Everything You Need To Know About Pre-Employment Personality Tests

Everything You Need To Know About Pre-Employment Personality Tests

As you search for a job, you probably have some expectations of the experience. You may be prepared to go through a reference check and a detailed interview. But there's one thing you might not be ready for - a personality test. Find out everything you should know about these tests and how you can prepare for the next pre-employment personality test that comes your way.

What's the Purpose of a Pre-Employment Personality Test?

As part of your interview, a potential employer may ask you to take a personality test. While tests can seem scary, this isn't a test you need to fear. It's a tool employers use to learn more about a candidate. After the test, the employer will know more about your communication style and personality. This allows them to determine how you would fit in with the rest of the team.

A personality test is never the sole determining factor of a job offer. Rather, employers use it to gain more insight into candidates. The onboarding process costs money and takes time, so employers need to vet all the job applicants well before they can make an offer. If they didn't, their business would waste significant time and money every time they hired someone new.

An interview isn't really enough for a hiring manager to know about someone's personality. If you've ever been to an interview before, you probably know how to conduct yourself. You know what the interviewer wants to hear, as does every other job applicant. By issuing a personality test, the interviewer can try to get past the surface and learn more about you.

A Personality Test Doesn't Have Right or Wrong Answers

When you begin a personality test, you might have the mindset you can pass or fail the test. But there are no right or wrong answers on personality tests. Furthermore, the assessment won't make or break you. Before you worry yourself too much, you should know that there are many limitations to this type of test.

It's Not a Judgement on You as a Person

For your entire life, you've dealt with people judging you. That happens whether or not you take a personality test. It's important to realize that the assessment isn't for the interviewer to judge and criticize you. Instead, it's an informative questionnaire.

If you fear the results of the assessment, you may not answer the questions honestly. Try to calm yourself down and know that no one is judging you based on your personality type.

It's Not a Glimpse Into the Future

Your assessment could lead you to discover something about yourself. However, it doesn't predict your behavior. There is no single assessment that can predict how you will react to a situation or what your potential may be. Employers are aware of this, so they don't put all of their faith into the results of the assessment. Every employer knows that people aren't always true to their personality type.

Be Honest, But Be Thoughtful

It's true that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions in personality tests. However, you should use common sense while answering questions. If you're applying for a position in sales, you don't want to answer questions in a way that makes you seem like an introvert.

Remember that most people have two personality types. At work, you might be a completely different person than you are at home. You should answer the questions with your workplace persona, and this could help your outcome.

What are the Tests Like?

If you're anxious about taking a personality test, knowing what to expect from the assessment may ease your mind. Although there are many types of personality tests available, there are two assessments frequently used by employers. The tests have some variations, which means you need to know about the test to understand what to expect.


First, there's the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory test, also known as the MBTI. This is the most well-known assessment and assigns one of 16 personality types to the tester. To determine your personality, the test considers the way you receive energy, absorb information, and organize your life.

There are 93 sets of questions in this test, and each question has two possible answers. You pick the answer that best describes you, and then you receive a four letter personality type. Because there's no bad personality type, you should answer the questions as honestly as possible.

The DiSC

Another popular assessment in the corporate world is the DiSC. The test looks at the following qualities:

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness

While this assessment yields results that are similar to the MBTI, it has a different format. There are multiple statements, and you need to choose whether you agree, disagree, are neutral, agree, or strongly agree with the statement. Once again, honesty is key. An employer won't deny you a job offer simply because they don't like your personality type.

How You Can Prepare for the Test

Because the personality assessment isn't a skills test, there's no need to study for it. In fact, to answer the questions honestly, you shouldn't study or familiarize yourself with the questions. Doing so could prevent you from answering honestly.

If you're nervous about the assessment, learn more about each type of personality test. A little research could make you feel more comfortable. It's even more useful to learn about the company itself. What's the company culture like? Do you think you would fit in well? As you ask yourself that question, be honest with yourself. If you accept a job in a hostile workplace or in a place that's not right for you, the future is bleak.

The best way to prepare for the assessment is to be confident. Before you go into an interview, think about all of the things that make you special. Take some time to think about your own personality. What traits help you succeed in the workplace? If you go into the personality test knowing your value, you're more likely to impress the interviewer.

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