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Careersvalentines-day iconWhether you are planning an entry into the workforce, a mid-career transition, or exploring entrepreneurial or retirement options, the first step is to determine who you are.  This involves understanding what is important to you – your motivations, values, passions, preferences and interests, and at the same time, realistically assessing what you can do – your strengths, skills, knowledge and experience.

Psychometric tests can help predict a person’s future behaviour and performance and are therefore an instrumental tool in career planning. They provide objective data for otherwise subjective measurements; they are standardised, reliable and valid measures of areas like personality, ability, aptitude and interest. They match occupational and educational choices to people’s unique communication, learning and work styles and are also a good way of assessing and discovering hidden talents.

Two of the most common uses of psychometric tests are:

Individual development and training. These help determine how individuals can improve their skills and performance.

Career development and progression. These assist in uncovering values and interests that are fundamental to overall career satisfaction.

There are three different types of psychometric tests which measure different aspects of a person, which are available online, usually free of charge:

Interest tests measure what motivates people and the strength of their interests, passions, values and opinions, and match individuals to roles that will not clash with their work attitudes and will meet their work style.

Personality tests measure how people differ in their style or manner of doing things and the way they behave in their environment in relation to other people. They also help people determine the types of roles and environments they are best suited to.

Aptitude tests measure how people differ in their ability to execute different tasks, assess strengths and weaknesses and help determine possible areas for development.

Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-Learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 9, 2014.