Psychometric testing in the workplace has been called 'absurd' by a union, but do they deserve such a harsh reception?

Inland Revenue has put the brakes on using results from the testing in a proposed restructure after PSA brought legal action against the organisation.

Why do workplaces use psychometric testing and how much can it reveal about an employee?

Business editor at large Liam Dann undertook a test called the SASQ, which was devised by Professor Martin Seligman.


Jamie Ford, a director at Foresight Consulting, said the test was all about revealing the underlying attitude or mindset of a person.

"Our mindset influences our emotions and our actions, and the outcomes we achieve in all aspects of life.

"The questions are designed to drill down into that."

Ford reveals the findings of the test to Dann in the Herald Focus video.

"I was surprised by how accurate it was," Dann said. "I've been in management long enough to have a good idea of my strengths and weaknesses, it did ring true."

The test featured a range of scenarios, from workplace events like getting a raise or missing a deadline, to social situations like a date gone wrong.

Dann was then asked to imagine likely reasons for those scenarios and analyse them on a sliding scale.

"It turned out I scored very highly on handling advesity and managing difficult situations. I needed to work on my optimism and make a bit more of positive situations."