What Is a Personality Test?

Understanding the Personality Test

Excelling at a challenging job often requires skills that go beyond the knowledge and intelligence of a person. The personality traits of an individual, including their ideologies, morals and principles, the motivation driving them and the temperament they possess usually play a significant role in their performance at the job. Personality tests are generally designed to measure these characteristic traits of the candidates applied for a certain job role.  

Personality tests may be a part of the assessment centers undertaken by some business organizations wherein candidates are evaluated to determine if their skills and capabilities are suitable for the job specifications. In the assessment centers, aptitude and reasoning tests may help measure the knowledge and intelligence of the candidates while personality tests may help analyze their behaviors.

If you have applied for a job and are going to appear in an assessment center soon, you may be asked to take part in a personality test if the job specifications require it. There are a few aspects of personality tests that you should know about.

What Do Personality Tests Measure?

Personality tests usually help measure how well you will perform at the organization based on your interpersonal skills, the motivation and inspiration that drive you, and the role that you can excel in due to your behavioral traits. The organization’s structure may be divided into teams and the members of a team may be impacted by their co-workers and peers. The team leader may guide and mentor the whole team, motivate the members, and encourage them to interact and respond so as to bring the best out of them. One with a personality characterized by negative traits, such as pessimism may have a detrimental effect on the team and its performance. Thus, personality tests usually help in analyzing if you are a good fit for a certain company and its work environment.

What to Expect in a Personality Test?

The type of questions in a personality test may depend on the roles that you will be required to perform at the job position. The design and structure of the test may be dependent on the work domain of the company and the characteristics and skills they appreciate in their potential employees.

For every question in the test, usually multiple answer choices are given and you have to select the appropriate one out of these. The questions in a personality test usually do not have correct and wrong answers. Some of the answers may be more appropriate for a given situation while others may be less suitable. You also may be asked if you agree or disagree with a given statement or to rank the given answer choices in an order that you consider appropriate after judging the nature of the question.

Moreover, personality tests may have a specified time limit within which you will have to respond to the questions. The number of questions in a personality test may differ depending on the publisher of the test and preference of the test-takers.

Types of Personality Tests

There are different types of personality tests designed by distinct publishers and a company may choose any according to their needs.

  • SHL Occupation Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

The OPQ test usually helps predict your ability to perform the required job roles based on your behavior. The test may be administered for recruiting fresh graduates and individuals for various management roles. OPQ is usually designed to evaluate 32 personality traits of a person pertinent to performance. Reports are generated for analysis and evaluation of the candidates, thus making the selection process easier. You will have to answer the test online, as it is administered in digital format only.

  • The Caliper Profile

The Caliper Profile is a type of personality tests that may be used for assessing the potential of individuals appearing in an assessment center. It usually measures the ambition the candidates have and factors inspiring them. However, the Caliper Profile test is available in online format only.

  • Saville Wave Personality Assessments

Wave personality tests, designed by Saville Assessment, are used to evaluate different capabilities of a candidate and the work environment ideal for getting the best out of them. You are ususally required to answer the test online if it is a part of the assessment center that you will be undergoing. There are two variants of the Saville Wave, one is a 13-minute test and the other is a 40-minute test.

  • Talent Q Dimensions

Dimensions is a personality test type provided by the publisher Talent Q. The test usually helps measure one’s interpersonal skills, thought process and their emotional capabilities. These traits may be used to evaluate if you are right fit for a certain job position. Dimensions is administered online and consists of 160 statements that you will have to respond to in 25 minutes.

  • Gallup StrengthsFinder

StrengthsFinder personality test usually helps evaluate the candidates for their areas of strength. The questions in the test may be related to 34 desirable characteristics that an individual might possess. One’s best traits are highlighted in the results and the best role for them may be assigned based on these. The test is usually administered online and requires you to respond to 177 statements.

Besides these, there are multiple other personality tests which are published by different organizations.

Why Do Some Organizations Use a Personality Test?

Different motivating factors usually drive different individuals. One may be good at some traits but weak at others. Some people may be naturally outgoing and best fit for a consumer representation or sales role. Similarly, some may handle pressure better while others may perform well in a relaxed environment. Personality tests usually help a business organization find out the strong and weak characteristics of each candidate, and determine if they are best suited for the role of the available job position in the company. Personality tests may be used as a prescreening tool to sift through the candidates and shortlist the suitable ones.

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