How to pass personality test for job interview

Written by megan peterson morrow
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When hundreds or even thousands of people apply for a single job, employers can afford to be very choosy about who they hire. With that in mind, don't be surprised if you're asked to take a personality test as part of the interviewing process; personality tests are a growing trend in human resources today. To pass the test and get the job, you need to be organised, thoughtful and consistent in your responses as you share the best version of yourself with your prospective employer.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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    Passing the Personality Test

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    Unlike many other tests, there really aren't right and wrong answers in personality tests, so it's important to be yourself (the best version of yourself -- you don't need to share your weaknesses or faults) and to be honest. With that said, some thoughtful responses can help move you to the head of the pack.

    Some of the questions will likely ask about your work ethic: Are you willing to stay late to finish a project? How do you balance your personal time and work time? What is your work style? Are you a morning or a night person? Make it clear that you are dedicated and devoted to your job and willing to pitch in during particularly busy times. Saying that your Monday night bowling league is your top priority probably won't land you the job.

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    Some of the questions will also probe deeper into your basic personality: Do you like being the centre of attention? Do you prefer hanging out with a large group of people or staying in with just one or two friends? What do you like to do in your free time?

    Again, answer honestly and thoughtfully. For a sales position, a company will likely be looking for an extrovert, so show them that you're not afraid to talk to strangers and that you enjoy the company of others. If you're going to be performing data entry in a small office, then show that you're comfortable working on your own and are self motivated. Keep the position in mind and then show that you have the particular set of skills for that job.

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    Finally, some personality tests might ask how you deal with stress, if you anger quickly, if you enjoy doing the same task over and over or something different each day, if you've ever told a lie or even questions about your particular skill set, whether it's sales, construction, finance or marketing.

    At the end of the process, you should feel like you shared the best and most authentic version of yourself, told the truth, focused on the job at hand and did your best. While you can't "beat" a personality test, you can be prepared for one.

Tips and warnings

  • Be honest and be yourself throughout the process.
  • Prior to taking the test, take some time to create a list of three key points or messages you want to get across through your answers, such as: I have great leadership skills and experience; I am extremely dependable and hard-working; and I am a creative problem solver.
  • Don't try to answer the questions the way you think the test or interviewer wants you to answer. You never know what skills or qualities they're looking for.

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