Because companies like Intel, Microsoft
, Google, etc. have become so large, open positions attract hundreds of interested applicants, and HR departments simply don’t have the time to go through all of the resumes. That’s why many large businesses have started using personality tests as part of their hiring process.
Pre-employment personality tests help these hiring managers sort through a list of candidates quickly and effectively. Instead of spending hours if not days bent over a pile of cover letters that all look more or less the same anyway, they can compare a set of test results to see who’s most likely to share the company’s values and suit the company culture.
An employment personality test doesn’t replace a traditional interview, but it can help to eliminate many of the unqualified or unsuitable candidates. After all, if his test scores are far below average, he probably won’t be able to manage the tasks assigned to him during the day.
While it would be nice to meet each of the applicants in person, companies don’t have the time or money to conduct that many interviews for one position. Besides, in many cases, you can’t make an informed decision about an individual after only a short, not to mention quite formal, meeting. Plus, hiring managers find that their intuition can sometimes lead them astray when recruiting new employees.
Personality tests are designed to extract information from applicants about their habits, strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and quirks. By focusing on a handful of personal traits, these assessments can ultimately provide employers with a more accurate profile than what they could assemble from a simple resume.
Below, we have everything you could possibly need to know about personality assessment questionnaires. We’ll discuss what these assessments are, how they work, what you should be doing to prepare, and, as a bonus, we’ll even include some free personality test questions and a sample personality test questions and answers pdf.
What Is a Personality Assessment Test?
There are dozens of different personality tests available today, but they all have the same basic structure and objectives. These tests, to put it very simply, evaluate your personality traits and display the results in a way that allows employers to compare profiles with the click of a button.
Why Would I Study for a Personality Test?
Most hopeful applicants assume that, since personality is innate, there’s no reason to prepare for a personality test. After all, if you can’t change your personality, at least not in any fundamental way, how would you alter the results?
There’s no answer key to go from, and if there was, wouldn’t it be somewhat self-evident? Work hard, communicate clearly, don’t cheat…. most people know what they should be doing even if they aren’t actually doing it.
So, why would you prepare for a psychometric personality test?
Well, would you prepare for a first date? A first date is a bit like a personality test. Your date will want to know that you’re charming, interesting, polite, and kind, and if you don’t meet up to her standards, you probably won’t get a second. There’s no playbook when it comes to dating, though it might be nice if there were, but you’d still want to be on your best behavior.
Preparing for a personality test is a bit like preparing for a first date. You’ll want to make sure you put your best foot forward. Your date knows that you’re not perfect–she’s not either. In fact, if she thought you had no flaws, she’d probably be a bit concerned.
She’ll want to get to know you a bit to see whether the two of you are a good match. Are you ambitious and competitive or relaxed and calm? Do you like intellectual debates? Maybe you have a great sense of humor. You’ll want to make sure that your best traits come out when you meet her.
Your prospective employers don’t have any romantic interests, but they do care about your personality nonetheless. Personality, along with intelligence, is one of the key predictors of professional success. While you need to know how to synthesize information and analyze data, for instance, your personal characteristics will largely determine how well you interact with supervisors, clientele, and other staff members.
Whether you’re manning the customer service desk or managing a team of employees, you’ll need to know how to cooperate, communicate, and coordinate with other individuals. Regardless of your role within a company, you’ll have to work with a team of people.
Like your date, your employer knows you have flaws, but he still wants to see how you relate to others and whether you’ll fit into the company culture.
But My Personality Isn’t Related to My Skills
That’s true. Your personality won’t affect how well you can write code, file taxes, or even, treat a patient. The hard skills that you learned in university are important, and your employer will hire you because you have these skills. Even if you’ve got a brilliant personality, no one will hire you if you cannot perform the duties the position requires.
That being said, your professional success depends upon more than just your talents and abilities.
You’ll also have to be diligent, open-minded, ambitious, responsible, and patient. You’ll have to know how to take criticism gracefully and keep your space and work organized.
There’s nothing worse than an immature, incapable employee.
Whether she arrives late, speaks disrespectfully to clientele, or fails to follow company protocol, she’s going to cause problems–even if she’s very talented. Employers do not want to deal with insubordinate employees, and they certainly don’t want to have to fire them and search for replacements.
Companies also want to know, whether you’re inclined for the role in the first place. They want to identify individuals who are naturally suited to a particular type of work because these people are more likely to enjoy the work and, as a result, are more likely to succeed.
When an HR manager posts the opening, he’ll specify what traits are important to him. Sometimes he’ll set these standards himself, and other times he’ll choose from a list of pre-determined profiles. When companies receive the applicants’ test results, they’ll be able to compare their scores with the standard.
Let’s take a look at the Five-Factor Personality Model. There are many pre-employment personality tests based on the “Big Five.” The Five-Factor Personality Model, originally designed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, attempts to classify personality types according to five broad categories of personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, sometimes abbreviated as O.C.E.A.N.
So, if a company is hiring a customer representative, for example, they’ll want someone who is sociable and easily liked. Anyone who works directly with customers needs to know how to work well with people. So, they’ll probably look for someone high in agreeableness and extraversion but low in neuroticism.
On the other hand, if a business decides to hire an executive or CEO, they’ll probably want to find someone who’s a little bit lower in agreeableness. People who are highly agreeable tend to be cooperative and will go out of their way to help others with their problems.
An executive, however, needs to know how to give orders, set standards, and negotiate with other professionals. A CEO shouldn’t be overly concerned with pleasing everyone around him. If he’s a pushover, he won’t be able to make any progress.
It’s difficult to tell much about someone’s personality from a five-minute interview, and even more difficult from a resume. So large companies with many positions to fill use personality tests to more easily identify candidates whose personalities more closely align with what is established as the ideal.