Psychometric Testing - The Tabloid Guide
Essentially, the purpose of the tests is to find out what sort of person you are. This is then compared to the results for the type of person who has the right attributes to be a pilot.
I can't give you the details as it's far too early in the morning and the coffee isn't working yet, but there are a whole host of different measurements that can be taken. The usual ones include, for example, Introversion versus Extroversion. The typical questions are of the type, "At a party, are you always the first person on the dance floor?".
The questioning is of the type, "What would you do in this situation?" and you get to respond "Yes" or "No". There is only rarely a "Depends". The science behind these questions (and companies earn a FORTUNE providing these tests) is that each answer provides information on more than one of your attributes. Therefore, be warned that, if you were thinking of answering how you think the ideal pilot would answer, the tests are designed to spot this.
Firstly, you have so-called "Liar tests", which are questions that weed out the downright dishonest and those people who have a 'rose-tinted' view of the world. An example that I've seen is, "I am never late for an appointment." Answering "Yes" indicates that you may be in this category, since it is assumed that everyone has been late for an appointment at least once in their life, irrespective of who was to blame for that tardiness. That said, you can get one of these questions "wrong" without affecting the results significantly. Get them all "wrong" and there may be a question mark against your name.
Secondly, since all of the questions are tests for more than one parameter, erratic answers (as would be found with someone answering for their "ideal" personality rather than themselves) will show up because the results do not fit the patterns for normal humans.
The tests themselves are based on years of research and experience. The size of the battery of tests that you will undergo depends on the company. They range from a 2 page test to 1-2 days.
1. Having studied these tests in some depth, I was then subjected to them when I applied for a job with a large British Defence Systems Integrator (can you guess who the company was?). Even before the interview, I had to sit these tests. Lo and behold, the test I sat was 95% common with one specific one I had studied. "Hmm. Who shall I be today?" I got the job. Just wish I'd made the company sit a psychometric test.
2. I applied for a job with a helicopter company in the UK. It turns out that the MD believed deeply in "Scriptology" (is that the right name? It's been quite a while). This is determining your personality from your handwriting. So, part of the interview process was to write a 1 page essay on some subject. This was then sent off to a company to analyse your personality. I didn't get the job.
I'll try to scribble more when the coffee is working.
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