How to Pass Personality Tests: Common Questions & Guidelines

Personality tests aim at measuring candidates' characteristics, feelings, attitudes, etc. They are used by employers as a parameter to evaluate whether individuals align with companies' values and working environment.

These tests contain questions that help discover applicants’ life events, experiences, unobserved thoughts, and answers. Therefore, it may sound challenging to pass yet it's all about the company getting to know your personality. In this article, we'll be answering the most common questions surrounding personality tests, and some tips for your best performance!

What to know about personality tests?

Before getting to know how you can pass personality tests, there are a few things you should keep in mind about this test.

You never know what’s on the test

Personalities tests are the most mystifying assessment among other tests in the selection process. You never know what’s on the test until the very moment you take it. Depending on the company, each test differs regarding the value and working culture that the company is promoting.

This is what makes it challenging for candidates trying to prove themselves as a perfect fit for the positions they are applying to. Even if you do well on your psychometric tests, personality assessments can potentially knock you out of the hiring procedure.

Stress can make it worse

Facing a test that you merely know a thing about can make you more stressful ever. Such stress can have a great impact on your test performance. You may be subject to feelings that affect your critical thinking and analyzing process. As a consequence, your test result may not accurately reflect you as a potential candidate.

Overdoing can be a defect

Thinking of faking personalities or deliberately making the answer? This can be a defect when you overthink and try to be someone else in your personality test. Employers look for characteristics that match their expectations of a successful employee, and that is something you cannot fake or pretend in your test.


How can you pass personality tests?

Among the pre-employment assessments, a personality test may be the most stressful test to take. It is because there is no right answer and you never know how the test is valued. The unknown factor of what the test might reveal about your characteristic may further accelerate this fear. However, there are several things that you can prepare before taking your personality test.

Understand the company and its culture

To see whether you might stand a chance of passing personality tests, you should get to know the company better. This means understanding what the company looks for in a candidate, its value, and its working culture. You can always find such information on its website, under the About Us section. Read the text carefully and see whether or not you hold such characteristics.

As a job applicant, you can also ask your hiring manager questions relating to the workplace culture or the specific role to get a sense of the behaviors they are looking for. Asking these questions helps you better assess whether you have the potential as a future fit and if the job is worth pursuing. It may also show the employer that you are truly interested in and serious about getting the job.

This is the first thing before preparing anything else. Knowing well the criteria might help you align your answers with what the company is seeking.

Get to know different test formats

Understanding different test formats and how each tries to assess your personality is also an effective way to prepare yourself. There are four common personality test formats as follows

  • True-false questions (Yes/No) (the most common tests are Hogan's HPI and the HDS)
  • True-false questions with a neutrality option (Agree, Disagree, or Neither) (the most common test is the 16PF by OPP - a leading British test publisher)
  • Rating scale questions (the most common test is NEO-PI)
  • Forced choice and combined formats (the most common tests are the SHL's OPQ32, the Saville wave personality test, and talent dimensions)

Regardless of the test formats, each of the questions is a measurement of a trait that you either score low or high on it. This means that choosing neutral answers might not be wise when doing a personality test. Being neutral about a question might also expose your lack of self-understanding or indecisiveness. Therefore, try to pick sides when possible in each question.

Be aware of the right and the wrong

Despite the common fact that there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to personality tests, there are. As employers use the test for screening purposes, they look for candidates with certain characteristics and behavior tendencies. Therefore, there are right and wrong answers for each question targeting each trait. That also explains why studying the inside out of the job and the company is essential.

Be yourself 

This might sound cliche but it's the most critical thing to do when it comes to preparing for a personality test. In the end, the test is just one among a set of pre-employment tests for employers to get to know you better.

It's a report where employers can see what you are capable of and if you will do well and grow in their working environment. And eventually, it's for the benefit of both sides - the employee and the employer.

Therefore, there is no need to fake or overdo your personality test. Instead, you can spend time reflecting on yourself and understanding your abilities, personalities, and everything else about yourself. This helps you make the wisest choice on your personality test. It is not about choosing the answer based on your instinct. You still have to think about all the answer options yet you must select one that accurately describes yourself. 


How to pass personality tests: FAQs

1. Can you fake a personality test?

You can fake a personality test for the desirable outcomes. As with any pre-employment assessment and test, you can always game the system once you know enough about how the test is designed and the employers' expectations. Despite existing disagreement among researchers and the community as to how candidates can game or fake the test results, it is no secret that they can do so. 

2. Are some personality tests harder to game than others?

Free choice assessments tend to be more challenging if you consider gaming the system. If the test is forced-choice (multiple-choice or rating scale), it'll be easier for you to predict and manipulate the test result by choosing answers that are more likely to align with employers' expectations. However, if it's free-choice (meaning you can have as many and as few items as you wish), you can never know for sure what these descriptors can say about your personality as a whole. 

3. Should you fake a personality test?

You can fake your personalities for a favorable outcome yet it's not worth doing so. Landing a job due to your faked characteristics is an act of self-sabotage. if you ever find yourself in such a position, it means you are not a behavioral fit for the position and the company in the first place.

There is also more to consider when you choose to game the system. As you adapt your behavior to become someone else for the role, you can eventually feel excessively stressed and burnt out. In the long run, it will leave a significant impact on your self-development process.

Employment is about establishing a bond between employers and employees. It only works if both sides find each other on the same ground of beliefs and values. Showing them your true personality is a way to provide the company with enough insights about your potential and future performance. This is not only for the company's development but also for your personal growth regarding your career path. 


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