How are Psychometric tests helping our youth make the right career choices

Jan 2, 2021

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the sorting hat from Harry Potter? It would make our lives so much easier. 

Think about it. It would know what we love. It would know our deepest passions, interests, talents, traits, abilities… stuff even we don’t know about ourselves properly.

Let’s say you don’t know what career you should choose. You are in your 12th, and you have no idea what stream you should select.

This problem will come again after you graduate. You will have to find what job role you should apply for. If you have done B.Com, you can go for finance, accounting, taxation, or costing job.

Now imagine you sit on a chair and put on your sorting hat. It analyses you and figures you out. Then it tells you exactly in what profession you should be in.

Boom! Your career dilemma is sorted. You are set to have a memorable and successful professional life.

What a dream.

Sadly, we don’t have sorting hats. But we do have something that almost does what the sorting hat does.

We have Psychometric tests.

Frankly, you can think of sorting hats as the Psychometric tests of the wizarding world. 

So what are these tests and how do they work?

We will answer these questions and more in this blog.

Let’s get started.

What is a Psychometric test?

Psychometric tests are standardised and scientific tests used to identify and measure an individual’s inherent capabilities, behaviour styles and personality traits. 

This information is then used to assess whether the individual would fit into a job role and organisation or not.

That’s why organisations commonly use psychometric tests during their hiring process

Hiring managers can’t judge a candidate’s hidden aspects, such as personality, cognitive abilities and aptitude, during a face-to-face interview.

Suppose you are a hiring manager, and you asked a candidate what his weaknesses were. Do you think he would tell you the truth? 

If the candidate wants the job desperately, he would straight out lie to you.

This is where a psychometric test comes handy.

It helps hiring managers to identify and measure a candidate’s hidden characteristics and determine whether they are sufficient to perform the job or not.

This helps organisations reduce the cost of hiring the wrong people.

But there’s an additional use of psychometric tests.

It also tells you what you are already good at, your strengths, and how to get even better at them.

You can then use this information to choose a career path or profession where your strengths would give you an advantage over others.

Are Psychometric tests useful?

Before I answer this question, let me show you some pieces of statistical information.


So, does psychometric testing work? Yes, it does.

But there’s a caveat to it. How well it works depends on the individual who’s taking the test.

Let’s say you are applying for a job. You really want to get selected for the job.

You go to the psychometric evaluation round. Your test results would determine whether you will move to the next round or not.

So you would try to answer questions with that objective in mind – getting to the next round.

When you do this, you are trying to manipulate the results. You are not giving honest answers.

Naturally, your test result will not give an accurate picture of your capabilities and personality.

In the context of your job, you may get the job. Based on the psychometric test result and the interviews, the hiring manager may feel that you are the right candidate.

But it’s possible that you may not perform the job role properly.

Why? Because you may not have the abilities and traits that are required for the job. Yes, the psychometric test results may have shown that you do.

But remember, the result wasn’t accurate.

Let me present another scenario.

Many of us have a specific image of ourselves in our minds. We want to believe that we are skilled, smart and capable individuals.

So when we take psychometric tests, we try to use it to validate the image we have of ourselves.

If we want to believe that we are good at leadership, we would want to see the same in the test results.

We may be scared that the psychometric test may not show that we are good at leadership. We don’t want to see that. And if we do, we would reject the test results saying that it doesn’t work.

On the other hand, we may answer test questions hoping that the results will prove what we think of ourselves.

This is another case of manipulating the test results.

Whether we manipulate it or don’t believe it because it didn’t validate what we think of ourselves, the test will not be useful.

For the test to be useful, you must ensure that

  • You give honest answers to the test questions, and;

  • You don’t dismiss the test results just because they don’t confirm what you believe.

So the answer to the question – are psychometric tests useful – is…

Yes, it does, but only when you are NOT trying to manipulate it to tell you what you want to hear.

If you want psychometric tests to help you give you a direction for your career or profession, you’ll have to be comfortable hearing what you don’t want to hear.

That’s when success and growth start to happen.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Psychometric tests

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages for you when you use psychometric tests. Not for companies that use it for hiring… but for you.


Gives you a direction

Do you remember when we were kids, random uncles and aunties used to ask us what we wanted to do when we grow up?

And with every passing year, our answer changed.

Even now, many of us don’t know what we want to do.

My friend’s son is 22 years old, and sometimes he wants to be a musician, sometimes he wants to be an animator and sometimes he wants to be a social worker.

He’s training to work as airline staff, and already he has lost interest in it. Now, he wants to have his own business.

This is a clear lack of direction.

When you are worried about failing in a particular profession, you feel like jumping into something else you may be good at.

Then you get into that other career line, and as you go with the flow, you realise… oh oh! I might not succeed in this either.

We worry about failing even before we take the first step in any one direction.

So what’s the cure for it?

The main reason for this fear of failure is that we are not confident whether we will succeed or not.

And the reason we are not confident is that we don’t know our capabilities well. In other words, we are not self-aware.

Think about it. If my friend’s son knew that he has the qualities to be an excellent and successful musician, he wouldn’t doubt the profession, himself and the future so much.

Problem is he doesn’t know whether he has those qualities or not. In fact, he doesn’t know what qualities he has.

Once you know what qualities you have and your capabilities and personality traits, choosing a career becomes a piece of cake.

Because now you can choose a career that requires your exceptional qualities.

Saves time, effort and, in many cases, money

This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard for finding your passion and ideal profession.

Go taste different things. Try out a variety of things. I love this advice.

But while this is great and very practical, there is a small problem here.

You try out a career path for 5 years and then realise you don’t like it or it’s not meant for you.

Then you switch and go do something else for the next 5 years, and then again you realise it’s not for you.

And on and on till you finally find what really excites you.

But by the time you get to that place, you are probably 35 years old or older.

You have spent a lot of time, energy and possibly money on finally finding out what your passion is.

For many of us, that may not be practical. Many of us need to work and pay off our parent’s debts or provide for them financially.

We can’t be switching careers every 5-10 years. We will always start from scratch and not get to a high ranking position till we are much older.

There’s also a risk of us getting demotivated and depressed that we are 35 years old. We are nowhere as successful as our friends, and we are having to start over again.

I would still say that Gray Vee’s advice is fantastic. Tasting different things really does give you learning opportunities and a chance for self-discovery.

But what if there was a faster way to do this?

The simple solution is to be smart about choosing a starting point.

Out of the thousands of things that you could do today, where do you start? What do you taste first?

Psychometric tests allow you to choose this starting point based on what you are already good at.

Sure you may not like doing it a few years down the road.

But the chances of you enjoying doing something that plays on your strengths is way more than choosing a career randomly and seeing where it goes.

That way, you may find your passion in life in one or two attempts instead of five. And that means savings in time, energy and money.

Builds self-awareness

Do you know who you are? Do you really really know who you are and what you are capable of?

If the answer is an honest no, then great. Most of us don’t either.

But it’s essential to know the answer to this question.

Because the answer would determine your entire life, not just your career.

Do you have patience?

Are you great at writing or speaking? Are you a good listener?

Are you great with numbers or art?

Are you excellent at executing or strategising?

Are you more practical or philosophical?

Psychometric tests help you answer such questions.

After all, every decision you make needs to be well informed.

And knowing yourself so well that you know exactly what you should be doing and what you should stay away from, would lead to unlimited possibilities and happiness.

Helps avoid regrets

The greatest tragedy in life is living with regrets. It’s so tragic to see people in their late 60’s and early 70’s regret their entire life because they made poor decisions.

It’s scary to even put yourself in their position.

One of the main reasons for their regrets is their career selection.

On average, we work from 22 to 65 years of age. That’s 43 years of our lives. The current human lifespan is around 80 years.

Even if you live for 90 years, you are actually working for almost half of your entire life. Would you really want to spend half of your life doing something you would remember as a regret?

Do you really want to waste so much of your life like this?

I would rather have a career I love. I would instead want to wake up every morning excited for the day.

And that comes from being in the right profession.

After all, 50% of your life is your professional life.

Empowers you to find your strengths and weaknesses

What is Iron-Man great at? Technology. That’s his strength.

What’s Captain America great at? Leadership.

The reason both these characters are amazing is that they focus on their strengths.

Captain America never tried to build unique technology. That’s not where he shines. He can use technology but not really come up with new ones.

Identifying what our strengths allow us to focus on things where we can use our strengths.


Similarly, identifying our weaknesses helps us stay away from things that are best left to someone else.

Helps you identify where you need to improve

Continuous improvement is the key to success. We all know that.

But what should we improve?

It’s easier to improve on your strengths than your weaknesses.

Here’s why – you are already good at it. You just have to get better at it.

With weakness, you have to deal with many other factors first (like your mental framework, insecurities, etc.) before you can actually work on the trait or skill.

When you take a psychometric test, the result points out what you are great at, what you are good at and what you are bad at.

Once you know these, you can then prioritise improving on

everything you are great and good at.

That doesn’t mean you don’t work on your weaknesses. It simply means that you set your priorities.

Spend 80% of your time improving your strengths and 20% of your time improving your weaknesses.

That’s how you maximise your time and energy utilisation.

Once you start doing this, you will fast track your road to success.


Interpretation Errors

So you have taken the psychometric test and got the result. You stare at it. You don’t understand a thing.


It rates your verbal skills at 6.5 out of 10. Ok. But what does that mean? Are your verbal skills excellent, or should you improve them?


See, it’s not sufficient to simply get the test results. How you interpret it is vital. What are the numbers really telling you?

Without the right interpretation, your results and the test as a whole don’t matter.

And it is the job of the person administering the test, to interpret the results. Unfortunately, this interpreting authority is often not competent and adequately qualified.

The result may really be telling you that your verbal skills are strong. Still, the interpreting authority may tell you that your spatial abilities are phenomenal.

In reality, your spatial abilities may be horrible. But that’s not what you hear. You then proceed to take up career paths that require high levels of spatial awareness.

The end result would be that you may not do very well in that career path.

You may as well have chosen that career path randomly without ever taking any psychometric test.

The whole purpose of this test is to help you find the right direction for your career. A wrong interpretation of the results would more likely result in the wrong direction.

Today we have fantastic career counsellors who have gone through years of education and training to become a career counsellor.

And they are the best people to help you find a successful career and lead a happy life.

That’s because they really understand the internal workings of the psychometric tests and follow the best practices prescribed by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

These organisations build practices and frameworks and conduct research, to ensure that psychometric tests really help people find career paths that’s would take them to success and happiness.

But we also have career counsellors who undergo a quick vocational training or a certification course on career counselling and become career counsellors.

Private companies deliver these vocational training programmes and certification courses. Unfortunately, they don’t follow the best practices prescribed by APA and BPS.

Now, I’m no one to judge counsellors who have taken a quick training or course to become counsellors. They may be good at what they do.

But in my opinion, here’s the problem with them.

I’m a career counsellor. And I can guarantee one thing.

In this field of study, we need to go through intensive training and education to understand how psychometric tests really work and their impact on people.

That means we need to understand the theory behind the tests, their validity and reliability, recent developments and various statistics associated with the tests.

Because the tests are scientific. And every day scientists are researching on how to make these tests better and more reliable.

So to understand that you need to be up to date with everything behind the tests.

That means years of training and education and continuous commitment to update your knowledge.

And that’s the kind of career counsellor that can genuinely help you remove any sort of confusion or doubt in your mind about your career.

So when you go for psychometric tests, remember to ensure that the career counsellor has adequate knowledge, training and follows the best practices prescribed by APA and BPS.

Not being honest with your true self

Imagine your best friend walks up to you and says he’ll enrol for IAS exams. We know how notoriously hard IAS exams are.

Your best friend had been trying to clear CA inter for 5 years, and he failed every single time. And cracking CA exams is torture.

So you know that he doesn’t have the aptitude to clear CA exams. How would he clear IAS exams?

But he’s so delusional that he will get into IAS no matter what because he feels it would fetch him respect and money.

True. It would. If he clears it. Which, going by his track record in CA, you don’t think he can.

How do you tell him this honestly and make sure he doesn’t think you don’t support him or think he’s isn’t capable?

You desperately want him to do something other than IAS because you know it’s not right for him. But he’s too stubborn to believe you.

You know what? We all are like your best friend.

When we take a psychometric test, we approach it with various notions in our minds.

Remember, I spoke about not trying to manipulating the test results?

See, I know that we all want to believe something about ourselves. It makes us happy. It makes us feel strong and secure.

But all we are doing is being blind towards what’s really important – us.

Psychometric tests know what’s right for you…. just like you knew what’s best for your best friend and desperately wanted him to listen to you to something he would actually be good at.

But the test will be right as long as you give honest answers and not answers which you think you should give because you want it to tell you what you want to hear.

Your best friend came to you with his IAS idea because he wanted validation from you.

If you agreed with him, even though you know it’s the worst thing for him, could you really call yourself his best friend?

So, if you want psychometric tests to help you find a career that brings success, job satisfaction, happiness and zero regrets, then be absolutely honest and frank.

That’s the only way you will help yourself, just like how you want to help your best friend be happy and prosperous.


Psychometric tests are great. It tells you what your strengths and weaknesses are.

It tells you what career paths would be ideal for you based on your strengths, inherent talents, capabilities and personality traits.

Once you have that, you have a choice whether you want to pursue one of the suggested career paths or not.

You always have a choice.

As a career counsellor, all I want for you is to not have regrets when you look back on your life at 70 years of age.

That’s all.

Do you have any questions related to psychometric tests? Leave them in the comments section below, and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

Close Bitnami banner