Excelling at a challenging job frequently necessitates skills that go beyond a person’s knowledge and intelligence. An individual’s personality traits, such as their ideologies, morals, principles, the inspiration driving them, and temperament, usually play a vital role in their job performance. Personality tests are generally designed to assess the characteristics of candidates applying for a specific job role.
Some business organizations may use personality tests as part of their assessment centers to determine whether candidates’ skills and capabilities are appropriate for the job specifications. Aptitude and reasoning tests may be used in assessment centers to assess candidates’ knowledge and intelligence, while personality tests may analyze their behaviors.
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What Exactly Is a Personality Test?
Personality tests discover personality or character traits. Typically, these tests are administered online as part of the job application process.
These tests are given in a variety of formats, the most common of which is a questionnaire.
Personality plays a significant role in determining whether you have the enthusiasm and motivation that the employer seeks. It also determines how well you will fit into a company in terms of personality, attitude, and overall work style.
The personalities of the people involved in most working situations impact the organization’s day-to-day success.
If a manager cannot motivate their employees or if the team does not work well together, service quality and productivity will suffer.
Personality testing is a massive industry that has grown dramatically in the last decade.
There are currently over 2,500 personality questionnaires on the market, and each year, dozens of new companies and products emerge.
Some of these products are broad-spectrum tests designed to classify basic personality types. In contrast, others are designed to assess candidates’ suitability for a specific job, and still, others are designed to evaluate particular traits like honesty and integrity.
One disadvantage of personality testing is that people are not always accurate in identifying their personality traits and may sometimes select answers to appear more likeable.
Why Do Employers Use Personality Tests?
Personality tests are an excellent way for employers to pre-screen potential candidates for interviews and rate an aspirant before making a hiring decision.
Hundreds of people apply for a variety of positions. Giving a personality test is a simple way to cut down on time spent pre-screening applicants.
Potential employers can also use personality tests to help them select specific candidates who will complement their current team by identifying personality traits that the current employees lack.
Interviewing alone cannot tell you whether or not someone will be a good fit. Some employers believe that personality tests can help them make better hiring decisions by providing them with additional information.
Of course, there is a wide range of quality and dependability in personality tests. Meanwhile, many candidates skew results by giving the “correct” answers rather than answering candidly.
We are not claiming that all personality tests are reliable or valuable. Some are even seriously misguided. If you are asked to take one, it is best to understand why the company is doing so and what to expect.
1. To determine whether you are a good fit for the company culture.
Every company has its own workplace culture, and some employers want to know if your personality will mesh with the company’s overall culture.
In this context, it’s unlikely that they’re looking for people who fit a specific personality profile. Instead, they are most likely attempting to understand work values and preferences.
2. To Determine Whether You Are a Good Fit for the Role/Team
A company may use a personality test to determine if a candidate has the right attitude for a specific type of work.
It is most common in sales roles. Not everyone is cut out for sales, where they must deal with rejection and the pressure of meeting quotas. An assessment can help the manager determine whether you can thrive in a sales role, which is especially important if you lack sales experience.
3. To Figure Out Your Communication Style
In any work environment, effective communication is essential. If you are interviewing for management or customer-facing position, your communication style may be notably significant to the company. This type of assessment is prepared to help them understand how you prefer to communicate, resolve conflicts, and work collaboratively with teammates.
What Isn’t a Personality Test?
Now that you understand why a company might use a personality test during the hiring process, it’s necessary to understand what a personality test is not.
Because of the language used in assessments and the process of answering a long series of questions, it is easy to fall into the mindset that you are taking a test in an academic setting where passing or failing can have far-reaching consequences.
Before you let your imagination run wild, let’s look at some of the things that personality assessments aren’t:
An Opinion on Who You Are
The word “test” can conjure up painful memories of anxiety, school days, and late-night cramming sessions, but a personality assessment should not cause stress.
It is important to remember that there are no wrong answers, that you will not receive a grade, and that you will not pass or fail. The assessment results are not a reflection of who you are as a person or what you are competent in achieving in your career or other areas of your life.
A Spectacular “Tell-All”
While your evaluation may lead to some self-discoveries, it is not a perfect bullet that will reveal every aspect of who you are and how you handle every situation.
Human beings are complex, and no matter how much we want to know about ourselves, there is no way to get those answers from a personality test.
Most businesses are aware of this and will be far more interested in your experience and what you convey in your interviews. The personality test will never be the primary factor in a hiring decision.
How Personality Tests Work
The idea behind personality questionnaires is to quantify your intrinsic personality characteristics by asking yourself about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviour.
You will be given statements describing various ways of feeling or acting and asked to rate each one on a two-point, five-point, or seven-point scale.
As an example:
1. I almost always completed what I started.
2. I am good at ensuring that minor details are not overlooked.
A) Strongly disagree
B) Strongly disagree
E) Strongly agree
3. It’s better to be polite and rule-obedient rather than carefree.
A) Strongly disagree
B) Strongly disagree
E) Strongly agree
The number of questions you must answer ranges from 70 to 250, depending on the length of the test.
It’s easy to see how some of the questions could be answered honestly in various ways depending on how you interpret them on the day.
Consider question 2 above: ‘I am good at ensuring that minor details are not overlooked.’
Your interpretation of two factors determines your response to this question:
First, when you say “good,” do you mean “good in comparison to other people in your office,” “good in comparison to the general public,” or “good in comparison to some other group?”
Second, by ‘minor details,’ do you mean skills like proofreading or editing work or something else?
It is crucial to remember that even the best personality questionnaires used in selection are far from perfect.
How Are Personality Tests Scored?
Companies that create personality tests, as well as human resources personnel who use them, invariably refer to these assessments as personality “questionnaires” rather than “tests.”
This is done to avoid the impression that the test has correct and incorrect answers and can be passed or failed.
On the other hand, a personality test will generate a personality profile that will be analyzed by both the test provider and the employer.
It is crucial to remember that low, average, and high scores on a personality trait questionnaire are not inherently good or bad. Scores and descriptions can only approximate your true personality.
While all of this is true, in the real world, your test results will most likely have a significant impact on your chances of being rejected.
What Are the Most Commonly Used Personality Tests?
Personality tests come in a variety of formats. Here are some of the most popular personality tests you may encounter during your job search:
1. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a psychological assessment system based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung, is one of the world’s most popular personality tests. Every year, 2.5 million Americans take the Myers-Briggs test.
The Myers-Briggs assessment is intended to assess people’s preferences in perceiving the world and making decisions.
The MBTI test categorizes people into four bi-polar dimensions:
- Extraversion-Introversion (E-I)
- Sensing-INtuition (S-N)
- Thinking-Feeling (T-F)
- Judging-Perceiving (J-P)
2. SHL Personality Test
The SHL test measures aspects of behaviour critical to performance potential but are challenging to identify using other techniques such as CV reading and interviewing.
The SHL OPQ provides a clear, straightforward framework for comprehending the impact of personality on job performance.
The SHL OPQ is administered online and is available in over 30 languages.
The majority of people complete the questionnaire in less than 30 minutes, and a variety of reports are available, providing clear, concise, graphical summaries of performance against job competencies.
The majority of these reports are intended for use by line managers.
Among the most popular reports are:
- Report on the Manager Plus
- A formalized version of the Candidate Plus Report
- The Report on Universal Competency
- The Revenue Report
- The Report on Team Development
- The Report on Leadership
3. The DISC Test
DISC is a behavioural model developed by William Marston, PhD.
It focuses on behavioural styles and preferences classified by testing a person’s preferences in word associations.
DISC is an abbreviation for:
- Dominance – control, power, and assertiveness
- Influence – in social situations and communication
- Steadiness-relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
- Conscientiousness- concerned with structure and organization.
Tips for Personality Test
Change your behaviour rather than your personality.
It is critical to portray only your “professional persona” on personality tests. This may appear simple; however, you will begin to understand why this point is crucial after taking a practice test.
It is important how you respond.
Personality tests are frequently referred to as “questionnaires” rather than “tests” by those who administer them because there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. A personality assessment test is a tool that can be used to help find the right person for the job.
Your responses can be affected by stress.
It is normal to feel anxious before taking a personality test because you are required to take a psychological test that you are unfamiliar with without understanding the evaluation criteria. Practising for this type of test ahead of time will allow you to relax and respond confidently.
Many companies use personality assessments during the hiring process. They are anticipated to provide employers with a better understanding of each candidate’s work style and preferences.
It is essential to understand that your evaluation is not a complete picture of you, and it is not a judgment on your personality. There are no wrong answers or ways to fail, so relax, be yourself, and remember that you’re one step closer to getting the job. Don’t get too caught up in this step. Instead, concentrate on preparing for your interview!