Psychometric Test Design. People having colour fight.


Rob Williams Assessment Ltd specialises in custom psychometric test design services for SME’s and scale-ups. Plus we’ve helped SHL and Kenexa IBM with larger EU, BA and CItibank psychometric design projects; designed video assessments (HireVue); and been commissioned by leading psychometric consultancies, such as SOVA and CAPP.

Psychometric test design specialists

Contact us Today

Our Bespoke Psychometric Designs

Many of the UK’s and US’s leading test publishers have used Rob Williams Assessment’s to calculate and prove the reliability of their Personality Test designs and Situational Judgement test designs.In addition to situational judgement test design, we also specialise in Assessment designs, Aptitude test designs and Job preview designs.

What is our definition of

Workplace diversity?

Diversity needs a very wide definition to cover all the possible personality traits, attitudes and values which Rob WilliamsAssesment Ltd measure in our bespoke psychometric tests.

Workplace inclusion?

  • Inclusion is ‘making the mix work’ by
    • Valuing people as individuals.
    • Respecting their differences.
    • Applying that individual knowledge and skillset.
    • Having an open and trusting working environment
This is what unlocks diversity’s power.

Workplace equality?

  • Ensuring that no single employee is given favorable treatment because of who they are.
  • Do all members of staff have qual access to what’s needed for effective work performance, career opportunities and rewards.

What are the risks of making the wrong recruitment decision? Costs

  • Time
  • Effort
  • Recruiting costs
  • Business results


  • Reputation
  • Customer service quality of care


  • Positive experience for customers and staff
  • Efficiency
  • Quality

Our Bespoke Psychometric Design Principles

For training consultancies, Rob Williams Assessment Ltd has built coaching and employability profiling tools.With recruitment agencies we’ve designed culture and role fit personality-based assessments to improve the efficiency of matching clients to the best-fitting jobs.

Our psychometric test design solutions

  • Our consultancy work focuses on aptitude test practice and bespoke psychometric test design.
  • We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We, therefore, offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

Psychometric Test Design. Man at desk working at laptop, picture taken from the top

Our SJT designs

As psychometric tests have become more commonplace, the bigger users have commissioned their own bespoke situational judgement tests.Rob Williams Assessment has worked on several such projects for High Street banks and for the European Union. Another recent innovation of test developers has been online adaptive tests. With these tests, if you are doing well, you will find that the questions get progressively harder.The innovative design of shorter and more efficient tests was driven by an increasingly aware of the immediacy of the Internet and our increasing use of emails and social media, in short, sharp bursts.This discourages test takers from spending 30-40 minutes online doing the same questionnaire. It’s better for everyone to keep test takers engaged when being tested – not bored!

Knowledge-based situational judgement test design

Some or all of the scenarios presented in an SJT can test specific job knowledge. For example, a retail marketing SJT may ask questions about the 3Ps (price, position, promotion) of product marketing. Alternatively, both an SJT measuring generic decision-making skills may be used alongside a knowledge-based test.

Our video-based situational judgment test designs

Simulated situational judgement tests are increasingly common as recruitment sifts. Adding 2D or 3D workplace scenario graphics brings the situational judgment test scenarios to life. This can only promote the company brand and make employers using simulated situational judgment tests more desirable employers.

psychometric test design

UK and US psychometric test publishers have produced both video-based and animated SJT scenarios. Animated SJTs are easier – and therefore cheaper – for global companies to develop.

Our consultancy work focuses on aptitude test practice and bespoke psychometric test design. We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We, therefore, offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

Values based recruitment

Example values-based recruitment Question – Describe an example of when you have made a decision which had a positive effect on a customer? Probes: What actions did you take? Who was involved? What was the outcome of your actions?

Positive behavioural indicators

  • Uses their initiative.
  • Takes personal responsibility.
  • Describes the example’s context, their actions and the outcome(s).

Negative behavioural indicators

  • Applies limited effort.
  • Only describes own actions.
  • Omits  the outcome.
  • Doesn’t describe their individual contribution.

We always follow BPS Standards in Psychometric Test Design

To be psychometrically sound a test must be:
  • Objective – the results obtained are not influenced by the administrator’s personal characteristics or irrelevant factors such as the colour of a test taker’s socks.
  • Standardised – the test is administered and scored according to standard procedures and people’s scores are compared to known standards.
  • Reliable – the test measures in a consistent way. The potential error is small and is quantifiable.
  • Valid. Our psychometric test design measures the characteristic(s) that it set(s) out to measure. So, if we design a sift psychometric test to select a job applicant should predict job performance. Whereas, if we design a psychometric test of verbal ability then it will predict verbal reasoning abilities.
  • Discriminating. Any of our bespoke psychometric tests designs should show clear differences between individuals on the behaviour being tested. But should not be discriminatory. In other words our psychometric test design does not unfairly discriminate against a minority group.

Our bespoke psychometric test designs

Example Psychometric Test Projects 

Rob Williams has over twenty years of experience of bespoke psychometric test design. Plus ten years prior to this spent working for several of the UK’s leading test publishers. These include IBM, OPP, SHL and HireVue.British Airways blended assessment project:
  • Firstly our BA Situational judgment test design;
  • Secondly,  our Numerical reasoning test design;
  • Thirdly our Verbal reasoning test design
  • Finally our Personality questionnaire design.


  • Best practice was followed throughout the design process in SJT design.
  • An SJT was produced which successfully incorporated a range of care home-specific scenarios.
  • The most suitable set of scenarios could be hand-picked at the SME panel meeting, as well as gaining buy-in and discussing implementation.
  • Providing some scenarios for telephone interview sifts.
  • Setting a suitable cut-off and validating the tool.
EPSO Test Design
  • Development of project management test.
  • Design of IT skills-based aptitude tests.

Psychometric test design

Our Work Styles assessment designs

We will work with you to design the most suitable work styles tool to suit your needs. Our Bespoke Personality Questionnaire design process aims to:
  • Firstly, include key role dimensions.
  • Secondly, reflect the personality, attitudinal and motivational aspects of the role-specific dimensions.
  • Thirdly, have face valid questions.
  • Also, to be capable of completion in 20 minutes approx.
  • And to adopt a single-stimulus question format (Likert scale)
  • Plus, adopting a normative format of scoring utilising a sten look-up table (for each personality scale)
  • And finally, using a Social Desirability scale to deal with the issue of faking or extreme scoring patterns

Psychometric test design

Recent situational judgement test trends

Situational judgement tests (SJTs) have also become prevalent in graduate recruitment. These tests present scenarios to applicants and ask them to select the best and the worst thing to do next. SJT’s are very popular in the United States due to their excellent record of fairness across different ethnic groups.

Recent personality test trends

Candidates may also have to take a personality test as part of the recruitment process. There is a vast array of personality tests, which pose questions about a candidate’s behaviour and personal preferences. A typical question may ask whether you prefer attending parties or staying home with a good book. These personality tests help employers to determine whether a candidate has the right profile for the role.

How companies use aptitude tests

Aptitude tests are used by many companies as a standard part of the recruitment process. If you’re currently aplying for jobs, you’re likely to face one or more psychometric tests, measuring everything from verbal reasoning and numeracy to emotional intelligence. I would say that 90 per cent of big companies use skills and/or aptitude tests, though the kind used will depends on the role and industry you’re aplying for,’ says Rob Williams.How you perform matters. ‘Even if you wow a potential employer with a great first or second interview, the results can make or break your chances of getting hired,’ says Rob. Research backs up the claim. Nearly 90 percent of companies said they would reject candidates if the test showed them to be deficient in basic skills, according to a survey by the American Management Association.What are the most commonly used aptitude tests? The most commonly used aptitude tests measure numerical, verbal and logical reasoning,

Graduate Aptitude test designs

  • Our first point is that a well-designed selection procedure focuses on predicting a graduate’s competence within a particular work context.
  • Secondly, that psychometric assessments only form one part of the selection procedure.
  • Our third point is that personality assessments can give an indication of how well an individual applicant will fit into the existing workplace or team.
  • Finally, psychometric assessments can assess which applicants are most suited to the demands of the vacant job in terms of both ability and personality factors.
In fact i

Our assessment designs – graduate psychometric test design example

Graduate recruiters who want to minimise recruitment costs see online ability tests as an efficient and effective means of sifting the initial applicant pool.A bespoke verbal reasoning test design and numerical reasoning test design offer a reliable and standardised solution. This should ensure that an optimal number of good candidates are seen by the business at the much more expensive ‘face-to-face’ stage.

Using standardised tests to improve your diversity of hires

Using standardised tests in the recruitment process helps to ensure that applicants from different countries and from different ethnic groups are treated fairly.

Aptitude test design – Employability example

All of our psychometric test practice resources are free. So, we hope you enjoy using them!   In our opinion, there is plenty of the right type of aptitude test practice, aptitude test tips and test-taking strategies.We certainly hope you get maximum value from our free psychometric test practice resources!  Psychometric test practise works best when it’s specific to the test type and the level of difficulty of the psychometric test you will be taking.

Best practice in assessment design

  • Our first point is that a well-designed selection procedure focuses on predicting a graduate’s competence within a particular work context.
  • Secondly, that psychometric assessments only form one part of the selection procedure.
  • Our third point is that personality assessments can give an indication of how well an individual applicant will fit into the existing workplace or team.
  • Finally, psychometric assessments can assess which applicants are most suited to the demands of the vacant job in terms of both ability and personality factors.

Best practice uses of aptitude test data

  • Firstly, it’s fundamental to the use of any psychometric test is that users are aware of a test’s effectiveness and its known limitations.  This information is calculable through knowledge of a measure’s reliability and validity.
  • Secondly, importance is attached to test results and decisions are made using test data.
  • Thirdly, you must be sure that the tests you are using have sound credentials and have been properly developed.

Bespoke psychometric test design

Psychometric test design pillars

An IQ test compares each respondent’s IQ score with a group of previous test-takers. There needs to be a standardization phase when developing any aptitude test.This standardization sample provides the norm group against which the individual scores of all later psychometric test respondents are compared. Otherwise, an ‘IQ score’ would be meaningless!The second psychometric test property is…


There are two key types of psychometric reliability. In each case, ‘psychometric test reliability’ means that if I take the same test next week, my results will be similar.Internal Reliability, or Internal ConsistencyThis is the first type of psychometric test design reliability.Whether all the test items measure the same concept. It can be assessed in two ways. The first method is known as the split-half reliabilitywhich require correlating the score based on half of the test items with the score based on the other half (e.g., scores on odd and even items).An alternative method is item-total reliabilitywhich requires correlating each item score with the total score of the rest of the items.Cronbach alpha then summarises all the psychometric test reliability correlations into one figure. A test should have an alpha of at least a = .80.

Our Bespoke psychometric test designs

Secondly, Test-retest Reliability relates to psychometric score consistency over time. In other words, how reliably a psychometric test measures. A time gap of at least two weeks between the two measurements is key. Since some psychological characteristics change considerably over time.Then, the test re-test reliability is assessed by correlating the tests scores measured first time with the test scores measured the second time. Ability tests are expected to have a reliability of at least r = .75, yet personality tests might have somewhat lower reliability.


Psychometric test design validity means the test measures what it says it measures. MindX knows which personality traits are measured because we have compared our results to well-established personality tests. HireVue validates its video assessments using high performer data and job analysis results.Aptitude Test Design Reliability – is it a reliable measure?
  • Most commonly the internal consistency index coefficient alpha or its dichotomous formulation, KR-20.
  • Under most conditions, these range from 0.0 to 1.0.
  • 1.0 is a perfectly reliable measurement.
  • Although, a reliable test may still not be a valid
Aptitude Test Design Validity – Secondly, is the test valid?A measure of what it ‘says on the tin’? In our opinion, both the initial content validation and later criterion validation analysis are vital for any bespoke psychometric test.

Final Validity Recommendations

We recommend collecting additional recruitment data over time so that additional validation studies can be conducted. Such as assessment centre data.There are many other types of psychometric test validation evidence, and one-off studies investigating a psychometric test’s criterion validity are common.

Assessment Reliability

The reliability of any exercise depends upon many factors:
  • Quality of the competency framework.
  • Use of experienced and well-briefed / well-trained assessors.

Biodata approach to psychometric test design

  • Such biodata test designs were popular in the 1970’s/80’s in the UK., but fell out of fashion due to concerns about face validity.
  • Face validity is how job-relevant a test’s questions appear to be.
  • Assessing this is difficult because of the way that the biodata approach to psychometric tezst design fits questions to job performance.

Biodata example questions

  • Asking about previous working and life history facts.
  • Biodata questions can include personal attitudes, values, beliefs.
  • There are therefore both autographical and biographical perspectives.
  • For example, how effective previous working relationships were with managers and/or colleagues.

psychometric test design

Personality Values Test Design

We also design values based  assessments. Values impact goal content whereas personality traits impact the efforts that individuals make towards their goals.

Ability Tests Introduction

  • Often employers are interested in your aptitude or potential to do a task.
  • In this case, they may use assessment methods that aim to simulate aspects of that task.

Personality Questionnaire Introduction

  • These measure behavioural preferences of how you prefer to work.
  • There’s no right or wrong answer.
  • That said, of course, certain behaviours are more suited to particular jobs.

Situational Judgement Test Introduction

  • These psychometric tests assess your ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations.
  • Respondents read a scenario / view an animation;
  • Then select the Best and Worst responses to that aspecific work situation.

Intro to Assessment Centres

Assessment centres have a well-proven track record for recruiting new employees and selecting existing staff for promotion. Research supports their use as one of the most valid and fair processes available to occupational psychologists – if used in accordance with best practice.An assessment centre involves written exercise, intray exercise, presentation exercise, role play, and / or a group exercise. Group exercises and presentation exercises are particularly popular for graduate assessment centres.

Assessment Centre candidate pov

  • Assessment centre candidates complete a range of assessment exercises, which are observed by assessors.
  • Trained assessors rate each candidate’s assessment for each competency – relevant to that exercise – from the complete competency job list.
  • Such Assessment Centre Exercises can be delivered either directly or as a virtual assessment centre.
  • In which case you will be asked to complete each virtual assessment exercise remotely.
  • Video calls simulate the ‘normal’ candidate-assessor interactions of a direct assessment centre.

    Intro to Interviews

  • The most likely interview questions will ask for specific details of your work experience to date.
  • Plus, the specific role competencies of the job you are applying for.
  • Be honest and use relevant examples from your career, studies.

Our free personality self-assessments:

Our other psychometric test design specialities

We are assessment specialists in both work and education settings. For more insights into meaningful assessments contact Rob Williams Assessment for a comprehensive appraisal.

What is involved in clerical aptitude test, spelling, grammar and accuracy on paper.
Registered Office: Rob Williams, 31 Bruton Way, Ealing, London, W13 0BYCompanies House Registration No: 6572976