Thomas Psychometric Tests

5 July 2020
11 minute
What are the different types of psychometric tests

Maximising employee performance is critical to your company’s success. The most effective business leaders not only attract and appoint the right people in the first place, but continue to enable them to achieve their full potential throughout the course of their employment.

Employers are increasingly utilising psychometric testing as a reliable and objective means of evaluating a job candidate’s suitability for a specified role. Psychometric assessments are highly beneficial tools in the recruitment and selection of new staff. But they are also useful for identifying individual potential, developing employees, putting together teams, and getting the best out of people through better management.

Aptitude assessments are often used during the preliminary screening stage of the recruitment process. For example, they are especially useful when there is a large number of job applicants to sift through. Research shows that CVs, application forms and interviews alone are ineffective at predicting job success. Interviews, in particular, are influenced by people's prejudices, likes and dislikes.

Psychometric tests are a more objective, fair and measurable tool in the recruitment and development of staff. By utilising psychometrics to measure a candidate’s aptitude or workplace personality objectively, we can reduce the influence of organisational politics, subconscious bias or ‘gut feeling’.

Psychometric tests can also be used during the course of employment to help team leaders and employers manage performance, identify high potential employees (HiPos), and help people achieve their potential. A personality assessment can provide valuable insights into how a person approaches their work, what motivates them, how they can develop and progress within the organisation, and other indicators of success.

At Thomas International, we have been helping organisations like yours predict job performance, identify the best employees, and optimise team performance for almost 40 years. More than 32,000 companies across 60 countries have now used our scientifically proven processes and psychometric tools and solutions.

What is a psychometric test?

Psychometric tests provide an in-depth insight into what goes on under the candidate’s exterior. They compare one individual’s performance with others, or can reveal a particular candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Different types of psychometric assessments can be used to evaluate a person’s workplace personality, skills, knowledge, cognitive ability in specific areas or general intelligence.

Psychometric tests have been around for many years, traditionally taking the form of pen and paper multiple-choice questionnaires. Now, they are increasingly conducted online, and can be quickly and easily integrated into your recruitment process, providing results and data for immediate analysis.

Why are psychometric tests used in recruitment?

There are many reasons employers are increasingly using this more data-driven approach to recruiting. Here are five of the key benefits Thomas psychometric tests provide to employers and recruiters:

1. Make informed recruitment decisions

Where interviews may only provide a snapshot of the ‘best version’ of the candidate, psychometric tests can provide a much more comprehensive character profile. These tests offer a deeper, more reliable understanding of a potential employee’s overall suitability, working style, values and drivers.

They also provide an assessment tool to help the candidate improve and better align to their role, both positionally and organisationally. Overall, this can lead to increased quality of work, employee retention and higher business performance.

2. Predict future job performance

These kinds of assessments can offer powerful insight into aptitude, attitude and future development potential of an employee. They can also help identify high performers and leadership potential earlier on, which can lead to more informed succession planning.

3. Reduce risk

As the assessment is data-driven and objective, the tests allow for a more fair and direct comparison between candidates' objectives. That reduces the risk of biases, perceived favouritism or discrimination playing a factor in the selection process. They also provide a more realistic, up-to-date evaluation of abilities which may only be indicated by formal education and qualifications

4. Reduce recruitment costs

Psychometric testing can be a more cost-effective and efficient recruitment solution, particularly in the case of screening large numbers of candidates. There can be significant time and costs savings within the recruitment process as a result of using this tool.

5. Increase employee retention

The benefits of these tests can extend beyond the recruitment process. For one, they can help increase employee retention and reduce turnover, by ensuring best fit between employee and employer. Team dynamics, skills & knowledge, productivity, staff morale, company image and overall business performance can also be improved as a result of candidates being assessed.

Types of psychometric tests

The various types of psychometric assessments available can be divided broadly into two areas: aptitude and personality. Aptitude tests are designed to assess what a candidate knows or is mentally capable of, that is, their intelligence or cognitive abilities.

They are usually performed under exam conditions. Personality tests evaluate how a person approaches their work. They can cover behavioural attributes, personal traits, and soft skills such as communication style or emotional intelligence (EI).

Workplace personality assessments are used by employers to help find an individual whose character and traits are best suited to a specific position. Aptitude assessments, also known as perceptual speed or cognitive ability assessments, test a candidate’s ability to perform specific tasks and react to a range of different situations.

Some of the most widely-used psychometric test subjects include:

Numerical reasoning

This measures a person’s ability to work comfortably with numbers by assessing how quickly and accurately they can work with quantitative concepts such as statistics, percentages, graphs, trends and figures, usually within a set time limit, under exam conditions.

Spatial visualisation

This kind of test examines a person’s ability to create and manipulate mental images of objects. It correlates with tests of mechanical reasoning, and assesses an individual’s ability to use mental visualisation skills to compare shapes. Spatial Visualisation can be assessed as part of the Thomas GIA, and relates to an ability to work in environments where visualisation skills are required to understand and execute tasks.

Verbal reasoning

Measures a candidate’s understanding of language by evaluating their comprehension of given written information, their ability to think constructively, evaluate arguments and draw accurate conclusions. Verbal reasoning tests may also include assessment of an individual’s spelling and grammar abilities. An area of Verbal Reasoning known as Word Meaning is assessed as part of the Thomas GIA, to establish an individual’s word knowledge and vocabulary.

Logical reasoning

Also known as Inductive Reasoning (which forms part of the Thomas GIA), this test measures a person’s ability to make inferences and identify trends and patterns in data. It assesses the ability of an individual to hold information in their short-term memory, work flexibly and solve problems.

Diagrammatic reasoning

Also referred to as Abstract Reasoning (which also crosses over with Logical Reasoning), this psychometric measures the ability to reason from information provided within flowcharts and diagrams, spot trends or follow information, and to draw correct conclusions. This type of aptitude test is popular with technical and engineering recruiters as it helps to evaluate learning speed and logic problem-solving capabilities.

Error checking

Also known as Data Checking, this type of psychometric test is used to measure a candidate’s accuracy and attention to detail, by assessing how quickly they can detect errors or fault finds. As part of the Thomas GIA, a Perceptual Speed test measures the perception of inaccuracies in written material, numbers and diagrams, the ability to ignore irrelevant information, the ability to recognise similarities and differences, and error checking.

Situational judgement

This assessment measures a person’s ability to solve problems in work-related situations, by setting out hypothetical scenarios together with a set of possible courses of action from which to choose. It provides an excellent insight into how effective an individual may be in a given role or situation.


This type of psychometric assessment can help you learn about a person’s communication style, ability to interact with others, and any triggers of stress that can determine how they will behave as part of a team. Using four main profile factors: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance (DISC theory), Thomas' Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) can provide information on an individual's fears, motivators, values and behavioural style.

Workplace personality

This type of test measures personal traits and attributes to help evaluate what new hires would contribute to your employee culture and, importantly, who may not be a good fit. This can be especially important when hiring for management-level positions. By exploring a person’s personality traits The Thomas High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) provides an insight into how suited they may be for a given job role or position and can help identify leadership potential.

Emotional intelligence

Evaluates how people are likely to perform in complex business environments – for instance when facing potentially difficult situations, tasked with high-impact decision-making or when handling different personalities. Thomas’ Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TIEQue) can help employers understand a person’s strengths and limitations, by assessing 15 emotional traits concerning wellbeing, self-control, emotionality and sociability.

How to prepare for a Thomas psychometric test

Whether you’re taking a Thomas assessment as part of a job application or for development, we can help you prepare with our guide to taking a Thomas psychometric test. First of all, make sure you read your invitation to the assessment.

Is the test to be completed online or offline? If it is online, take note of the deadline by which you must complete it. If your psychometric test is to be completed at a test centre, make sure you know when and where you need to be. Treat it like you would an interview; give yourself plenty of time to prepare and get there, so that you don’t arrive flustered.

Practising before a test is always a good idea. And, while work personality assessments may not benefit from practice, aptitude tests for psychometrics like numerical and verbal reasoning certainly will. Not only will it help you get used to the format and types of questions you can expect, but it will also help to reduce any nerves and make you more likely to perform at your usual level. You can find plenty of free psychometric tests, resources and practice questions for different types of assessments online.

The key thing to remember is that psychometric tests are less about a pass or fail, and more about establishing whether or not your particular set of skills, aptitude and personality is the best match for a role. After all, a good fit will benefit you as much as the employer.

Personal Profile Analysis

Behavioural Assessment.

The Thomas Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) is based on DISC theory and provides an accurate insight into how a person behaves in certain situations at work. This psychometric test can be used to help you recruit the right person, motivate and engage staff, and improve communication.

High Potential Trait Indicator

Workplace personality assessment.

Thomas’ High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) is designed to give an insight into a person’s potential to become a successful leader at work by assessing 6 key traits: conscientiousness, adjustment, curiosity, risk approach, ambiguity acceptance and competitiveness. This can help to inform your succession planning, boost teamwork between leaders, and retain your future stars by developing them.

General Intelligence Assessment

Individual aptitude.

The Thomas General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) is a psychometric tool for measuring cognitive ability, designed to enable you as the employer to gain a detailed understanding of the capability of your people. It measures a mix of verbal and non-verbal skills, and can help you to identify potential leaders and keep your people sufficiently challenged by answering questions like: “Can my people think on their feet?” “Are they good problem solvers?” or “How long will it take for this person to get to grips with a new role or regime?”. 

Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire

Emotional traits.

Strong emotional intelligence is linked to high performance. Thomas’ Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) helps employers understand a person’s strengths and limitations by assessing 15 emotional traits. TEIQue takes the form of a self-report questionnaire where individuals indicate their level of agreement with a question such as, “I am good at recognising how other people feel.”

This science-backed psychometric test has many different uses in the workplace including coaching & development, fostering engagement and loyalty, leadership training, as well as during the recruitment and selection process.

360-Degree Feedback

360-degree appraisal.

The Thomas 360 Degree Feedback Assessment is a performance management tool designed to provide individuals with a fully-rounded appraisal of their performance from relevant stakeholders (and, perhaps, the opportunity to give honest and constructive feedback on the performance of others), enabling a complete 360-degree view of team or organisation performance.

This holistic type of appraisal structure not only helps to identify performance gaps and areas for improvement, but also develops your people’s self-awareness and fosters an environment for open and honest communication.


Engagement survey.

Thomas Engage is an employee engagement tool used to establish levels of employee engagement in your organisation and reveal key insights into how employees are feeling about a wide range of aspects of working life.

By measuring seven areas of engagement: Voice, Togetherness, Challenge, Freedom, Clarity, Recognition and Growth, Thomas Engage enables you to identify and build on the strengths and talents of your workforce, enhance employee wellbeing and performance, and reduce staff turnover.


Psychometric testing can be an excellent tool in helping your organisation to recruit, retain and develop the right talent.

Our psychometric tests provide the insights you need to to help you recruit the right candidates and in turn help these individuals improve, thrive and succeed within your business.

Find out more about how our psychometric and aptitude assessments could help you maximise business performance and employee retention.

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