Psychometric & Cognitive Assessment



How many companies have you appeared for getting a job? Or if you are a recruiter then what does the recruitment process look like? How are the tests designed for the process?
We surely can’t ignore the significance of psychometric & cognitive assessment. Due to rapid & dynamic changes in the recruitment processes, finding the right talent for a company who will be the perfect fit for the culture and job role is very difficult. A person having only the required qualification and experience is not enough in today’s VUCA world. For assessing the fitment of the applicant in a job role we need to evaluate the intelligence, critical reasoning, motivation & personality profile as well.




Through a personal interview, it is very difficult to measure these parameters because we can’t interview every applicant. That’s where psychometric test and cognitive assessment tools come into play as a screening tool reducing the workload drastically by eliminating the unsuitable candidates at the first stage itself. According to a study by out of the companies that used psychometric testing, 81% said that they expected to make more reliable and less risky decisions as a result in 2016.




To match the candidate’s attitude and behaviour pattern with company’s profile and culture, it has become imperative that companies hire candidates with right technical skills along with the cognitive abilities. These psychometric tests and cognitive assessment tools should be designed in such a way that it tests both skills and personality of a person. And these should be different for different companies and different job profiles because of difference in organisational culture & required skills. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that at present, 18% of companies use psychometric testing in the hiring process. This number is growing at a rate of 10-15% a year according to many industrial and organisational psychologists, as well as the Association of Test Publishers.





With the advent of technology, it has become easier for companies to adopt psychometric assessment in the hiring process. But using the right test for the right job is essential for the process to be successful. Moreover, the time available and costs associated with the test also need to be considered before selecting the approach. Depending upon the requirement of the job three different approaches of using psychometric tests can be taken in the recruitment process:


  • Using psychometric tests in the initial stage
  • Using psychometric tests in the last stage
  • Using Psychometric assessment throughout the process

Using psychometric tests in the initial phase with CV
short listing

In this approach, a psychometric test would be taken in the initial phase just after the candidate has applied for the job. Here both the cognitive ability and the personality of the candidate will be assessed. After the candidate has submitted his application form, a link can be sent to the candidate where the candidate can undergo the test remotely. Based on the test scores and weightage of the CV, short listing of the candidates will be done for the further rounds of the recruitment process.

Using psychometric tests in the final stages


In this approach, the psychometric test is taken at the last stage of the recruitment process. For jobs where technical competency is the utmost priority, this method can be used. With the use of the psychometric test, the exact fitment in teams can be identified and the areas of behavioural development can be identified. The required behaviour can be brought upon the candidates by training them.

Using Psychometric assessment throughout the process


In this approach, the cognitive assessment is done at the initial stage. Based on the CV and the cognitive assessment scores, selections of the candidates for the further rounds are done. This approach can be used when the core competency is not the only deciding criteria; rather the learning culture is an absolute must for the candidate. The candidates selected through this process can prove to be very productive as they would have a high aptitude for learning and can acquire new skills with the evolving trends.

The idea is to put the candidate in a situation where he is unaware of the simulation around the situation and then assess his reaction, behaviour and on the spot thinking in a lifelike situation/ problem. This approach can be used when the cultural fit of the candidate is the top most priority. The advantage of this approach is that unlike psychometric tools and assessment like situation based questions or word association or picture perception, the candidate is completely oblivious to the simulation or the role play that he is subjected to and hence we can expect natural and un-manipulated responses from him/her.


By – Mohit Kumar Sethy – Summer Intern – B.Tech. from IIT-Dhanbad & Pursuing MBA in HR – IIM Ranchi
Supervision By – Rishi Raman