Job Application: Understanding personality tests

Many companies are now using personality profiling tests to screen applicants.  Most of the tests relate to “fit” as in whether one’s personality fits the type of job to which the candidate is applying. Sometimes the screening is general.  I suppose if the test reveals the candidate to be a psychopath then the fit is not of significant interest!

I have studied personality profiling for over 25 years.  My first exposure was in relation to the Enneagram.  My second was in relation to Myers-Briggs.  I write about each in the context of career counseling in Career Path of Abundance.  For someone like myself who is interested in psychology, these tests are enjoyable as well as insightful.  I do realize that others find such tests either invasive or invalid.

It does not matter.  What matters is that the tests are used for hiring decisions.  If you . are going to take such a test, you ought to discover how to ensure you are a fit.

While I would never advise our clients to mislead employees, there are ways to give answers that will help you get through these screens.

Years ago, during my law school days,  I was recruited by an intelligence agency.   I vividly remember one question on the test: “when you are bored, you like to stir up excitement” (True or false).  The truth is that I’m rarely bored because I actively find things to do.  So my first thought was to answer “true” because part of me seeks out making my life interesting/fun.   I also thought initially that they would not like someone who settles for boredom.  Then I had a sharper thought: intelligence agents have to do things like stake out buildings and listen for hours to secretly taped conversations.  Both are boring.  “Stirring up excitement” would be a terrible trait for an agent who was trying to remain undetected.  The other truth about me is that I do what . is necessary for whatever task I’m assigned.  In such instances, I have a high attention span and am fine being “bored.”  So I answered “false” truthfully but also because I knew that was the better answer for this particular test.  Brag alert… the head recruiter contacted me to say that I had the highest score on the test.

As I tell anyone, I am terrible at all sorts of things.  If you need help fixing anything, I can’t help but could only hurt!  But if you need help for interviews/screening tests,  you should contact us.