Are Personality Tests Reliable?


How to Beat the Personality Test!

Personality tests are used by HR departments during the interview process to avoid risk. So, they will choose the candidate that the test results show to be the best choice. Corporate use of the pre-employment screening test has increased 300% in the last five years alone because of complex computer modeling that employs powerful mathematical algorithms, making the results far more accurate than ever before.

Another reason employers love these tests is simply because there is nothing else out there to evaluate you with. Your previous employer will refrain from saying anything negative about you because they may risk litigation. So today, your previous employer(s) will only confirm your dates of employment.

First, you must understand that personality tests are unreliable and can be manipulated.

  • They only measure different attitudes about things from different people. Your attitude about something in general cannot be used to predict how you’ll react to business situations.
  • They cannot predict behavior because behavior is context sensitive. People act differently in different situations.
  • They associate success with different personality types. In fact, personality requirements are different for different jobs.

With that said companies do use them and so you need to learn how your answers will be interpreted by employers so you can influence them positively here is an Example:

  • Q. I have never told a lie.
    • 1. Strongly Agree
    • 2. Agree
    • 3. Neutral
    • 4. Disagree
    • 5. Strongly Disagree

So, when you come across this question, if you answer is 1 or 2, you’re going to set off some red flags. In fact, you’ll probably set off some fireworks. Your best answer is 4 ‘Disagree.’ When you answer 4, the employer will interpret this as you are an honest person as everyone has told a lie at some time.

Answering 5 will make you unrealistic and paint you as someone that lie’s a lot.

With a little preparation and study, you will have a better understanding of the psychology behind these tests, and an understanding of what companies seek to learn from these tests, so you will have a better idea of how to answer the questions.