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Do I believe in Psychometrics?

One of the most perplexing questions I have been asked by Line Managers in my 20+ years of carrying out selection interviews is whether I believe in Psychometric behavioural tests, it is almost like whether I believe in Fairies or Astrology!

I would love to believe in Titania Queen of the fairies, but I think that is a slightly different paradigm of belief than a psychologist developed testing instrument!!!

I have been using SHL behavioural tests for over 20 years and I have found them really reliable at predicting what the applicant thinks about him or herself.

The OPQ32r, which I have most experience of, asks the candidate to choose from 3 items in 100 questions. They have to say which is most like them and which is least like them and the items are repeated several times in different combinations therefore a candidate choosing the same item several times thinks they are really like that factor.

So, the test predicts really well whether the candidate thinks they are persuasive or controlling or which ever of the other 32 behaviours they choose from.

That doesn’t mean that the test is the absolute answer though, and a structured interview to find out which of the competencies the candidate is strong at in terms of actual work, coupled with the behavioural test, and maybe a work-related presentation will give you a much better result as to who is the best candidate than either option alone.

To sum up I do believe in Psychometrics, much more reliable than believing in fairies!!

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