What is the Thomas International Assessment?
Thomas International is a global provider of tests and assessments which enable businesses to better understand their staff and those whom they may employ. The Thomas talent assessment platform helps recruiters make better decisions about potential candidates by assessing behaviour, aptitude and personality traits. Assessments are offered in 56 languages and are used across a variety of industries.
Thomas Internal tests form part of the recruitment and ongoing HR practice (to reduce staff attrition) at more than 30,000 businesses and companies globally, including FTSE 100 and 250 companies and many financial and consulting firms.
There are four different Thomas International tests, which this article discusses in detail below, so it is important to ensure that you understand which one(s) that you will be asked to take.
Thomas International Aptitude Tests
The Thomas International GIA test
The Thomas International GIA test stands for General Intelligence Assessment and as you'd expect, tests an individual's general all-round aptitude, measured across five areas:
Reasoning - This is similar to a verbal reasoning test.
Perceptual Speed - This test considers data inaccuracies and your speed at identifying them.
Number Speed & Accuracy - Much like a numerical reasoning test, this looks at your ability to analyse and interpret data.
Word Meaning - How wide is your vocabulary and understanding the meaning of words? This test will assess this skill.
Spatial Visualisation - This test assesses your ability to mentally visualise and then manipulate shapes.
This test is taken in English and lasts around 30 - 45 mins, divided into two sections. The first 20 minutes is instructions, followed by a further 20 minutes of the actual test. The GIA is scored on both speed and accuracy.
The test is registered with the British Psychological Society and reviewed against the European Federation of Psychologists' Association's technical criteria.
The results of the test provide a detailed understanding of mental capacity and the speed at which the individual would get to grips with the new position. It can be used as a data led estimate of overall general intelligence, offering insights into their ability to concentrate and their potential to fast-track to a senior position.
Thomas International PPA test
The Personal Profile Analysis looks deeper at a person's behavioural style. This allows a recruiter or manager to understand better an individual's personal preferences in relation to communication styles as well as to make a stronger evaluation of whether a candidate will suit a particular job role.
Candidates answer 24 questions in just eight minutes, using a forced-choice method whereby you are invited to consider which one word is most like you and which one least like you. The answers build a profile that is plotted on a graph divided into Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.
At the end of the test you'll have selected 48 adjectives which will combine to consider your leadership skills, or whether you are in fact dominating, whether you are able to listen and follow procedure, how well you fit into a team and then whether you would take a more active or passive stance, and then how well you can multitask and work under pressure or changing instructions.
In theory candidates should answer this honestly, although there is a temptation to second guess which traits an organisation might find more appealing.
Thomas International TEIQue test
The Thomas International Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire assesses emotional intelligence. There are no correct answers on this particular test, rather the answers to the 153 questions answered in the 30 minutes allocated allow the recruiter or manager to build up a profile of the candidate's emotional intelligence and outlook.
The test measures 15 emotional traits including Well-Being, Self-Control, Emotionality and Sociability which is achieved by the candidate scoring each unique example using the 1-7 Likert scale (where 1 is 'disagree completely' through to 7 'agree completely').
Emotional intelligence is a personal skill which you are able to develop over time. Broadly speaking, emotional intelligence includes: Self Awareness (understanding and recognition of own emotions), Social Awareness (understanding and recognition of the emotions of others), Self Management (the ability to manage one's own emotions) and social skills (an ability to influence and manage the emotions of others).
In emotional and personality assessments it is important to answer accurately and honestly rather than give in to the temptation to answer how you would presume an ideal candidate might. In the long run you will find more job satisfaction if you understand yourself and how you relate to others, rather than constantly have to pretend to be someone else.
Thomas International HPTI test
This test is intended to assess which candidates have the potential to reach leadership roles. The Thomas High Potential Trait Indicator test asks 78 questions to be answered within eight minutes with the candidate scoring each unique example using the 1-7 Likert scale (where 1 is 'disagree completely' through to 7 'agree completely').
The HPTI test considers six characteristics, each of which are assessed as Low, Moderate, Optimal or Excessive (where too much or too little is considered potentially problematic).
Conscientiousness - this can indicate self-discipline, which is a skill often associated with workplace leaders.
Adjustment - those that reach senior leadership positions will require being able to adjust quickly to new or changing situations and cope well under pressure.
Curiosity - innovative ideas and the ability to think differently is a desirable trait for a leader to possess.
Approach to risk - not always entirely positive as a cavalier approach to risk can be problematic but a general acceptance and comfort with a decent level of risk is necessary for a good leader.
Ambiguity acceptance - those with the skill to deal well with ambiguity and uncertainty and to be able to make decisions without necessarily being able to see the whole picture tend to cope better with the stress of leadership.
Competitiveness - people that embrace a certain amount of competitiveness tend to make it further to the top as it indicates strive to achieve more and go further.
Thomas International assessment centre
Thomas International also hosts assessment centre days which can be either used as recruitment days or as internal team training days whereby teams can understand more about each other and the personality traits and behaviours which make up the team, and how they might interact and work better together.
Participation and attitude to the various tests and exercises can also be taken into account when assessing candidates and pre-existing teams, so it is important to attend with enthusiasm for unlocking knowledge about yourself and how you interact with others in the workplace.
Which financial employers use Thomas International tests?
1.2 million people are employed in the financial sector, with financial employers making up one of the largest graduate recruiters. Many financial employers including investment banks such as JP Morgan use Thomas International tests as part of their graduate recruitment as well as helping staff achieve internal promotions.
Allowing hiring managers to make more data driven decisions works better for financial employers as well as for the candidates themselves. Ensuring roles are filled by people who have the aptitude and personality for success in the fast paced and competitive financial sector means retention is stronger and potential leadership opportunities can be opened more quickly.
Tips to prepare and pass your Thomas International test
Understand your skills
Ensure that you give yourself the best chance for success by being honest with yourself and your skill set. You will succeed by answering personality tests honestly - but there is also the risk of rejection if your skillset is not ideally suited to the kind of roles for which you are applying. By knowing yourself, you will be able to be totally honest when answering personality tests. Lying will, at best, land you a role for which you are totally unsuited.
Make sure you're familiar with which Thomas International test that you've been asked to take. Find out as much as you can about the test as well as the company and the role specific to the application.
No one stands a decent chance of success the first time they do something - you'd have to be a substantial risk taker to choose this approach and find it working for you. Practice will pay dividends, particularly with the speed element of the score for the Thomas International tests.
Speed is only part of the answer
Speed must be balanced with accuracy as both get equal weighting when answering Thomas International tests - it is no good racing through but misreading the questions and therefore getting the question wrong, you must seek a happy medium.