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As part of the recruitment process, employers sometimes ask job candidates to take a personality test to help them decide who to shortlist for an interview. A candidate’s answers to the test questions tell the company’s hiring manager about that person’s personality traits, values and anything else that contributes to the candidate’s potential for success, or lack thereof. As IPAT President John W. Jones tells Forbes, there are no right or wrong answers on a personality test, but there are still things you can do to increase your chances of landing that job interview.
Answer the personality test questions honestly. Distorting the test results by lying does not guarantee that the resulting personality profile will be what the employer is looking for. If you answer each question honestly and you don’t get invited for an interview, the employer probably doesn’t think the role suits your personality so the job may not have been right for you anyway. If you do have the right qualities for a role, the personality test will reveal this to the employer if you’ve answered the questions truthfully.
Knowing yourself well helps you answer personality test questions in a way that showcases your true personality, improving your chances of being interviewed for jobs you’re genuinely suited to. Before starting a personality test, take some time to reflect upon what your values, strengths and weaknesses are. During the test, don’t answer the questions based on who you think you should be; answer them according to who you really are.
Although you can’t study for a personality test the same way you would for a conventional exam, you can practice taking the test. Search online for sample tests or tests that were previously used as part of an employer’s recruitment process. Taking practice personality tests familiarizes you with the process, helping you feel more relaxed and confident when it comes to the real thing. Doing as many practice tests as possible also gives you a better idea of who you are, which will help you in your job search even if you don’t get the job you’re being tested for.
After you take the test, the company responsible for creating the test may give you the opportunity to see the test results and comment on them before it sends them off to the potential employer. If you aren’t offered this opportunity, ask for it. Once you’ve got a copy of the results, review them carefully and add any comments that you think will enhance the employer’s understanding of the test results and of you as a person and a professional.
Based in London, Autumn St. John has been writing career- and business-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "Guardian" and "Changing Careers" magazine. St. John holds a Master of Arts in Russian and East European literature and culture from University College London, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Oxford.