Psychometric Tests: The Big 4 Way! Sample Questions and Use cases

Psychometric Tests partly constitute aptitude tests to assess cognitive abilities and to assess behavioral competencies. The Big 4 Consulting players take it more seriously than they weed out more than 60% of their candidates with the psychometric testing process.

No wonder how the Big 4 continues to maintain low attrition rates, higher employer satisfaction, attract and retain top talent and also deliver top results for their clients.

In this article, we shall throw light on how the Big4 Consulting Companies: Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PwC test the cognitive abilities and behavioral aspects of potential hires.

Disclaimer: The following cited psychometric tests in the recruitment process of the respective companies are for reference only and are mostly followed in hiring for entry-level roles.

Deloitte Psychometric Tests

Deloitte is one of the largest multinational professional service firms in the world and is consistently rated as one of the top destinations for graduates and young professionals. In the UK alone, Deloitte considers more than 100,000 job applications, for just a few new job postings, every year.

In order to simplify the process and cut time and cost, Deloitte divided their recruitment process into five stages; a big part of which is online psychometric tests, which manage to hinder more than 60% of candidates. Throughout the recruitment process, Deloitte will test you against a list of attributes so always ensure that you present and prove your:

Communication skills

 1. Achievement of goals

 2. Commercial awareness

 3. Career motivation

 4. Planning and organizational skills

 5. Adaptability

 6. Problem solving

Deloitte’s Online Aptitude Test consists of Numerical Reasoning, Situational Judgment Test, Verbal Reasoning Test

Deloitte Sample Psychometric Question

Deloitte incorporates the Ipsative test or otherwise called ‘force choice wherein the test takers need to select the option that they consider to be the most and least true about themselves.

Here is an example:

You work as an IT Specialist for a large electronics retailer. You have been made aware of the glitches in the stock check system that manages and automatically requests deliveries to each store. Your management is concerned as this issue has never occurred before and may result in overstocking or no stocking at all for 74 stores. You do not have much clarity on the cause of this problem. What do you do?

Please select the best choice and worst choice.


(a) Identify the error logs and explore the information within. Consider the timings of the problem and when they are reported, the location of the store, and whether if the store has exclusive products in stock. Share this information with your team to get a quick solution.

(b) Contact the providers of the system and ask them to give guidance on what to do next

(c) Ring up each store that is affected and ask them for a detailed log of what they experienced, such that any consistent pattern may emerge.

(d) Notify all stores via the central notification system that you plan to reboot the stock checking system, as this has previously worked with many machines that run similar software.

EY Psychometric Tests

Ernst & Young (EY) is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London that employs 230,000 people globally. EY operates as a network of member firms that are separate legal entities in individual countries.

Despite the number of different areas and levels within EY, the EY recruitment process follows a very similar path.

Sample EY Psychometric Situational Judgement Question

You are an intern in a company and have just finished working on a big project with other employees earlier than expected. There is nothing urgent for you to do in the office at the moment, but starting next week you’ll be part of a team that will be working on some structural changes in the company. You also have some administrative tasks to complete.

What do you do?

(a) Email your manager and ask him what you should focus on

(b) Check if any of your colleagues need your help

(c) Prepare new ideas for the upcoming project doing some research

(d) Complete all of your administrative tasks ahead

(e) Use this time to network with other interns and employees

EY Psychometric tests focus on

1. attention to detail,

2. ability to learn a new language,

3. problem-solving proficiency,

4. ability to concentrate,

5. an understanding of new technologies

PwC Psychometric Tests

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is widely seen as one of the top places to work. In fact, in 2018 PwC was voted the UK’s number 1 graduate employer in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers survey for the 15th year in a row.

PwC’s Situational Judgement Tests fall in the similar lines of the above two companies. In addition to the psychometric and situational judgment tests, PwC had grilling numerical reasoning and logical reasoning tests.

Here is an example of a Logical Reasoning Question in PwC’s style

PWC psychometric tests

The crux of the above type of questions is they are time-bound. Candidates are supposed to solve the questions within 45 seconds.

KPMG Psychometric Test

KPMG is one of the Big 4 professional services companies and for many is the top destination to work at.

Unfortunately for applicants, there are only a few job openings at KPMG and so the competition is extremely tough. In order to streamline the recruitment process, the company uses online aptitude tests, often rejecting more than 60% of candidates – depending on the business line.

Sample KPMG Psychometric Situational Judgment Question

Just like Deloitte Situational Judgment Tests, KPMG incorporates the Ipsative test or otherwise called ‘force choice wherein the test takers need to select the option that they consider to be the most and least true about themselves.

You are a squad leader on a field exercise, and your squad is ready to bed down for the night. The tent has not been put up yet, and nobody in the squad wants to put up the tent. They all know that it would be the best place to sleep since it may rain, but they are tired and just want to go to bed. What should you do?

Please select the best choice and worst choice.

 (a) Tell them that the first four men to volunteer to put up the tent will get light duty tomorrow.

 (b) Make the squad sleep without tents.

 (c) Tell them that they will all work together and put up the tent.

 (d) Explain that you are sympathetic with their fatigue, but the tent must be put up before they bed down

Looking out for new members in your team?

Make sure that you set your expectations right. Assess personality fitment beforehand and hire only those who are mutually fit for the organization.

Xobin’s Personality Inventory enables employers to hand-pick personality traits they expect from potential candidates.

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