What is a Psychometric Questionnaire?

Photo Psychometric Test

Definition of Psychometric

‘Psycho’ (Greek) definition: “mind”
‘Metric’ definition: “measurement”
Psychometric definition: “mind-measurement”


Put simply, a psychometric questionnaire, which is accredited by The British Psychological Society, is a scientific method of measuring one’s mental capabilities and behavioural traits. Most people reading this will have completed some form of personality questionnaire online claiming to be a ‘psychometric questionnaire’. Yet these have absolutely no scientific validity and, consequently, offers no credible, tangible results. To be accredited by The British Psychological Society, a psychometric questionnaire goes through a rigorous scientific process culminating in it being critically reviewed by Psychologists.


A form of a psychometric questionnaire was first found to be used in 2200BC in China where the Emperor would use measurements to recruit prospective civil servants. These measurements endured over a long period and in 1115 BC, the Chinese found that a small sample of an individual’s performance could accurately predict their broader performance. Fast forward to the 19th century, Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton proved that objective measurement could provide meaningful results and consequently has been named “the father of psychometrics”.

Psychometrics were heavily used by the US and UK armies after the two World Wars to establish what to do with the enlisted men.

Psychometric questionnaires are now so sophisticated and advanced that nearly all graduate and apprentice employers favour them over the traditional interview.


“You will now be asked to complete a psychometric test”. Enough to strike fear into the most self-assured individual. Yet it shouldn’t have to be this way. It is important to note that I use a questionnaire, not a test. There are no right or wrong answers – it is about your personality traits, your preferences and how these relate to your career aspirations.

The specific psychometric questionnaire used in my 4 Step Career Discovery Programme is the Occupational Personality Questionnaire, or the OPQ32 for short. The OPQ32 is a scientifically valid measurement of personality, internationally recognised and accredited by the British Psychological Society. The British Psychological Society review all psychometric questionnaires and summarised that “without doubt the OPQ32 is at the top of the first rank of personality questionnaires”. It is an extension of the well-known ‘Big 5’ personality model and measures 32 traits of your personality in three distinct areas – Relationships with People, Feelings & Emotions and Thinking Style. These three distinct areas are then broken down into a further 8 subsections including Influence, Analysis and Creativity and Change to help build a holistic picture of your personality, your preferences and how these relate to the world of work.

Many individuals say they want to work with people but there are many ways you can work with people. The OPQ32 will help you to understand whether you want to care for people, influence people, advise them or sell to people…

Everyone can make assumptions about their skills, abilities and preferences yet psychometrics tend to throw up some options that were previously not on the radar, but nevertheless career options that the individual will be very well suited to.

My mission is to provide the most in-depth careers guidance. If you want to book onto the 4 Step Career Discovery Programme or find out more, please send me an email at [email protected] or call 07478 298 847.


Author Freddie

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