How to Pass a Pre-employment Personality Test

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Employers use various tools to identify qualified job applicants. Along with a physical exam and a drug test, the employer may request that you take a pre-employment personality test. Popularized by Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers, these self-reporting questionnaires are designed to determine how you interact with people and make decisions. Some tests also include questions regarding your ethics. The prospective employer will use the results to determine whether you are a suitable match for the position and organization. These tips will help you pass a pre-employment personality test.

Take a Sample Test

Taking a practice test allows you to preview typical questions in a relaxed environment before the official test. Although the questions will probably differ from the ones required for the position, it will lessen your anxiety by giving you a sense for the type of questions likely to appear on the exam. In addition to the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you can take other personality tests that will help you improve your performance on the actual test.

Read and Understand All Questions

The personality test assesses your work ethic and other personality traits with statements using slightly different wording. To be consistent, you must choose the opposite response when appropriate to ensure that it describes your personality. These questions also are designed to measure your attention to details and honesty. Providing contradictory responses sends a red flag to the test administrator. The questionnaire can give a range of options ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Avoid selecting strongly agree or disagree for questions regarding your truthfulness.

Align Your Career Aspiration with Your Personality

You will obtain the best result on the pre-employment test when your career aspirations and personality are aligned. In addition to identifying if you are outgoing or reserved, the test can determine whether you use intuition or need evidence to make decisions. While there are always exceptions, the personality traits required to excel in a sales job are different from those required in a research lab or the accounting field. The only thing more tragic than not being hired is being selected for a position for which you are ill suited.

Provide Truthful Responses

People sometimes provide responses that they think the prospective employer wants or put them in the most favorable light. Personality tests measure the veracity of your responses by presenting questions in various ways. Experts agree that there are no incorrect or correct responses, but inconsistent responses or attempts to make yourself appear morally perfect indicate that you are being deceptive. A typical question is whether you have stolen office supplies. Truthful responses increase the potential that the employer will hire you for a position suitable for your personality.

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