In general, psychometric assessments can be broken into 6 broad categories:
The most commonly used in selection settings are Personality, Ability, Aptitude and Motivation / Values scales, as these are deemed the most useful when trying to predict someone's future level of performance in a particular role or to gauge their likely level of "fit" with the company.
Integrity tests are a relatively recent development that may be used when the situation is deemed to warrant it. Possible examples include: positions with police or intelligence agencies or work requiring a high degree of responsibility. Interest inventories are frequently utilised in Vocational Counselling, Selection and for Employee Development purposes.
Due to the high cost of conducting comprehensive psychometric tests, the time involved in taking them and the expertise needed to conduct, score and interpret these tests, psychometric testing is rarely conducted until well into the selection process although the timing of psychometric testing varies from organisation to organisation.
Psychometric assessment may be "paper and pencil", via computer at the company offices, or follow the increasing trend and be offered "online" through the web.
The main methods are:
For some roles the profile of the "perfect applicant" may appear to be transparent. Test makers are aware that self-report inventories are particularly prone to applicants making false or misleading responses. You should note that many psychometric tests contain "faking scales" or "inconsistency scales" to detect such misrepresentations. Applicants obtaining elevated/depressed scores on these scales may not be considered further for the role, therefore it is advisable that you try to answer honestly to maximise your chances of a good fit between you and the position on offer.