How to Pass a Personality Test & Get The Job?
Taking a personality test can be stressful. You are asked questions that you may not feel too comfortable answering. At the same time, you are wrapping your head around how to pass the personality test and guessing the mind game the company is playing with you.
A personality test is a popular way used by companies in the hiring process. It aims to evaluate the psychological state, habits, and behaviors of candidates. The results will be taken into consideration in the interview process. Candidates that fail a personality test will likely not be promoted to the next round.
If you have been asked to take one, read this article so you are well-prepared about what is coming at you.
Table of Contents
What is a personality test?
A personality test is an analysis of your characteristics, qualities, and personality traits. It includes a series of lengthy close-end questions. Usually, you are given a statement and a scale on how much you agree or disagree with that statement.
Upon completing the personality test, you will be given a review of your summarized personality traits. In the recent decade, more and more companies are adopting personality tests as a reference to estimate how well the candidate will perform in the real work environment.
How is a personality test scored?
There is no “pass” or “fail” in a personality test. It is simply creating a personal profile with the major and distinct qualities of you. It is a psychological analysis of your mind. A potential employer can review your profile and see your qualities are sought after in the company and if they align with the company’s visions and values.
The aim of a personality test is to assess the qualities you have and how they translate to work performance and team building. It is also a fantastic way for you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Since a personality test has no model answer, candidates should not find the test difficult. You are answering questions about yourself.
What are the benefits of a personality test?
About 40% of companies adopt some form of personality test in their pre-employment assessment. There are numerous benefits to a personality test.
- It helps companies choose the right candidate
Companies want to predict the likelihood of you excelling in your role as well as to eliminate candidates with the tendency to be addicted to bad habits or portrait harmful traits that will impact work performance negatively. These traits include but are not limited to alcohol addiction, substance abuse, being prone to violence, anger management issues, etc.
Every company strives to create a harmonious work environment and works to avoid unpleasant experiences for workers. Any potential candidates with red-flag traits will be eliminated in this process.
- It saves costs and shortens the length of the hiring process
Before the digitalization of pre-employment assessments, candidates had to take the tests at a physical location. All paperwork was processed manually. This took up a huge portion of time and stretched the hiring process.
Interviewers had to ask questions to each candidate and draw up a profile for each. A large volume of manpower was needed. Not only was it inefficient, but it also caused errors and mistakes as everything was not standardized.
Now, online personality tests save companies a ton of money. They only need to invest in one set of personality tests with minimal maintenance expenses required.
- It is unbiased
A digitalized personality test is the most unbiased way to draw up a personal profile. It excluded any human factor that could cause errors. It provides a fair way to filter out candidates. Furthermore, the system is searching for qualities highly valued by the company. The computer can generate the list with high accuracy.
- It lowers employee turnover rate
As a personality test is lengthy, it already serves the purpose of automatically screening out uninterested candidates. Those who complete the whole test have already shown more dedication. Besides, the tests prioritize candidates with desirable traits. This enhances the sense of belonging of the new hires and lowers the turnover rate as the company is only hiring employees with a high likelihood of staying.
What kind of company uses a personality test in the hiring process?
Any company might choose to use a personality test to vet applicants for a role.
How long is a personality test?
Dissecting the human brain and drafting up a personality profile take a lot of work. So, it is expected that a personality test is long. Although every test is different, most tests take about 40 minutes to finish. Around 100 to 150 questions are included.
Some companies would even break down a personality test into different parts with each one focusing on a particular aspect. For these tests, it can take up to 2 hours to finish. These lengthy tests are common in places where conduct is extremely important like in government organizations, hospitals, courtrooms, etc.
As long as a personality is, it should not be difficult. It consists of statements about your word views, personal habits, and preferences. It should be presented in a way easily understandable and relatable so everyone can rank the statements with no problem.
How to prepare for a personality test?
There is no need to let personality tests intimidate you. Indeed, with your potential job on the line, it is impossible not to care. Now, with the following tips, you can be well-prepared for your personality test and feel comfortable about showing the best of yourself.
- Take a practice personality test
What is a better way to prepare for it than taking one? Job Prep Test offers a free personality test for you to familiarize yourself with the typical questions and format you will encounter. It is a professional psychiatric test that aims to help you approach any assessment during a job interview.
Extra tips and guidance are also given to help you understand how a personality test may change depending on the industry and company. You will get a customized personality report and 24/7 customer support. You will never be alone at 2 AM studying for your test.
- Do not cheat and answer honestly
It’s easy to take a wild guess at what the company is looking for and make up your answers accordingly. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. Giving contradicting answers will only create a confusing and conflicting personal profile. The firm will either scrape your application or consider this test invalid and ask you to do another one.
Truthful answers show integrity and good ethics. On top of that, you will get hired for jobs that fit your qualities well.
- Read the questions and instructions carefully
Questions and instructions are the two things you should never skim through. Read them at least twice if time allows. The devil is in the detail. Candidates that miss the important keyword may end up generating the opposite personality profile.
Use a highlight pen to circle out keywords if necessary. Highlight negative or double negative phrases like “not” so you do not mistake the meaning of the sentence. This simple trick goes a long way.
- Avoid picking the same intensity for all answers
Sometimes, it is easy to pick all the answers around the same scale. Candidates often forget to think about the intensity of each statement and treat it like a true-or-false question. The reason why there is a scale is to draw up your profiles with the points. If you treat it like a true-or-false test, you will only pick the extreme answers like “agree completely” and “disagree completely.”
Choosing all the same intensity is not very good on your profile. You do not want to come off as too extreme with a lack of character. There will have to be statements that you agree with more than the others.
Do not stick with neutral all the time as well. You want to show personality in the test. Answer truthfully but also think carefully about the level of intensity you feel towards each statement.
- Study the job description and the company
Every personality test is designed to quantify how suitable you are for the job. Therefore, studying the job description already gets you halfway through the process. If you are applying for the customer service role, you will be expected to be friendly, outgoing, talkative, sociable, trustworthy, and with strong communication skills. If you are applying for an office admin role, qualities like dedication, the ability to follow orders, being able to work independently will get a heavier weight.
Studying the company is also important. It gives you an insight into the work culture, hence, what personality profiles they are looking for. Take the time to read through the company website.
- Be consistent with your response
It is crucial that your answers are consistent with reality. Flakey responses indicate you are not determined with your tasks. Companies want to hire candidates with traits that align with their values.
Your response to the same type of questions should not differ much. For example, if you answer “agree completely” to “you find enjoyment in helping your colleagues with a major presentation,” your answer to “you like hanging out with your colleagues during office breaks” should also be positive.
- Keep track of time
A timer is set for each test. Allocate your time well among all the questions. A personality test usually consists of over 100 questions. If you do not pay attention to time, you might end up having to rush through some questions.
Give yourself a limit on how much time you can spare for each question and do not go over the time limit.
- Expect questions that may be personal and uncomfortable
As explained, a personality aims to assess your psychological state and see if you may be prone to any bad habits. So, there will be questions that can be personal or uncomfortable.
These questions are related to your job performance. You may be asked about the frequency you drink, how angry you would feel about certain situations, and if you have ever been addicted to drugs or substances.
What to do after you have passed the personality test?
- Contact the company if you have not heard back after a month
- Attend the physical interviews
- Negotiate the salary and benefits for the role
- Sign the contract and send it back to the HR manager on time
- Start your job!
After you have passed the personality test, you will be promoted to the next round of interviews. A personality test is often the last of the series of online tests. Once you have passed it, you will finally be able to meet the decision-makers that can hire you.
Typically, a phone interview or a physical meeting will be set up for the HR manager to greet and meet you. The HR manager will make the judgment to see if you possess the qualities and personality traits reflected on your report.
You can expect the interviewer to ask you further questions about your answers. These questions further consolidate your personality profile. Most of these interviews will be somewhat casual so the candidate can feel comfortable sharing.
It is quite unlikely that you will be asked to do another test again during your interview round. Instead, the interviewer may discuss the questions with you and ask for your opinions. They would want to hear your constructive criticism.
If you have successfully passed all the interviews. You will be sent a contract to sign. On the contract, your salary and benefits are stated. Sign the contract and send it back if you are fine with the offer. If not, send it back with your expected terms and negotiate.
Sign the final offer and send it back to the HR manager and get ready to start your new job!
Keep in mind that you should always take the initiative to contact your employer. If you have not heard back a month after you have submitted your personality test, reach out to the company and kindly ask for a result.
Some companies do not send out rejection letters but it is smart to ask just in case. There is always a chance that your acceptance letter got lost or the company is still in the process of selecting candidates.
Can you refuse to do a personality test?
Since a personality test assesses your mental state, some people feel uneasy answering the questions. If you are suffering from any psychological trauma or other forms of issues, you can let the company know that you are unable to take the test and request assistance.
Ask your potential employer for an assessment under a different format. Present your doctor’s note as proof. The company should try its best to accommodate you to create an equal opportunity.
However, it is worth noting that, unless you have a medically proven condition, the refusal to take a personality test will effectively end your candidacy.
Taking a personality test for the first time can be a daunting experience. But it really should not be. A personality test is a tool for self-improvement. It makes your personality more vivid to your potential employer.
Practicing your free personality test on Job Test Prep guarantees you to build confidence and understand what each answer leads to. Sign up today to discover more.
Popular Personality Tests
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.