more introverted or extraverted. After identification of the type you can move on to the 4 functions, which describe the different kinds of introversion and extraversion. These Jung called thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.

2. Sensation & Intuition
Sensation & Intuition are the opposite ways of perceiving. Sensation is the perception of the immediate and tangible reality around us by way of seeing, hearing, touching etc. Intuition is also a perception, but of what is in the background, i.e. the hidden possibilities and implications which is similar to the way we understand inspirations and hunches. We perceive something, but we are not aware of how we got to that perception.

Common behavioural patterns

– Details of the environment are noticeable, for e.g. clothes of other people. Physical objects around capture the attention.

– When he meets another what counts is not the present moment, but the possibilities the relationship offers.
– Futuristic. (today is ok, but tomorrow; always tomorrows would be better)

A simple questionnaire is used to identify type:

Intuition Sensation

I tend to Get excited about the future Savour the present moment
When I have set plans I feel somewhat tied down I am comfortable with them
If I were to work for a manufacturer I would prefer Research and design Production and distribution
I am inclined to Get involved in many projects at once Do one thing at a time
If people were to complain about me they would say I have my head in the clouds I am in a rut
People would call me Imaginative Realistic
When I find myself in a new situation I am more interested in What could happen What is happening

3. Thinking & Feeling
Thinking and feeling go together as a pair of opposite ways of making judgements. Thinking is the way of judging about the nature of things by means of our ideas, which concerns itself with the question of truth or falsity. (not the same as intelligence) Feeling is limited to a sense of rapport or lack of it by which we decide whether we like or dislike something, feel it is good or bad. (not the same as emotion)

Thinking type is someone who could proceed logically, never got flustered, always knew how to analyse a problem, and was above all rational. Feelings on the other hand meant something unstable, something you didn’t have much control over, something that couldn’t be analysed.

For Jung thinking and feeling were both equally valid and were alternative ways of making judgements. Feeling type person would say “I like it because it feels right to me”, thinking type might throw up their hands in exasperation.

A simple questionnaire to identify your type:
Thinking Feeling
People would consider me Reasonable Warm and sympathetic
When people argue I want them to Come up with a solution Stop
When someone has a problem my first reaction is to Help them work it out Sympathize
When it comes to making a decision I favour My head My heart
Sensation tells you that something exists; thinking tells you what it is. Feeling tells you whether it is agreeable or not, and intuition tells you whence it comes and where it is going.

The above is the base for Analytical psychology. There is a variety of personality analysis based on this foundation, namely Keirsey Temperament analysis and Myers Briggs Personality Tests. These analyses can be used to identify our strengths and weaknesses and to understand various solutions for handling or coping with various people and problematic situations we face in our life.


The Assessment Center Sunday, Dec 19 2010 

An ‘Assessment Center’ does not refer to a location, but to a process which is being

increasingly used by organizations to assess staff, either as part of the recruitment

process or for internal promotion. The Assessment Center involves a set of varied

exercises which are designed to simulate different aspects of the work environment.

It can be usefully defined as ‘A method for assessing aptitude and performance;

applied to a group of participants by trained assessors using various aptitude

diagnostic processes in order to obtain information about applicants’ abilities or

development potential.’

Assessment Centers are usually used after the initial stages of the selection process,

because of the large amount of time and expense in conducting them, and usually

follow the initial job interview. Other measurements such as psychological tests may

complement the selection process. They are commonly held either on employers’

premises or in a hotel and are considered by many organizations to be the fairest

and most accurate method of selecting staff. This is because a number of different

selectors get to see you over a longer period of time and have the chance to see

what you can do, rather than what you say you can do.

Assessment Centers are seen as one of the most effective ways of identifying top

candidates who’ll get on well with others and fit in with the organizations culture.

The most common type of Assessment Center exercises include:

  • In tray exercise
  • Giving presentation
  • Group Discussion
  • Panel interview
  • Role play exercise


During each exercise, a group of observers will rate you on a range of set indicators,

using a prescribed performance scale. Results are then cross compared against the

same indicators, which are measured in other tests. Following test completion,

observers meet to discuss the test results and reach a group consensus about your


Assessment Centers may be conducted by HR personnel within the employer

company or by outside consultants. They are highly structured in their design,

application, and assessment procedure and are specifically adapted to assess factors

such as the level of skills, aptitude and compatibility with the organization’s culture.

Each test measures a range of indicators within these factors.


TERMS Saturday, Nov 27 2010 

  • HRM:

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human Resource Management can also be performed by line managers.

Human Resource Management is the organizational function that deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organization development, safety, wellness, benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training.

  • Psychometric testing: 

Any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality etc.


Advantages and disadvantages of psychometric testing Saturday, Nov 27 2010 

The advantages are:

  • Properly developed psychometric tests and questionnaires, when used by competent and appropriately qualified individuals, have the following advantages:


  • They lead to judgments that are likely to be more valid than judgments made by other means. This is the most important advantage of psychometric assessment.


  • They are relatively cheap and easy to administer when compared to other approaches. For example, although it may seem relatively expensive for a company to pay for its staff to become qualified in psychometric assessment and then on top of this to pay for the cost of the testing itself, these costs pale into insignificance when one considers just how long it would take to obtain the same information about a person. At the risk of putting it simplistically, it could be argued that the information obtained from a good personality questionnaire might take several months of knowing and working with a person to obtain by other means.


  • They are likely to lead to considerable cost-benefits in the long term. Whether it is for selection of new staff or development of existing staff, the expenses involved in psychometric assessment are minimal when compared with the costs of high-turn over, under-performance or misemployment of staff.


The disadvantages are:

  • There are numerous tests and questionnaires on the market which purport to be ‘psychometric instruments’ but which are not. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for untrained people to distinguish these from good psychometric instruments. In many cases, these tests and questionnaires have been put together by people with no background in psychometrics and they have very little actual utility and value for the purposes for which they are marketed.
    • Lack of correct training is also a significant danger in the use of psychometric testing. Although there exists in the UK a training qualification system developed by the British Psychological Society, it is not uncommon for tests to be used by people who are not adequately trained to use them. Indeed, even attendance at a recognized training course is no guarantee that a person will at all times use tests and questionnaires correctly since some instruments, particularly personality questionnaires, require considerable experience and the possibility of misinterpretation or inappropriate interpretation of results is ever-present.


  • It is the use of personality questionnaires to try to assess a person’s ability or skill in a particular area. eg, if a person scores highly on a personality dimension called ‘Leadership’, this does not mean that he or she will actually possess a high level of leadership skill. Rather it means that the person has the basic personality characteristics that are commonly found amongst effective leaders and, with sufficient experience and given the development of certain necessary skills, has the potential to become an effective leader. Unfortunately however, scores on scales such as this are often taken to imply that the person already has all the necessary skills and is already capable of performing at a high level in the area in question.


  • Standardization

Standardization implies uniformity of procedure in administering and scoring the test. If the scores obtained by different persons are to be comparable, testing conditions must obviously be the same for all. In order to secure uniformity of testing conditions, the test constructor provides detailed directions for administering each newly developed test. The formulation of directions is a major part of the standardization of a new test. Such standardization extends to the exact materials employed, time limits, oral instructions, preliminary demonstrations, ways of handling queries from test takers, and every other detail of the testing situation.

  • Objective measurement

Some aspects of the objectivity of psychological tests have already been touched on in the discussion of standardization. Thus, the administration, scoring, and interpretation of scores are objective insofar as they are independent of the subjective judgment of the particular examiner. Anyone test taker should theoretically obtain the identical score on a test regardless of who happens to be the examiner. This is not entirely so, of course, because perfect standardization and objectivity have not been attained in practice. But at least such objectivity is the goal of test construction and has been achieved to a reasonably high degree in most tests. There are other major ways in which psychological tests can be properly described as objective. The determination of the difficulty level of an item or of a whole test is based on objective, empirical procedures.

  • Reliability

How good is this test? Does it really work? These questions could-and occasionally do-result in long hours of futile discussion. Subjective opinions, hunches, and personal biases may lead, on the one hand, to extravagant claims regarding what a particular test can accomplish and, on the other hand, to stubborn rejection. The only way questions such as these can be conclusively answered are by empirical trial. The objective evaluation of psychological tests involves primarily the determination of the reliability and the validity of the test in specified situations.


As used in psychometrics, the term “reliability” basically means consistency. Test reliability is the consistency of scores obtained by the same persons when retested with the identical test or with an equivalent form of the test. Reliability may be checked by comparing the scores obtained by the same test takers at different times, with different sets of items, with different examiners or scorers, or under any other relevant testing condition.

  • Validity

The degree to which the test actually measures what it purports to measure. Validity provides a direct check on how well the test fulfills its function. The determination of validity usually requires independent, external criteria of whatever the test is designed to measure. For example, if a medical aptitude test is to be used in selecting promising applicants for medical school, ultimate success in medical school would be a criterion.

Such a composite measure constitutes the criterion with which each student’s initial test-score is to be correlated. A high correlation, or validity coefficient, would signify that those individuals who scored high on the test had been relatively successful in medical schools, whereas those scoring low on the test had done poorly in medical school.

The validity coefficient enables us to determine how closely the criterion performance could have been predicted from the test scores. In a similar manner, tests designed for other purposes can be validated against appropriate criteria. A vocational aptitude test, for example, can be validated against on-the-job success of a trial group of new employees. A pilot aptitude battery can be validated against achievement in flight training. Tests designed for broader and more varied uses are validated against a number of independently obtained behavioral indices; and their validity can be established only by the gradual accumulation of data from many different kinds of investigations. The scores of these persons are not themselves employed for operational purposes but serve only in the process of testing the test. If the test proves valid by this method, it can then be used on other samples in absence of criterion measures. Validity tells us more than the degree to which the test is fulfilling its function. It actually tells us what the test is measuring. By studying the validation data, we can objectively determine what the test is measuring. It would thus be more accurate to define validity as the extent to which we know what the test measures.


Psychometric testing today is employed in a wide variety of setting, from educational to industrial organizations, for a diverse range of purposes. Especially from the HR point of view, its uses have increased manifold over the last few years.


The term “Psychometric Testing” evokes different reactions in different people. Some people think of it as an enigmatic thing, some other treat it as recent fade and still others tend to think of it as something fearsome. By and large, a negative perception has been woven around psychometric tests.


A psychological test in reality is essentially an objective and standardized measure of a sample of behavior. Psychological tests are like the tests in any other science, insofar as observations are made on a small but carefully chosen sample of an individual’s behavior. An important point to notice here is that psychometric tests include both personality tests as well as the aptitude tests like verbal ability, numerical reasoning etc.


Keeping in mind the growing use of these psychometric tests by HR professionals all over the world, this topic for the project was chosen The scope of the project and the activities carried out were divided into the following four stages:


  • STAGE-I: Readings for having a basic understanding of the project
  • STAGE-II: Collecting data relating to psychometric testing
  • STAGE-III: Questionnaire designing and primary data collection 
  • STAGE-IV: Data analysis and conclusions.