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Employer Personality Tests for Job Applicants

Updated on October 31, 2012

With more frequency, large scale chains are using personality tests for job applicants with their online job applications. This often increases the amount of time to apply for a job to 45 min. online. These tests have no right or wrong answers, so claimed, but the reality is, there are right and wrong answers. These should be obvious. The trick for applicants is to be consistent with answers to the many questions. Most will ask the same question many times but in a different manner to confuse the reader. Should you answer the same question theme, say, stealing from an employer, or stealing in general, in an inconsistent manner, the results will present a "questionable" picture of your personality. So, you might have all the skills etc., yet, if the personality test is questionable, they may select another candidate.

It is applicant vs. psychology test results. Applicants will lie on the questions that are negative for them. But, a single answer alone means little and must be weighted with the other responses. Most of the tests are devised based upon a company's best employee traits and then create a test for that for applicants to match.

Some common questions that are not so obvious are:

1. I don't mind being told what to do. A true answer can mean two different things, the applicant is able to follow directions well OR may also mean they are incapable of taking independent action. A false response may indicate the applicant is too difficult to manage and too independent.

2. People expect too much of me. A true response may show that the person can be easily overwhelmed and does not believe in their own talent.

3. I like parties and socials. A true response indicates two things- you have an outgoing personality, good for sales, but, you are not really independent and likes to follow the crowd. A false indicates a loner but a more independent person. It may indicate you are not a team player or just introverted.

The problem with employers relying on these tests is that the results can be misunderstood, paint an inaccurate picture of an otherwise qualified applicant. Just because the applicant appears to be the best applicant personality for the job, does not mean that is so. The applicant will never know how they did on the personality test, which is only a guide, at best.

Most large IT, grocery, retail chains or stores have these. Get use to them. Just another hurdle for a job applicant.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      If the tests are used to help evaulate how they company can best place the candidate/employee, it is valuable information. However, as you stated, if it is used to screen employees for open positions, then it is poor use of a good hiring tool.