Personality Test Tips
Read important information from our experts regarding the personality tests used at assessment centres and job application processes.
Personality tests are based on the assumption that you have never seen the test and that you are not familiar with the basic principles thereof. Practicing similar psychometric tests beforehand and receiving constructive expert feedback, such as that provided by JobTestPrep, will positively affect your candidate profile.
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The following article is packed with invaluable advice and personality test tips provided by our test writers and team of psychologists who have developed JobTestPrep's personality test.
Changing your behaviour, not your personalityOur behaviour changes from one situation to another and therefore preparation for the psychometric personality test can help you remain calm, focused and show you how to bring out your strengths.
People often think that you cannot prepare for personality tests since one's behaviour is consistent; an aggressive person will always be aggressive, a generous person will always be generous and so on.
The experience gained at JobTestPrep shows that people behave differently in different situations. This is especially true if the situation is stressful, which is characteristic of an assessment process. Therefore, a person who is usually calm and well mannered may find himself irritated and intolerant in a stressful situation. Conversely, within the convenience of our own home we may be less emotionally controlled yet within the working environment we act rationally.
"Right" and "wrong" answers in the personality testOne thing test administrators always say about personality tests is that there are no right or wrong answers. Moreover, the personality test is often referred to as a 'questionnaire' rather than a 'test', reinforcing the notion that indeed there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers. This is obviously not true.
A Personality test is used for screening purposes, serving as another tool that could help match between a specific position and a person who fulfills the criteria the position entails. This means that there are indeed right and wrong answers that relate to specific job criteria.
Recruiters have an ideal candidate in mind for each job. When recruiters analyse your personality test results, they try to determine whether your personality matches the personality of the ideal candidate. For example, you would find it hard to believe a timid and shy person applying for a sales job. Different positions require different personality characteristics. For example, the qualities required to be a sales person are very different from those required to be a clerk.
Having said that, we all portray a spectrum of traits which may be latent in a certain environment and salient in another; at home I may be less emotionally constrained than at work – does that make me an emotional person or a rational one? Hence, familiarizing ourselves with personality questionnaires can prevent us from making foolish mistakes and improve our chances of success. Personality tests have built-in traps that you must be aware of before you take the real test, and this is where our online personality test comes in handy
Feeling stress and discomfort before taking a personality test is a completely understandable and natural response; you are being asked to take an unfamiliar psychological test without understanding the evaluation criteria. The only thing you do know is that the test is supposed to reveal hidden sides of your personality, and that can be very intimidating.
Feelings of stress associated with test-taking can influence your behaviour in four ways:
- Irritating Behaviour
Carelessness Personality questionnaires are long and tiring, and they often contain a number of repetitive questions. After answering a myriad of questions, you may become careless and start answering quickly and systematically. For example, you may take hasty decisions and choose the first response that sounds reasonably "like" you rather than reading each question in full and selecting the most appropriate answer. This type of carelessness can occur with many types of questions.
Here's a tricky question as an example:
"People do not understand my good intentions."
A. Sometimes true
B. Never true
If you don’t consider the two options carefully, you may be tempted to answer B. However, almost everybody has been in a situation where they weren’t properly understood, so the answer 'Never true' is inappropriate. It is absolutely vital to read both the question and each of the possible responses carefully and to pay close attention to words like 'always', 'never', 'sometimes' and 'usually'.
Over-investment Generally, there is no specific time limit for completing a personality test. Some applicants take this instruction too literally and spend too much time on the test. You should know that in many assessment centres and on some computer applications, the time factor does play a hidden role. The overall time taken to complete the test and the hesitations between answers are often noted.
If you are too worried about the outcome of the test you may invest extra time pondering over each question, re-thinking your answers over and over again, erasing and re-completing and ultimately taking way too long to finish the test The evaluators will make a note of any hesitant behaviour and may conclude that you have difficulty dealing with stressful situations
This aspect of the evaluation is kept well hidden from applicants, as the evaluators want to observe your "natural" pace of work
Indecisiveness Some candidates, overwhelmed by stress, become very indecisive. For example,
imagine that you are asked the following question:
"I don't mind being interrupted while I'm working."
Responding indecisively throughout the test can lead the evaluators to conclude that you’re an indecisive person and that you didn’t handle the testing situation well. Indecisiveness won’t help your application, nor will employers appreciate it. In cases where you are tempted to select the neutral option (‘?’), we recommend that you reconsider and evaluate which answer more appropriately represents qualities that are suited to the position you applied for.
Irritating Behaviour Stress can also influence your behaviour towards the examiners. Some applicants are so concerned about their test results that they repeatedly harass the examiners by asking questions and demanding clarifications. This behaviour can make you appear needy and unable to perform effectively in an ambiguous situation. In summary, a high level of stress can impede your performance on the personality assessment. Conversely, when your stress level is low and you know what’s expected of you, your attitude towards the test will be more focused and determined.
The secret to alleviating stress is to come prepared. When your stress level is under control you will display a sound, coherent personality profile that amplifies your strengths rather than your anxiety.
When preparing for a personality test be cautious of free advice. For example, many think that when filling in a personality questionnaire it is very important to be consistent. This advice can be misleading and compromise your chances of success! Being very consistent throughout may create an extreme profile, one which suggests you have very strong but also very weak characteristics and suggest you have an extreme personality.
Our customers' comments on this product:
“ Very useful process, I avoided the stupid errors I would have made. Useful feedback on what assessors would be looking for „
Junior line manager, November 2012
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