The simple answer to the above is of course “no!” After all, we should all be able to weigh up the short-term gains of securing a job against the downsides of struggling in a role we aren’t really suited to.

That said, there are certain staple character traits that all employees really need to demonstrate. Most personality tests are designed to single out the core qualities – both good and bad – so it’s worth being conscious of what the major dealmakers (and breakers) are.

At the top of the most-wanted list are qualities like honesty and motivation. We can also include persistence and self-discipline, as well as the ability to work well as part of a team. Tests are also calibrated to screen for undesirable qualities, such as poor anger management and an inability to handle stress.

But, beyond identifying these basic traits, what recruiters are really testing for is personal fit – they want people whose personality and values are aligned with those of the organisation. This means that attempting to tailor your responses to what you think the right answer should be is unlikely to land you in the kind of environment that you’re suited to.

These are some of the more common personality tests you can expect to come across as a job candidate and what they’re looking for:

The Caliper Profile
The core focus of this test is to understand what really drives and motivates you. From here, the recruiter can determine whether you’re a good match for the role – would your values see you thrive as part of a social enterprise, for example?

Gallup Strengths Finder
As the name suggests, this test is directly focused on identifying your strengths and compiles responses to 177 statements to identify your top five strengths from 34 potential positive traits. If they align with those of the employer you’re in business.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
This widely-used assessment looks at where your preferences fall within four ranges: introversion – extraversion, intuition – sensing, thinking – feeling and perceiving – judging. (Be aware that these are psychological terms and don’t have the same meaning as they do in common parlance). Your result will identify you as one of 16 possible personality types, allowing hiring managers to see how you’ll fit within a given team, for example.

Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
16PF identifies how you rank in terms of 16 key personality traits that we all possess. Unlike other tests, the questions are closely linked to typical work-place situations – ie “what would you do if…?’” The idea is to determine whether your personality will see you perform well in the role.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
This assessment is usually performed by a medical expert such as a psychologist and tends only to be applied within high-stress professions such as the police force. Again, it’s a question of making sure the individual is suited to the requirements of the job.

When it comes to personality tests it’s generally a case of honesty is the best policy, especially given that most assessments are designed to make sure the right person ends up in the right role. However, as we’ve seen, it’s important to take this stock advice with a pinch of salt and always bear in mind the basic benchmarks of what employers are looking for.

Reference: Hiring strategies; Psychometric-Success; MSN; Abintegro
02 Feb 2017
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