I never believed in personality or psychometric tests, until I took one. I couldn’t understand how answering a series of multiple choice questions could determine my personality and character traits. So given my nature of being an explorer, I took a test to prove myself right.
To my surprise, my results were so well aligned to the point where it actually felt like someone had written out my character description. So if you’ve ever taken a personality test to find out whether you’re an introverted or extroverted type, you’re not alone. However, there’s a big difference between scrolling down your Facebook feed at home and clicking on a personality quiz than being asked to take one in the recruiting process to land your dream job.
It’s human nature to have the desire to better understand our characteristics and as individuals we love any opportunity to gain a deeper insight into our true self. We’re all too eager to find explanations as to why we act a particular way or why certain personal and workplace relationships didn’t work out. We’re in the tech savvy age where reaching for the phone and googling our star sign compatibility is an acceptable and logical way to better understand a situation. Which brings me to my next point, how acceptable is it for an employer to ask you to take a personality test after being interviewed for a job?
Why we do them and are they effective?
Personality tests have helped employers determine whether or not a candidate may fit the culture of their business as well as how they may perform in their designated role. From our experience at New Point, we found that the accuracy of a personality test weighs heavily on the individual answering the questions – is it new for them or are they well-versed in knowing the responses required and can manipulate the results? In the recruitment process, a personality test can give the employer false reassurance that they’re hiring someone who has the right qualities for the job. We have found that a personality test will only be accurate if the candidate is truthful with their responses. We’ve manipulated our responses to deliver a different result and this could be the approach taken by a candidate, depending on what answer they feel the employer is looking for. We have found that a personality test will only show some level of accuracy if the candidate is truthful with their responses and in the right frame of mind to take the test. There is a certain level of self-awareness that is required of the candidate to be able to answer the test truthfully. In reality though, this can be a difficult process to face when put under the pressure of being shortlisted for a job. If the person genuinely want the role they shouldn’t feel fearful about their results. They should feel comfortable enough with who they are and know the value they can bring to the employer to answer the test truthfully. Altering your answers will leave you with a test result that doesn’t align with your characteristics and is often obvious to a recruiter. At New Point, we advise candidates to be truthful with their responses to ensure an accurate result.
What to choose or do you choose one at all?
There are a large number of personality / psychometric tests online to choose from. We have found that starting with a basic one such as 16Personalities which is free, is a good place to start. You be the judge and test it on yourself and your team (if they are willing), otherwise you can also delve into the deeper and paid tests such as Talent Dynamics, Keirsey and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or Jung tests. Having stated this, all of those tests have been open to scientific criticism with no real evidence supporting them or any clear linkages to defined results in the workplace. Do you go on gut feel, demonstrated examples of what a candidate has done and reference checks? Is that enough to make you decide?
We would like to hear your feedback on this. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about these tests or would like to have us help you navigate through the recruitment process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300558979.
Thanks for reading,
Sophie and David.