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What is a Personality test? How to use it in Hiring


Hiring is a tricky affair and most often organizations have to face the brunt of hiring a wrong candidate. There is a lot at stake in terms of money and time in the recruiting process.

But, there is one way that can help the organization in figuring out who the right candidate will be for the position.

It is the age-old personality test. It is not expensive at all, but it is highly efficient and is also completely fair to each and every applicant.

Personality assessment test screens the job applicants without discrimination. It not only helps the hiring managers but also the applicants, in understanding that the job is not fitting for their personality.

Hiring managers have found out a great tool to weed out the applicant and streamline the whole procedure of hiring.

When an organization can take into account the behavior of an individual, his attitude and his belief, then they will be able to eliminate some uncertainties while evaluating whether the candidate is a good fit or not.

In order to make good use of the personality test, it is important that the hiring managers interpret the result of the test correctly; else they will commit the same hiring mistake.

using personality tests in hiring

What is a Personality Test For Job Interviews?

In today’s world, a personality test is a completely web-based tool and it has helped the hiring managers a lot. Now they won’t have to conduct a test on the venue itself.

Moreover, it is time-saving too, because now within minutes the candidates get to know how much they have scored and the hiring managers will have the explanation of the outcome of the test in their hands within no time.

The personality tests mostly have multiple choice questions and at times the candidates might come across some true or false questions as well.

Through these tests, the hiring managers come to know several things about the candidates that a simple job interview wouldn’t have been able to provide them.

It should never be the key element in selecting a candidate, but yes, it can definitely serve as one of the factors in understanding whether the individual has the competencies and behavioral trait that is required for the job opening.

Personality Test for Hiring:

The personality tests are used to measure a number of traits in an individual. It is mainly used in assessing the attitude, but in the field of management and sales, even the aptitude of the individual is tested through these kinds of personality test.

How this tool can be put to use –

  • If an individual is trying to acquire a job as an insurance broker, then his resilience and extroversion will be tested to see whether he has these qualities of a top salesperson.
  • In case of a security firm, an individual’s stress tolerance and mental strength will be put under scanner to ensure that he has the quality to handle this kind of a job.
  • Honesty is a big thing in retailing because they have to handle cash and merchandise on a daily basis and this test will help the retailer gauge whether the individual has this trait in him or not!

Why Employers Use Personality Tests?

The selection and hiring process of any candidate varies from one organization to other. It also depends upon the role for which the interview need to be performed.

Proper attention and right way of selection will help the organization to hire the right candidate suitable for the role. Wrong hires can result in wastage of a lot of time, resources as well as money. So the hiring managers try to hire only the best candidates for their organization so as to avoid any type of future chaos or issues.

But there are times when the interview process alone can not be enough to assess the candidate properly and fully. So here comes the role of personality tests which help you analyze the applicants a little more better. With the help of personalty, better hiring decisions can be made.

Here are a few reasons why organizations make use of personality tests for recruitment.

  • To check whether they could sync with company culture
  • To analyze their skills required for the job role
  • To assess the communication skills

Tips to Use this Personality Assessment Test for Hiring:

In order to maximize the benefit of this tool, it is important that the hiring managers know how to use the personality test.

Here are some tips for making use of this test to the best of your ability –

1. Help you with the best hire:

A wrong hire is detrimental for the small business. So, it is important that they decide correctly about whom to hire for the vacant position.

Rather than going with their guts, it is very important that they try out the personality assessment test before hiring the candidates.

It will impart them with fairness, perspective and balance that are imperative for making the right decision. It will also help them in the long run as well.

2. Different job needs a different personality:

The personality test can also help the hiring managers in deciding which individual will be fit for which job opening they have.

Not all jobs are suitable for everybody, so instead of using it to weed out people, the test can be put to use in recognizing the talent that can be used for different jobs.

3. Understanding the test results:

It is not a good idea to have just about anybody assessing the test result. If they get it wrong, then the same catastrophe will occur in hiring. Therefore, it is important that you have some expert handling the result and interpreting it correctly.

4. Making use of online tests:

With the emergence of online personality tests, business owners can now make use of it more easily. The cost involved in this kind of personality assessment test has also come down due to this reason.

Depending on the requirement of the position, the tests can be customized, providing the hiring managers with the capability of hiring the right personality for the job position.

5. Pre-cognitive test:

It helps you by providing you with an insight into the person’s behavior and whether they have all the required traits for the job or not.

In case, a person has applied for a managerial position, then it is very important that you know the person’s behavior. The test will reveal how confident the person is, his likeability along with his assertiveness.

This will help the organization hire someone who is booming with fresh ideas and will infuse new energy into the organization.

6. Conduct the test prior to the interview:

If you conduct the test prior to the final interview, then you will get to know how the person is. It will help you in preparing the right kind of behavioral questions for the candidate in the interview.

What to Expect from Personality Testing:

There are many types of personality tests but here we will be discussing about top 2 of them to know what exactly to expect from the personality tests.

Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI):

This is one of the most popular and is inspired by the work done by Carl Jung. This helps in judging or identifying the different type of personality an applicant possesses during the hiring process.

They mainly assess the candidates based on 4 important factors and they are,

  1. The way one receives energy
  2. The way of accepting the information
  3. The way to make decisions
  4. The way to organize the work

Based on these factors few traits can be identified. As the applicant’s answers are based on questions related to these factors their true traits and qualities can be easily analyzed. Some of them are mentioned below

  • Extraversion/Introversion
  • Sensing/Intuition
  • Thinking/Feeling
  • Judging/Perceiving

The way you answers can rank you INTJ, (introversion, intuition, thinking, and judging) or as ESFP (extroversion, sensing, feeling, and perceiving).


This is another widely used type of assessment. This is mainly used by corporates, especially for training programs.

They also use a few factors for analyzing the personality of the candidates, some of them are

  • Dominance
  • Influence
  • Steadiness
  • Conscientiousness.

As per this the disc assessment, most of the people fall under any of these factors and based on them the candidate’s true qualities can be analyzed.

People who support Dominance would be

  • Forceful
  • Direct
  • Results-oriented
  • Strong-willed

People who support Influence would be

  • Optimistic
  • Social
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic

People who support Steadiness would be

  • Patient
  • Tactful
  • Supportive
  • Courteous

People who support Conscientiousness would be

  • Reserved
  • Analytical
  • Fact-focused
  • Logical


If you are conducting the personality test, then ensure that you are conducting it for everybody. Else you might come under the scanner for discriminating, which you definitely do not want.

The personality assessment test will help you in hiring a lot if you can assess the result well, otherwise it might be a disaster. Moreover, the testing must be treated as a guidepost and not as a preset label.