Use These 7 Strategies to Beat Your Pre-Employment Personality Test

Have you ever felt nervous about taking a personality test?

Employers try to understand candidates and the driving forces behind their actions better by using personality assessments. As such, it’s incredibly important to come across well in these assessments when you are trying to land a job offer.

However, mastering a pre-employment personality test isn't just about impressing the recruiters. It's about truly understanding yourself and presenting the most authentic version of who you are.

Below, I’ll cover personality test types, 7 invaluable tips to ace this test, and a real-life example scenario to help you excel in your assessment, ensuring that you stand out during recruiting season.

5 Types of Personality Tests Used by Employers

Here are 5 personality tests that are commonly used by employers during the hiring process:

1. The Caliper Profile

The Caliper Profile assesses how a person’s personality traits correspond to job performance. 

This test involves various types of sample questions, the most common of which present a series of statements you must choose between, deciding which statement aligns best with your viewpoint and personality traits.

Furthermore, some questions ask you to identify the statements that least reflect your personality. Additionally, you may encounter true/false and multiple-choice questions.

Unlike other personality tests, the Caliper Profile evaluates positive and negative qualities, providing a more comprehensive snapshot of a candidate’s personality.

2. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is among the most well-known personality tests for mapping employee personalities. 

The MBTI identifies whether an employee's personality lies in the following categories: "Extraversion vs. Introversion," "Intuition vs. Sensing," "Thinking vs. Feeling," and "Judging vs. Perceiving."

As a result, a person can fall into one of 16 personality types. Employers often use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to assess a candidate's cultural fit and potential compatibility with the team. 

The MBTI comprises 93 questions, each offering a choice between two statements (A or B) to determine the individual's inclinations.

3. The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire, or OPQ32, provides companies with insights into how specific behaviors influence a candidate's work performance. This job personality test consists of 104 questions that measure 32 different characteristics. 

Candidates are evaluated across three main domains: "Relationship with People," "Thinking Style and Feelings," and "Emotions." Each candidate is presented with four statements, and they must select the ones that best and least describe them. 

The OPQ32 was purposefully developed to ensure its scales are pertinent and applicable to the workplace.

4. The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

Based on the Five-Factor Model (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism), the HPI comprises 206 true or false questions. These questions must be completed within 15 to 20 minutes. 

It evaluates seven primary, six occupational scales, and 42 subscales. Some of these scales include "Service Orientation," "Stress Tolerance," "Reliability," "Clerical Potential," "Sales Potential," and "Managerial Potential." 

5. The DiSC Behavior Inventory

The DiSC Behavior Inventory (DiSC) measures a candidate's primary traits based on four personality types. Companies utilize the DiSC to understand an employee's professional behavior style and ability to be part of a team.

The personality assessment for the job has various versions. Each version incorporates a variation of the four basic DiSC factors: "Dominant (D)," "Influential (I)," "Steady (S)," and "Compliant (C)." 

The DiSC test is a user-friendly test, ranging from 12 to 30 questions. Candidates are presented with adjectives or phrases and asked to select the ones that best and least apply to them.

7. Tips for Acing a Personality Test

1. Be Honest, but Keep the Company in Mind

While it's tough to manipulate the results of a personality test, understanding what traits the company seeks can guide your responses. Familiarize yourself with the competencies they value, but don't force your answers to fit an imagined mold; genuine responses are key.

2. Avoid Fence-Sitting

Avoid excessive "Neither Agree nor Disagree" answers, which might imply indecisiveness. A lack of clear conviction could affect the test administrator's perception of your suitability for the role.

3. Balance Your Responses

Refuse the urge to constantly opt for "Strongly Agree" or "Strongly Disagree." Overusing these responses could portray an inflexible or overly confident personality, which might not align with what the employer is seeking. 

4. Strive for Consistency

Expect similar questions phrased differently; this tests your consistency and the strength of your convictions. Inconsistencies might raise red flags, suggesting an attempt to manipulate results.

5. Keep it Professional

Tailor your responses to the context of work. The employer is interested in your professional persona, not your social one. Visualize yourself in the work scenarios presented to help maintain this mindset during the assessment.

6. Reflect on Self-Awareness

Before the test, reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to the job. This self-awareness can lead to more accurate responses.

7. Stay Calm and Trust Your Instincts

Defend yourself from stress or anxiety by staying calm. Overthinking might lead to inaccurate answers. Trust your instincts, take deep breaths, and approach the test positively.

How To Find Out What Traits A Company Values?

To determine what personality traits a company values, you can follow these steps:

Research the Company

Begin by exploring the company's website, particularly the "About Us" or "Our Culture" sections. Look for any information regarding the company's values, mission, and vision. Pay attention to any specific language or keywords used to describe the company culture.

Check Job Postings

Analyze the job postings on the company's website or job boards. Look for any specific qualities or characteristics they emphasize in their desired candidates. 

Note the language they use to describe the ideal candidate and any specific qualifications they prioritize.

Study Employee Profiles

Investigate the profiles of current or past employees on professional networking sites like LinkedIn. 

Look for common attributes or skills among the employees. This can give you an idea of the type of people the company hires and retains.

Review Company Reviews

Read employee reviews on websites like Glassdoor or Indeed to gain insights into the company's work culture. 

Look for any comments or feedback mentioning the company's values or the traits employees are expected to exhibit.

Analyze Company Initiatives and Events

Look at the company's initiatives, events, and any awards or recognition they have received. These can indicate the values and traits the company actively promotes and rewards in its employees.

How to Research What Personality Traits Are Valuable for Specific Roles?

Job Analysis and Role Understanding

Begin by comprehensively understanding the requirements of the specific role. Analyze the job description, responsibilities, and challenges to grasp the necessary traits.

Review Existing Research and Literature

Search existing studies, academic papers, and reputable publications that discuss the correlation between personality traits and job performance for the particular role.

Consult Job Competency Models

Some industries or professions have established competency models that outline the desired skills for specific roles. Review these models to identify the key personality traits that align with the expected competencies.

Interview Professionals in the Field

Speak to professionals who currently hold similar roles or have extensive experience in the field. Ask them about the personality traits they consider crucial for success in the position and any highly valued qualities in their industry.

Utilize Occupational Handbooks and Databases

Check government or industry-specific occupational handbooks and databases. These often provide insights into the qualifications and characteristics for various roles, including personality traits.

Conduct Surveys or Questionnaires

Design and distribute surveys or questionnaires to individuals in the desired role, supervisors, and HR professionals. Collect data on their opinions regarding the importance of various personality traits for success in the role.

Explore Psychometric Assessments

Investigate established psychometric assessments and tools for assessing workplace personality traits. Understand how these assessments link specific personality traits to job performance.

Example (Marketing role in P&G)

Role: Marketing position at P&G, a company known for its values of Integrity, Leadership, Ownership, Trust, and Passion for Winning.

You can highlight your strength in Integrity by highlighting an experience where you had to make a difficult ethical decision in your previous marketing role. 
For example, you might describe a situation where your team was pressured to meet a tight deadline by making a misleading claim in an advertising campaign.

You can describe a story where you took the initiative to lead a marketing project that was initially struggling. Discuss how you motivated your team members, set clear goals, and provided them with the necessary resources to succeed.

You can talk about a campaign that you were personally responsible for from start to finish. Explain how you took full accountability for the project, from initial conceptualization to execution and final analysis. 
Discuss the challenges you encountered and how you took ownership of the outcomes, whether they were successes or learning opportunities.

Demonstrate Trust by illustrating a situation where you built strong relationships with colleagues or clients based on honesty and reliability.
Describe how you created an open communication and transparency environment, ensuring all team members were informed and involved in decision-making.

Passion for Winning:
Describe an instance where your dedication and enthusiasm were instrumental in the success of a project. Discuss how your determination to go above and beyond what was required resulted in reaching significant milestones and exceeding your initial goals.
Additionally, you should highlight your strengths in other important areas for the marketing role, such as effective communication, teamwork, ambition, and drive. 
Provide examples demonstrating your excellent communication skills and ability to collaborate with diverse teams. Moreover, show your ability to collaborate with various teams and your ambitious approach to tackling challenges and achieving objectives.


Mastering a personality test can significantly improve your chances of securing your dream job. You can confidently approach these assessments by following our tips and leveraging real-life examples. 

Remember to stay true to yourself while aligning your responses with the company's core values and the traits they seek in candidates. Take the time to understand the test's purpose, practice self-reflection, and prepare effectively. 

You should show self-awareness and a genuine passion for the position and company. Test your personality today and get the job of your dreams!

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