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Passing A Work Personality Test: Top 3 Tests & Pro Tips

In: How To

Pass A Work Personality Test

Ace the personality assessments and maximize your chance for the job

The growing number of companies use personality tests to evaluate candidates during the interviewing process. They evaluate the person’s match for the role, as well as understand their culture fit and values. Why do companies use them? Firstly, because the interviewing, hiring and onboarding are very resource-heavy, and the cost of wrong hires is high. And secondly, they want to make sure in advance that the potential hire will fit in well into the team and share the company’s values.

So, if during the next interview the hiring manager will suggest that you take a test, you want to be prepared so that the test increases your chance of getting hired instead of sabotaging them. Today, our career expert will tell you about the main types of psychometric tests that the employers use. We will also share some advice on how to perform better on the test.

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The definition of a personality test

Some jobs, especially technical or skill-based ones, assume testing of your skills and knowledge during the interview. In this way, an employer wants to evaluate if your skill set is sufficient to perform well. But the personality tests are different. They evaluate your personality and behavioral style to understand your traits and approach to work and determine if you’re a good fit for a position. Depending on the role, psychometric tests evaluate your introversion/extraversion or what you will choose between teamwork and independent work. They also predict how you’ll handle interactions with colleagues and stakeholders, comply with rules, resolve problems and what motivates you.

89 out of Fortune 100 companies already use such tests to screen potential hires. Here are the top three of them.  

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

One of the most commonly used personality tests, MBTI evaluates your personality based on the four pairs of traits. Upon completing the assessments, you’ll be assigned to one of the personality types that reveals your working style and assume the ideal type of career. This test is not meant to evaluate your fit for a particular industry or role and rather show your preferences than capabilities to do get the job done.

Note that the test doesn’t have ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. Although it’s often used during the hiring process, it’s better suited to define the career path for someone who’s already part of the team rather than to predict if the candidate will outperform.

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What are the DISC personality types?

Another popular option among employers, DISC behavior inventory accesses the job applicants based on the four traits: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Unlike some complex assessment system, it contains under 30 questions. Upon completing the test, your results will be shown as a dot on the pie chart, with your dominant characteristic highlighted. For instance, if Influence is your dominant trait, it implies that you are optimistic, energetic, and social.

This test is user-friendly and can be administered by anyone, which makes it a popular for screening employees. However, the results of several candidates cannot be compared. This means that it’s up to the employer to decide what personality type they’d love to see in this role.

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The Caliper profile

Unlike the two previous tests, the Caliper test evaluates your match for a target job position. The results are presented as a percent match, and it’s considered that you fit for the opening if your percentage exceeds 50%. Another thing that distinguishes this test is its complexity – comparing to the previous ones, it’s much longer and will take you over 2 hours to complete. This test is presented in the form of statements, and you’ll have to choose the ones that represent your personality most (or least, depending on the question).

Created in the form of positive statements, this extensive test allows the employer to receive the full characteristic of the candidate’s positive and negative traits. Test results make it easy to compare your performance with that of other applicants.

Why take psychological tests about personality?

The employers’ motivation behind making psychometric testing a part of the hiring process is pretty clear. They want to hire employees who are psychologically suited for this particular type of work and will fit in into the team’s culture. Hence, the cost of the wrong hires and hiring process is minimized.

Yet, as a job-seeker, you might want to take one of the online personality tests to better understand your working style, personality type and career preferences. Take a look at the list of scientifically-proven personality tests (some employers might be using them in the hiring process either):

  • 16 personalities – it evaluates the top 5 personality traits of the individuals and shows detailed results on your personality type, including your workplace attitude, strengths, weaknesses and relationships with others.
  • Eysenck personality inventory allows you to access introversion vs. extraversion and neuroticism vs. stability and shows your result on a pie chart.
  • The Birkman method – named after its developer, this online test shows your personality, social perception and professional interests.

Taking one of the personality tests at home will give you an insight into the personality assessments during an interview. Moreover, as you understand your personality type better, it might inspire you on how to write eye-catching good cover letter.

Psychological tests for students

Psychological assessments are of particular importance for students at the beginning of their career. Making right professional decisions as a student or right after the graduation will positively impact your entire professional life. To avoid making wrong career choices, it’s important to fully realize your professional preferences and personality, and psychological tests are of a great help here.

You can understand your personality better by taking one of the tests listed above. You might also want to take the TestColor used by psychologists. It helps you understand your emotional intelligence and preferred work style. Another fun option is Human Metrics, which shows the popular person you compare with and indicates the best career path for your personality type.

Tips for passing work personality test

Employers insist that psychological tests don’t require preparation. However, there is a way to maximize your chance for a job as you take the test. Simply follow these tips:

  1. Be genuine
    You might want to portray yourself as a perfect person for the job, but beat the temptation to answer in the way that has nothing to do with your personality. In other words, if you prefer working individually and solve problems consistently, avoid portraying yourself as an introvert who thrives in a busy environment. Even if you manage to fool the hiring person, these discrepancies will reveal once you start working.
  2. Don’t give extreme answers
    In many tests, you’ll be asked to mark the result on scale from 1 to 10 or to agree/disagree with a certain statement. In both cases, avoid giving extreme answers, either negative or positive. It might make you look as inflexible and stubborn in the hiring person’s eyes.
  3. Review the instruction carefully
    This advice might seem trivial. Yet, the requirements in different tests might vary. Some of them are timed, and some instructions suggest that you mark the statements you disagree with rather than agree. Neglecting these instructions not only will prevent you to perform better during the test. Moreover, you’ll be seen as a person inattentive to detail and instructions by a hiring manager.
  4. Answer from a professional point of view
    Some tests will evaluate your emotional intelligence and ability to cooperate with others professionally. So, keep the professional and ethical standards in mind when giving answers to the test. Avoid options which could be interpreted as inappropriate or unethical by a test administrator.
  5. Keep the role in mind
    To score better, keep in mind which skills and personality traits are expected from someone in the role you’re applying for. Try to maximally highlight these traits in your answer. The idea here is not to game the test; as we’ve mentioned in point 1, you need to be yourself. However, if you apply for the sales role, give your people skills, relationship building and communication abilities maximum exposure.
  6. Practice at home
    You can find sample questions of different psychometric tests in the internet and practice answering them at home. This will give you an idea of how your personality looks like for the test administrator and allow to experiment with giving different answers.

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