Personality test tips. People with question marks above their heads.

Personality Test Tips

Our focus here is on our personality test tips.

* * CONTENT UPDATED OCTOBER 2020 * * *

Personality Test Practice tips

16PF personality test tips.

OPQ personality test tips.

MBTI personality test tips.

DISC Personality test tips

  • Firstly, DISC’s theoretical model is based on Jung’s personality “types” theories.
  • Secondly, DISC has lower construct validity than the OPQ, NEO, PAPI and WAVE personality tests.
  • Thirdly, Employers are looking for certain personality traits in any role. However it’s a bad idea to second guess what those might be.

Passing personality tests

  • Firstly, employers are looking for certain personality traits in any role – as indicators of high job performance in key areas.
  • Secondly, personality test practice is of paramount importance.
  • Go with your initial reactions rather than thinking about each question in detail.
  • Don’t try to guess what type of person they are looking for.
  • Employers are usually looking for several different profiles, and there may be checks within the questionnaire to identify false answers.

THE 5 MORAL FOUNDATIONS

How we determine what’s morally right and wrong.

  • CARE & HARM – Being kind, gentle, and nurturing others.
  • FAIRNESS – Doing your fair share (without cheating). Autonomy, justice and human rights.
  • LOYALTY – Making sacrifices for the sack of a group.
  • AUTHORITY – Respect for tradition and deference to authority.

·   SANCTITY – Living nobly without engaging in any immoral activities).

Big Five Personality Tests

Do you work well with others? If you’ve ever thought about this skill and want to know how well you execute it, then this personality test is for you. Big Five personality tests focus on how you work and how well you communicate with others. While it’s a tightly focused test, its results shouldn’t be scoffed at. It gives you insight into whether you should be in a job that has you communicating with others all the time or a loner that gets the job done by yourself.

SHL Personality Test Tips

As two of the most popular personality tests used by UK employers for development, OPQ and NEO practice is important to us.

OPQ personality test tips

  • The OPQ has 32 personality traits grouped into categories such as Sociability, Influence and Thinking Style. For example, the Influence grouping of personality traits includes the personality traits of being Persuasive, Outspoken, Independent-Minded.
  • Check for a “faking scale” which for the OPQ personality test is called the Social Desirability scale. This measures how socially desirable your responses are. An example question with socially desirable responses, such as never lying, that everyone lies.
  • Thirdly, read each personality test question carefully and don’t lose your concentration before you reach the end of the personality test.
  • Check whether you will be doing either the ipsative or normative version. There are three main types of personality test: ipsative (forced-choice); normative; or ipsative (a mixture of normative and ipsative personality test format).
  • There are no time limits when completing such a personality questionnaire.
  • Finally, since this is a personality test, there are no right and wrong answers.

SHL psychometric tests practice

16PF5 Personality Test Tips

Please see all of our 16PF personality tips. The 16PF5 personality test is one of the best, but least used personality tests.

Firstly, the 16PF5 has excellent supporting materials.

Secondly, there are readily available personality test reports.

Thirdly, like the NEO personality questionnaire, it’is based on academically rigorous factor analysis.

Points to remember when completing the 16PF5 personality test are:

  • There is a systematic model, based on factor analysis, behind the set of the 16PF5 personality questionnaire’s personality questions.
  • The 16PF5 profile and many of the 16PF5 personality test reports show the global personality factors. These global personality factors are very similar to the NEO’s Big Five personality model: Extraversion/Introversion; Conscientiousness; Agreeableness; Openness to Experience and Neuroticism.

Personality feedback – Analysts

Members of this group possess “O” and “D” as their common traits

  1. OCED (Commander: Commander)
  2. OUED (Debater: Royal court advisor)
  3. OCID (Architect: Battle strategist)
  4. OUID (Logician: Magic researcher)

Personality feedback -Diplomats

Members of this group possess “O” and “A” as their common traits,

  1. OCEA (Protagonist: Protagonist)
  2. OUEA (Campaigner: The Wanderer)
  3. OCIA (Advocate: Wizard)
  4. OUIA (Mediator: Diplomat)

Personality feedback – Sentinels

Members of this group possess “L” and “C” as their common traits.

  1. LCID (Logistician: Magic scientist?) (so similar to logician)
  2. LCIA (Defender: Paladin)
  3. LCED (Executive: Puppet master)
  4. LCEA (Consul: Healer)

Personality feedback – Explorers

Members of this group possess “L” and “U” as their common traits.

  1. LUID (Virtuoso: Inventor)
  2. LUIA (Adventurer: Adventurer)
  3. LUED (Entrepreneur: Merchant/ Salesman)

How Personality Type affects Your Career

It may even have define your career choice. In our opinion, most ENTJs prefer leadership roles and managing work projects.

Personality type career guidance

We all know one person who loves the job. Another who just hates upper management politics. another who doesn’t want to deal with people.

Can you get promoted in a way that keeps you using your personality authentically? Unfortunately, to be successful you have to understand first your personality type. Secondly, the way it will interact with the people around you.

Personality type career mismatches

Your personality type certainly affects the way you think and act. Plus, other people’s perceptions of you.

This isn’t a complicated idea, but it is a critical one. Your personality type and any misperceptions others have about it are likely to self perpetuate and drive your career. It’s a feedback loop, regardless of whether or not it’s positive or negative; if you’re unhappy with your job and others know it, you’re likely to become more unhappy about your job. If your personality type doesn’t fit your job, you’re likely to be unhappy there.

Personality type career guidance

Career success requires finding a job that matches your personality traits. The idea becomes doubly true once you start moving up the ladder. This is why you can guess what department somebody is from just by their attitude toward the company.  So before you accept a personality-type based promotion, you need to know what jobs you can and can’t do.

Personality type career guidance

We all know one person who loves the job. Another who just hates upper management politics. another who doesn’t want to deal with people.

Can you get promoted in a way that keeps you using your personality authentically. Unfortunately, to be successful you have to understand firstly your personality type. Secondly, the way it will interact with the people around you.

Personality type career mismatches

Your personality type certainly affects the way you think and also act. Plus, other people’s perceptions of you.

This isn’t a complicated idea, but it is a critical one. Your personality type and any misperceptions others have about it are likely to self perpetuate and drive your career. It’s a feedback loop, regardless of whether or not it’s positive or negative; if you’re unhappy with your job and others know it, you’re likely to become more unhappy about your job. If your personality type doesn’t fit your job, you’re likely to be unhappy there.

Personality type career guidance

Career success requires finding a job that matches your personality traits. The idea becomes doubly true once you start moving up the ladder. This is why you can guess what department somebody is from just by their attitude toward the company.  So before you accept a personality-type based promotion, you need to know what jobs you can and can’t do.

Personality Fit

Personality is critical for customer-facing roles. In the age of social media, a single bad experience with a disgruntled employee can result in long-term customer loss. The organization that provides an engaging customer experience with a highly personable workforce holds a great advantage over its competitors. But personality is not only important for customer service positions, as is becoming evident with research on “cultural fit“. Employees that “mesh” well with their organizations are:

  • More satisfied with their job.
  • Less likely to quit.
  • More committed to the organization.
  • Higher performing.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to add to your company culture (rather than create an echo chamber) and leverage the advantages a diverse workforce brings, gauging each candidate’s cultural identity from the get-go is vital. Either way, gaining insight on each candidate’s disposition as early as possible is critical for finding the applicants most likely to succeed in your organization.

Other Pre-Hire Assessments Practice

If you’re currently applying for jobs, you’re likely to face psychometric testing. Both personality assessment and some of the most commonly used aptitude tests. These measures numerical, verbal and logical reasoning.

How you perform matters. Nearly 90 percent of companies said they would reject candidates if the test showed them to be deficient in basic skills, according to a survey by the American Management Association. 

Personality test trends in 2019

Candidates may also have to take a personality test as part of the recruitment process. There is a vast array of personality tests, which pose questions about a candidate’s behaviour and personal preferences. A typical question may ask whether you prefer attending parties or staying home with a good book. These personality tests help employers to determine whether a candidate has the right profile for the role.

Personality Tests Trend 2019 – Biodata questions

Personality biodata questions measure a variety of constructs, including attitudes, personality attributes, interests, skills/abilities, past events and experiences. An individual’s learning history is of particular interest.

Popular Personality Tests

The most popular personality tests which you may be asked to complete are described in the next section.

First are the Hogan set of specialist personality tools: Hogan – the Bright Side of Personality; Hogan Leadership High Potential; Hogan Values, Preferences Inventory and the Hogan Dark Side personality tool.

Secondly, IBM Kenexa has been one of the most success test providers for many year In particular, their leading personality tools:

  • firstly IBM Kenexa’s Occupational Personality Inventory (OPI)/Talent Profile and
  • secondly, their Rapid Personality Questionnaire (RPQ).

Saville Assessment or Willis Towers Watson (formerly Saville Consulting) has a very popular WAVE personality test.

Saville Consulting WAVE personality test report examples

There are many other popular test publishers. These typically have one or two leading personality tools. Thus, CEB has the OPQ and many other personality assessments, PSI has the 16PF personality questionnaire. Personality test publisher CPP has the still widely popular MBTI.

Personality Assessment Tips

Even if you can tell which personality trait a personality test question is measuring, it is ill-advised to try to second guess those personality traits which your potential employer is looking for in any job you’re applying for.

Difficulty in second-guessing personality questionnaires

You will probably guess wrong. In fact, you could be giving “fake” responses to make you score higher on a scale for which the identified personality set of ideal personality trait scores is at the lower end of the scale.

Jobs with a personality that doesn’t fit

If you are successful in your application then you have a job for which your personality does not “fit”. To be successful you will need to continue with assuming those personality traits that you don’t actually have. That is very tricky on day one of your new job and will prove quite stressful in the longer-term.

That said, if you applying for a graduate management position, it is common sense which types of personality trait most of these graduate management schemes require: team working, drive, powers of persuasion and influencing skills, emotional stability, agreeableness, leadership skills etc.

Best practice dictates there are no right or wrong answers to a personality test. However, two points to remember here:

Play it safe with some personality test scales

Play it safe with Emotional Stability / Neuroticism-relates personality questions – For most Emotional Stability (Neuroticism) scales a more stable personality is preferred. Unstable personalities in the workplace – wherever and whatever that workplace happens to be – can have a negative impact on colleagues as well as on the predictability of work performance.

Avoid Extreme Responses on key personality scales.

There are issues associated with being extremely high or extremely low on any scale. Many employers – if they have an ideal personality profile for a role – will have identified a more central set of scores that excludes the highest (sten 10) and the lowest (sten 1) on most of the personality traits measures by their chosen personality assessment tool.

PERSONALITY TEST TIPS Part Two

Given the above point, it is worth considering that even if you know you are, for example, an extremely lively and sociable individual then maybe you don’t want to answer “very high” to each personality test question about being sociable/lively. Remember even in a role where this is a necessary personality trait (e.g. a sales role), the individual who has to chat to everyone is not necessarily focusing their efforts on where their next sales will come from.

Next, remember you will probably guess wrong.

Also, you could be giving “fake” responses to make you score higher on a scale for which the identified personality set of ideal personality trait scores is at the lower end of the scale.

Even if you can tell which personality trait a personality test question is measuring, it is ill-advised to try to second guess those personality traits which your potential employer is looking for in any job you’re applying for.

You will probably not be able to fake this personality profile throughout the whole of the test. However, if you are successful in your application then you have a job for which your personality does not “fit”. To be successful you will need to continue with assuming those personality traits that you don’t actually have. That is very tricky on day one of your new job and will prove quite stressful in the longer-term.

Firstly, Avoid Extreme Responses.

There are issues associated with being extremely high or extremely low on any scale. Many employers – if they have an ideal personality profile for a role – will have identified a more central set of scores that excludes the highest (sten 10) and the lowest (sten 1) on most of the personality traits measures by their chosen personality assessment tool.

Given the above point, it is worth considering that even if you know you are, for example, an extremely lively and sociable individual then maybe you don’t want to answer “very high” to each personality test question about being sociable/lively. Remember even in a role where this is a necessary personality trait (e.g. a sales role), the individual who has to chat to everyone is not necessarily focusing their efforts on where their next sales will come from.

Secondly, play it safe with Emotional Stability / Neuroticism questions.

For most Emotional Stability (Neuroticism) scales a more stable personality is preferred. Unstable personalities in the workplace – wherever and whatever that workplace happens to be – can have a negative impact on colleagues as well as on the predictability of work performance. Don’t worry if you’ve not completed a personality test before.

PERSONALITY TEST TIPS Part Three

Thirdly, try to be relaxed.

Completing a personality test is not difficult. If anything it is quite a boring and repetitive experience. Remember that this is only one part of the selection process. Similarly, there’s no need to worry if you haven’t seen your personality profile before. No-one gets profiled as a bad person. Or as someone with lots of secrets! Think of this as a useful experience to learn more about yourself. It’s certainly a “free” opportunity to raise your self-awareness.

Fourth, remember the ideal profile is both role-specific and company-specific.

This “danger zone” profile will highlight desirable and undesirable personality characteristics. You will not be able to predict this danger profile so don’t try to second guess what your recruiter is looking for.

You may assume that two companies looking for say graduates will have similar characteristics in mind. Most graduate recruiters want a driven, innovative team player. 

Fifth, think in terms of generic positive personality traits.

You recruiter is looking for an ideal profile. However, you don’t know the specifics of this ideal personality profile. You can work out the most likely personality traits your potential employer wants. For example:

Administrative roles do require organisational skills, planning skills.

Financial roles do rely on attention to detail skills

Sales roles do attract lively, extroverted individuals.

Managerial roles do require leadership skills.

PERSONALITY TEST TIPS Part Four

Sixth, think in terms of generic negative personality traits

The converse of the advice given in personality tip 3 is that you need to avoid being profiled at the opposite end.

Also, don’t try to fake your personality profile.

Firstly, ask yourself why would I “fake” my own personality? If I am highly introverted I am not going to enjoy working selling to tricky customers all day. Then if you are successful in your application, you will find yourself working in a very lively and extroverted team of sales people. Not a nice place for an introvert to be!

Plus, always avoid extreme responses.

Still, if you are still determined you may be able to tweak your profile if you avoid giving too many extreme responses (Highly Agree or Highly Disagree). So, let’s say you answer each personality test question about Being organised with the response that you are highly organised. Then your profile will show that you are one of the most organised people around!

PERSONALITY TEST TIPS Part Five

Finally, be consistent in your answers.

Another built-in trap is how modern personality questionnaires can track how consistently you are answering similar questions. There may even be a measure generated of this consistency. High consistency is good but a very low consistency score could indicate that on certain personality traits you are faking. Hence not answering in the consistent way that someone with that particular personality trait would answer.

Also, it’s worth knowing that personality questionnaires can seem repetitive because they will ask the same question but phrased differently. Such questions are measuring the same personality trait but asking you about this personality trait in different ways, including in different situations and how others may see you on this particular personality trait.

Work meeting

 

Personality Test Trait Research

There are particular personality traits which employers look for. It therefore makes sense that our My Strengths practice personality test questions available for free. These focus on those personality traits most measured by employers.

Big Five Personality Test Research 2018

Across variables, BIg Five personality test researchers have found strong evidence to support the view that conscientiousness is highly predictive of job performance.

Personality Test Tips

The researchers identified some interesting caveats and boundary conditions. Conscientiousness is a weaker predictor of job performance in “high-complexity” occupations). Conscientious people excel in customer service jobs. And other low to medium complexity occupations.

Furthermore, the researchers found that individuals high in conscientiousness do better in Health Care than, say, Law Enforcement.

Firstly, Bartram’s increasing validity with forced-choice criterion measurement formats.

Secondly, Block’s Q-sort method in personality assessment.

Third is Clemans’ analytical and empirical examination of some properties of ipsative personality measures.

Fourth is Goldberg’s development of markers for the Big-Five personality factor structure. 

Fifth is Kaemmer’s Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Manual for administration and scoring. 

Sixth is Markon’s Role of the DSM-6 personality trait model.

Next is Naumann’s Resilient Big Five have emerged as the paradigm for personality trait psychology.

After which is O’Connor’s Quantitative review of the comprehensiveness of the five-factor model in relation to popular personality.

Penultimately, Roberts’ development of a forced choice measure of typical-performance emotional intelligence.

Last but not least, Salgado’s predicting job performance using FFM and non-FFM personality measures. 

Personality Test Tips

Future research could explore applicant reactions, such as perceived test fairness and appropriateness of selection instrument, among candidates who complete either or both the SJT and its gamified version to further support the effectiveness of using game elements into selection methods. Also, another limitation of the gamified SJT might be any accessibility issues for candidates who may not have the hardware or internet connection required to try the assessment.

Recently, a number of organizations have employed the use of gamification and game‐based assessments in employee recruitment and selection. However, no published empirical studies have explored the validity of gamification in assessing candidates’ skills. Our study supports that converting a traditional SJT to a gamified assessment, in order to effectively assess candidates’ soft skills, such as resilience, adaptability, and decision‐making can be of value. We first presented the development of an SJT to form the basis of the gamified assessment method.

How are Personality Measures used?

Guion & Gottier (1965), “its difficult… to advocate … the use of personality measures in most situations as a basis for making employment decisions“. Still, personality measures are widely used in personnel selection. The continuing use reflect the view held by personnel practitioners that personality partly predicts behaviour.

One of the reasons for the low personality – job performance correlations is the lack of conceptual link between traits and work performance. Thus, it is unreasonable to expect personality measures to generalise across jobs.

An attempt to correlate a battery of personality traits with job performance regardless the nature of the job, would result in weak coefficients.

Different Types of Personality Test

NEO personality test

  • This is for one of the most well-researched personality tests used in both the US and the UK.
  • There is considerable research supporting the “Big Five” model of personality.
  • Like the 16PF5 personality questionnaire – the NEO is based on academically rigorous factor analysis.
  • There is a systematic model behind the set of NEO personality questions.

Motivation Tests (Values and Drivers)

We are specialists in designing Motivation Tests that measure values and drivers. Please contact us to discuss how Rob Williams Assessment Ltd can help your company in assessment exercise design.

Personality Values Test Design

  • 3-4 scenarios to assess each value.
  • Totalling approx. 15-16 questions.
  • Provides accurate and meaningful feedback to each respondent.

Personality Values-Based Interview

Structured interview(s) comprising firstly values questions. Secondly, comprising of competency questions, and finally, including technical questions.

Values-Based Simulation Exercises

  • Scenarios from the job analysis can be used to design simulation exercises.
  • Parallel version developed to maximise exercise integrity.
  • Minimise risk of applicants sharing details of tools.
  • Compromising the validity of the assessment process.

Motivation Tests – Values Assessment Exercises

We can design values assessment exercises design to focus on any values framework.

Values based recruitment may involve values based structured interviews, values based selection centres, values based situational judgement tests and/or values based personality tests.

Motivation Tests – Values based personality tests

Personality tests measure values – as well as job specific constructs or competencies. As with a situational judgement based design, values based personality tests can serve as a highly effective realistic job preview, or self-selection tool.P skills such as judgement/decision-making and interpersonal effectiveness can be defined of values and/or personality traits. In fact, in ay context there is invariably a complex interplay between personality and values. This makes it particularly important to pay attention to selection and developmental contexts, when determining the suitability of different psychometric tools.

Personality describes natural behaviours whereas values relate to a choice that must be made between alternative courses of action. In a sense, for most people, values are what we feel that we ought to do. Unlike many personality traits there are many values that conflict directly with each other and so cannot be held concurrently.

Values impact goal content whereas personality traits impact the efforts that individuals make towards their goals.

Values impact goal content whereas personality traits impact the efforts that individuals make towards their goals.

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