In order to start using psychological tests on your own, you must first be trained as a test user.

The use of tests should always be purposeful. Thus, the need – who is to be tested and for what purpose – should be the starting point. Then, the characteristics to be assessed could be specified, and the instrument chosen accordingly.

The next step is the job analysis – what is expected of the new employee, what are his/her main tasks, what competences are needed on the job. A profile of the desired candidate is drawn up.

The appropriate assessment tools should then be selected to assess the competences, skills or psychological assumptions required. The choice should be based on the validity of the tests and their suitability for assessing a given target group (e.g. managers, production workers or accountants).

Preferably, the tests should be administered in the test taker’s mother tongue and the results compared with the national norm group. If this is not possible (for example, for non-national candidates), tests should be given in the language of the future job (usually English for international jobs). When interpreting the results, attention should be paid to the possible impact of language skills – for example, in the case of a low score in an aptitude test, it may be difficult to distinguish between the role played by language skills and the role played by a real lower ability. In case of doubt, an additional method could be used to assess the desired skill or ability.Psychological tests are very useful in HR work if the basic principles are kept in mind:

Use only high quality and reliable tests, for which the person administering the test has the necessary knowledge and skills.

Only those assessment instruments that are valid and have the necessary skills and instruments can be used. The choice of assessment instrument should be based on the purpose of the assessment – which target group, which characteristics and for what purpose are you going to assess?

Follow standardised procedures when conducting the test.

Provide feedback on test results to the test administrator.

Do not make a decision on the test taker on the basis of a single test, but use a variety of information sources and measurement tools.

Thoughtful and professional testing will help to make significantly better decisions and to recruit people who have the necessary skills, commitment and potential for development.

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