The Leadership Artisan - Talent Management - Executive Support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a personality test?

When people refer to a personality test they are usually doing so incorrectly.  There should not be such a product as a personality test.  A personality assessment or profile is reflective of who you are and as such there can be no pass or fail - simply an accurate reflection of your personality as indicated by you either via  an online product or hard copy version.

What are psychometrics?

Psychometric instruments are often used by business as a tool for recruitment and selection, and/or development for the individual or team.  They are used with the aim of enabling the individual and therefore the company to improve performance. 

There are many types of psychometric instruments available in the marketplace.  Some typical examples are as follows:-

  • Personality:  These can predict how people will perform in the workplace in addition to reflecting personality preferences.
  • Ability:  These are often known as aptitude tests and they usually measure how people will perform in areas such as solving problems, or  reasoning with verbal information.  There are many specialist aptitude tests for specific occupations such as engineering or commercial/sales roles.
  • Career Interests:  These instruments assist people in identifying the type of work to which they would be ideally suited.
  • 360 Degree Feedback:  These instruments are usually used within the corporate environment to enable a leader or manager to receive feedback on their performance from their peers, team members and managers.  The individual's are also invited to rate their own performance usually against key competencies and then a discussion is facilitated in which the views of the team are anonymously reflected back to the candidate.  A useful tool for enhancing team work and communication.

Why use psychometric assessment?

Psychometric tools have been demonstrated to:-

  • Enhance the fairness and objectivity of the recruitment and selection process.
  • Enable individuals to identify areas of strength and development thereby aiding performance improvement.
  • Improve staff performance and morale.
  • Aid communication and teamwork.
  • Enhance the speed, quality and transparency of recruitment, selection and development decisions within the workplace.
  • Predict and assist Leadership potential and development.
  • Predict and assist Entrepreneurial talent.

What makes a personality assessment fair?

  • A personality assessment must be delivered/administered by a practitioner who is qualified in either Part A (Aptitude Testing) or Part B (Personality Profiling) and is on the Register of Competence with the Psychometric Testing Centre of the British Psychological Society.
  • The chosen assessment must be a suitable instrument for the job it is to perform. For example MBTI Step I and Step II are excellent tools for development but not recruitment.
  • The assessment instrument must meet industry standards for validity and reliability.
  • The candidate should have the opportunity to see in advance  of taking the assessment examples of the type of question and the format of the instrument.
  • The assessment should be delivered in an appropriate setting ie quiet,and undisturbed where the candidate can be comfortable and relaxed.
  • A feedback session should ideally be delivered to candidates to explain the assessment results.

Can people with disabilities undertake psychometric assessment?

Yes, it is possible to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities depending on the requirements of the individual.  Specialist advice is available to facilitate psychometric assessments for people with disabilities - you simply need to ask your employer, practitioner for advice.  For example the  MBTI personality assessment instrument has been translated into Braille.

Can psychometric assessments be wrong?

Psychometric assessments have built in mechanisms which enable a qualified practitioner to determine when a candidate has been faking their responses.  

Equally - if a candidate is very stressed or has taken the assessment in an unconducive environment ie with continuous interruptions then the results can be distorted.   

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