Questions and answers
Wondering what personality tests, profiling, psychometrics and IQ tests are and what the different terms mean? And are you curious about how to fill out and get feedback on your PeopleTools profile?
On this page you will find answers to questions about personality tests, cognitive tests, IQ tests and much more.
Testing: What, when and why?
Psychological testing is about learning about different aspects of people and covers the different types of tests and measurements used in the psychological field. We operate primarily with two main categories: where one category focuses on knowledge and abilities (cognitive and IQ tests), the other focuses on personality in terms of traits, preferences and states (personality tests).
A personality test is a measurement of selected personality traits and preferences, and they will tell you something about you as a person. Despite its name, the personality test is not a test you can fail or pass – there are no right or wrong answers!
Cognition is about internal processes and thought products such as mental activity, problem solving, imagination, planning, categorization, memory and attention. Cognitive tests will often target the way you think about and solve problems, as well as your ability to process information. Cognitive tests include the more traditional intelligence tests. Where an IQ test examines how the person thinks, perceives things, understands complex questions and reads problems, a cognitive test also measures the speed at which this information is taken in and processed. Tests that measure intellectual skills typically have high reliability (dependability) and validity (validity) and therefore provide a very accurate estimate of a person’s abilities
Aptitude tests are aimed at uncovering the focus person’s learned, specific and concrete skills and are often used in recruitment. Aptitude tests can identify very specific skills such as math or language skills. Many companies use case assignments that are based on the job the focus person is applying for.
Testing and profiling are methods for examining and describing parts and sections of people’s skills, abilities and personality. The purpose of testing and profiling can be development, identifying potential, recruitment, team composition, etc. The vast majority of businesses use testing to help them make some kind of decision. This is because, in the long run, tests are usually more economical to use (in terms of money and time) than more subjective assessment methods. However, it’s important to remember that a profile and its results should never stand alone, but is a supplement.
Companies most commonly use personality tests, cognitive tests and aptitude tests – depending on the purpose of testing.
Tests (both personal profiles, cognitive tests and aptitude tests) are used in a variety of contexts for different purposes, including recruitment, team development, leadership development, personal development and coaching.
No test is 100% accurate, and the same is true with psychological tests. If the same person was tested two days in a row with the exact same test, it would be surprising if they got the exact same score – however, the score wouldn’t change much. These can be small random factors that affect the person from day to day.
If the person filled out the profile again after a few years, sometimes a few shifts can be seen. Personality traits are relatively stable over time, but some traits can be susceptible to the prevailing conditions of a job and major life events.
But a profile and its test result is never a definitive truth or that the reviewer knows the person better than they do. The profile and its results can be used to create hypotheses about the person, their characteristics, traits and competencies, which can be “confirmed or denied” in the feedback dialog with the person. That’s why a profile shouldn’t stand alone.
What do psychometrics and other technical terms mean?
Psychometrics is the statistical part of psychology. The word means “measurement of the psyche” and refers to the measurement of mental characteristics and states of individuals, such as intelligence, personality traits, memory, skills and abilities. The psychometric concepts of test construction (construct), accuracy (reliability) and validity (validity) underpin our profiling and testing tools.
Psychometric testing is the same as a psychological measurement. These are different tools for measuring selected parts of a person’s psyche, such as personality, abilities and skills. The measurements are based on different measurement methods depending on the purpose of the test. IQ testing is an example of a widely known psychometric test.
Among other things, tests can be used for recruitment of employees and managers at all levels, personal and professional development, counseling, team building, career guidance, coaching, uncovering competencies and skills, identifying development potential, and in all conceivable constructs and situations both individually and in teams, personally and in the workplace.
Validity means “validity ” and refers to whether the test actually measures what it intends to measure.
Reliability means “trustworthiness” or “consistency” and refers to the accuracy of the measurement and whether the test result is repeatable with repeated measurements over time.
Norm group: PeopleTools’ profile tools are normative tests where the results are displayed against a norm group. The norm group is based on over 4000 responses, with a preponderance of people in work. By comparing the profile result to the norm group, the focus person is compared to individuals from the same cultural reality as him/herself.
Personal testing, ethics and personal data
High quality, precision and ethics are keywords for PeopleTools. That’s why we have signed up to the Ethical Guidelines for the Use of Tests in Personal Assessment and what constitutes proper ethical behavior when using tests. You can find these on Personvurdering.dk.
As the certified consultants get very close to the focus person in processes where PeopleTools’ tools are used, PeopleTools also has a set of basic ethical guidelines that are based on the integrity, dignity and vulnerability of the focus person. You can read more about PeopleTools’ ethical guidelines, which fully meet the requirements set by the national reference group, here.
When filling out a profile with PeopleTools, you’ll need to start by entering a range of statistical data, including age, gender, sector, job level, industry and education. As no sensitive personal data (e.g. name, social security number or other direct personal identification) is required at any time, your profile and results can only be retrieved using your profile number, which only you have.
Only you and the certified PeopleTools requester have access to your profile. However, in a recruitment context, you give permission for the certified PeopleTools user to give a presentation of your profile to the recruitment committee or manager. In addition, your profile, results or answers may not be disclosed to others without your explicit consent.
One of PeopleTools’ requirements for the certified and companies using PeopleTools’ profile tools is that they must have clear rules on how, how long and by whom profile material is stored. PeopleTools’ recommendation is that material is destroyed 3 months after use.
Your profile is stored anonymously (and encrypted) in PeopleTools’ electronic database. Since we do not store name, email or other sensitive personal data, your profile and results cannot be attributed to you. You can read more about how and how long your profile is stored here.
How does it work?
When you fill out a PeopleTools profile, you will receive a link to the questionnaire. The first page of the questionnaire is a guide with instructions for completion. It takes about 20-35 minutes to complete the form, which you should do in peace and quiet. When answering the questions, you should answer spontaneously and in relation to work contexts.
You can always say no to being tested. However, you should check with the certified person or HR what the “consequences” of this might be.
For a profile? No, you should answer the questions as spontaneously and immediately as possible.
For a skills test? Cognitive and IQ tests often start with a test page that goes through the question types. In addition, there are many online tests that you can try out and get an idea of what these types of tests are and what they may contain. But be aware that you can’t practice for a better score.
If, instead of answering spontaneously and truthfully, you choose the answer category you think is most socially acceptable or will be perceived as the “right” answer in the given situation, this will of course color the profile and the result. However, based on the rest of the test and the structure of the questions, the certified person will most likely be able to see in the profile result if an attempt has been made to mislead and address this in the dialog. In addition, it will often get caught up in the dialog afterwards, as it’s hard to give credible examples of something you’re not.
However, we rarely see people deliberately trying to cheat. The vast majority are genuinely interested in seeing and hearing about their profile.
Once you have completed a PeopleTools profile, you are entitled to an introduction and personalized feedback on the profile. In the feedback, you will see the profile result and you and the reviewer will explore this together and what it says about you and your behavior. Feel free to speak up, ask questions and otherwise be curious about your profile. You can read more about the feedback here.
No, you can’t! Because the PeopleTools People Profile is not a test, it’s a profile! The PeopleTools profile builds a picture of your work preferences, strengths and weaknesses. All personality traits have strengths and weaknesses, so no one trait will be better than another. Similarly, it’s important to remember that you know yourself best – the certified person can neither read your mind nor reveal your secrets. The certified person uses your profile to make assumptions and hypotheses about your behavior and preferences in certain situations.
If you don’t recognize your profile, you should express this in your feedback and have a chat with the certified person. In a recruitment context, it will be important to clarify with the certified person what is being passed on in terms of your perception and the static result.
Yes, we do. If you are unhappy with the testing process or have any questions, you can always contact the company/consultant where you had the profile created or contact PeopleTools.