What to expect from a job personality test

November 23, 2014

Whether you’re a recent graduate or you're transitioning from one career path to another, you may want to consider taking a job personality test. Read on to find out why.

What to expect from a job personality test

What are job personality tests?

Personality tests for jobs are not a recent phenomenon, but these days it seems that more and more companies (from family operations to corporate entities) rely on job personality tests to help identify ideal candidates. Your resume will tell a prospective employer what you’ve done, but a personality test can provide insight into who you are and whether you might fit with the company culture.

How do job personality tests work?

Those who create these career personality tests claim that test results alone are not an indication of a good match; rather, they're assessed and weighed against an individual’s interview responses. A test can help define an individual’s personality and identify how it manifests itself in their daily work life. For instance, your answers may demonstrate a preference for logic over emotion and intuition, which could affect how you might handle a tough work situation.

Personality tests not only offer an employer insight into how outgoing or introverted you are, they also touch on your aptitude and integrity. Are you comfortable operating within a team dynamic? What motivates you? Test results can help spot people with potential work-life balance issues as well.

In recent years, these tests have evolved with technology. They touch on a candidate’s hobbies and habits on social media.

If the job you're applying for expects you to take a personality test, try to understand it from their perspective. The good news for you is this company clearly places a high priority on employee satisfaction and happiness, since they're taking such measures to ensure you're a fit. Fewer frustrated employees can equal lower employee turnover, which is good news for them.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when undergoing a job personality test:

1. Prepare yourself

You can’t actually study for a personality test, but you can prepare yourself for what to expect. You can find numerous example tests online. Do research. Get plenty of sleep the night before and, if needed, use simple breathing exercises to relax prior to taking the test.

2. Be honest

The test is designed using different types of questions, often with more than one asking the same thing, so be honest with all of your answers. If you come across a confusing question, ask yourself how the model employee would answer. Don’t over-think questions. Your goal is to avoid raising any red flags.

3. Ask how they will use this information

Don’t be afraid to ask how the test results will be used, how much weight the test results hold and what other factors are taken into consideration.

Just like in any interview, above all, be yourself. And remember, a job personality test may be an indication of your potential fit with a company, but it does not define who you are. Let them see that in the interview.

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