What is the difference between a cognitive ability test and personality test?

At Urban Psychometrics in Brisbane, we are often asked about the difference between a cognitive ability test and a personality test. For employers, both of these tests are important, but they do have different fundamental rationales underpinning them and so are used for different reasons.

Let’s take a look at each of these tests in turn, so as an employer, you know which test is best for your recruitment process.

Why use a personality test?

A personality test measures different aspects of a candidate’s personality to determine whether or not their behavioural traits lend themselves to performing a particular role and fitting into an established workforce. These traits include whether they appear to be conscientious in their work, how well they interact with other people, how well they deal with stress, their emotional stability and their level of optimism.

The problem with these tests are that many of them are not related specifically to their potential role and also that the candidates can give answers, which they believe are the ‘right’ answers. Nevertheless, at Urban Psychometrics in Brisbane, we find that there is still a place for a personality test within the recruitment process, however relying on this test alone can be fraught with difficulties.

Why use a cognitive ability test?

A cognitive ability test is typically used to measure how people respond to situations, how they think and whether they are quick to learn new tasks. In essence, it gives you a measure of a candidate’s cognitive reasoning, which is vital to success in their new role.

Problem solving plays a big part in a cognitive ability test, particularly for more complex roles, a trait that is not well tested in a personality test. As you can imagine, there may be times when you only need to use a personality test and other instances, when a cognitive ability test is far more appropriate.

Urban Psychometrics in Brisbane offers a range of different tests to employers, giving them the ability to streamline their recruitment process, and giving them the flexibility to customise these tests, specific to their needs.

To find out how you can streamline your recruitment process by using a cognitive ability test in your Brisbane business, get in touch today or contact us on 07 3535 1220.