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Career Jargon

Understanding Employment Terminology

Psychometric tests

There are two types of psychometric tests; aptitude and personality.  Aptitude tests are designed to measure intellectual capability for thinking and reasoning, particularly logical/analytical reasoning ability, while personality tests produce a profile of personality traits and strengths and weaknesses. 

There are a number of companies which produce different versions of the tests, which are most commonly used during the recruitment process.  You cannot revise or prepare beforehand for the tests, although you can familiarise yourself with the format by completing short sample test either online or in a careers service first.

Assessment centres

Recruitment and selection event which a group of candidates is invited to attend together, and which contains a number of different elements, typically group exercises, in depth interviews, psychometric and/or personality tests and social events.  Candidates are observed and assessed against sets of competencies (see below).

Curriculum Vitae

More commonly referred to as the CV, or resume in the United States, curriculum vitae literally translated from the Latin means “record of life”, and is a summary of qualifications, skills and work experience which you can use to market yourself to employers and demonstrate your suitability for a job.


The behaviours that employees must demonstrate or acquire, to input into a situation in order to achieve high levels of performance.  Not to be confused with 'competence', which relates to a system of minimum standards or ability.  Many employers organise the competencies they are looking for into competency frameworks, a matrix of descriptors and levels containing measurable behaviours, functional skills and knowledge, often arranged into clusters to make them more user friendly.

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