BPO Interview tips – the written test

What is a written test? Ask this question and there would be a hundred different response to it. More often than not, a written test at any interview is one or, the other form of a Psychometric test.

Now what is a Psychometric test?
The term ‘psychometric’ comes from two Greek words and, literally translated, means ‘measurement of the mind’. The term ‘measurement’, as used here, does not mean that mental abilities or, qualities can be measured in the same way as physical quantities. Instead it infers that psychometrics involves a ‘scientific’ approach to the assessment of these abilities and qualities.

Psychometric tests cover areas ranging from intelligence, aptitude, values, emotions, motivation, personality, etc.
They have been created for three main reasons:

  • It is easier to get information from candidates through tests rather than through interviews/ counselling.
  • The information from these tests is more scientifically consistent than the information from an interview/ counselling session.
  • It is harder to get away with lying on a test than in an interview/ counselling session.

There are a lot of people who refute the claims made by these psychometric tests, but the fact still remains that these tests have helped and are still helping recruiters in understanding the above discussed basic qualities of the candidates.

Things to keep in mind –

  • Psychometric tests generally have no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers.
  • Your answer to any question should be the first response that comes to your mind.
  • Be honest with your answers and give answers that you feel describes you the best.

Tips to do well in Psychometric tests:

Though the tips mentioned below seem to be understood, they can prove worthy while appearing for a Psychometric test.

  • Ensure that you don’t go for the test on an empty stomach. Research shows that skipping meals reduces intellectual performance.
  • Stay calm; anxiety can affect your performance adversely.
  • Psychometric tests normally need no prior preparation. In case you have an idea of the type of test to expect, for example, numerical ability, then you might practice a few sums before you appear for the actual test.
  • Try to maintain both speed and accuracy, especially for timed tests.
  • You will almost certainly be taken through a practice or instruction stage before the test begins. This will give you the chance to try one or two practice items, before the actual test.
  • Listen carefully to the instructions given by the test administrator.
  • Get the most out of the examples or practice session. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
  • If you need a little more time for practice, ask for it.

Be as natural as possible and answer truly. Psychometric tests (especially the personality tests) have an in-built mechanism of detecting false responses. This is done by means of differently worded statements, which measure candidates on the same feature. So a false response from you would mean the end of the interview for you.
Psychometric tests are a useful aide in interviews. So do not look at it as an obstacle, rather treat it as a positive towards understanding your personality.

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