Three reasons to take a personality test to help you get a new job

The internet is filled with personality tests, but is there any benefit in taking one to help in the search for your next job? And if there is, which ones should you do?

The different types of testing

You will probably have come across some kind of testing if you’ve been on the look-out for a new role at any point in the last five years. From the strange Facebook surveys determining which Friends character you are, all the way through to thorough personality profiling tools you can take a test for just about anything.

Psychometric profiling has risen in popularity as the cost has come down and more people are trained to deliver and assess the tests. Employers use it to assess a wide variety of things including aptitude, values, emotional intelligence and personality.

Here I focus on whether using a personality test can help you in your job search.

Self-awareness is in demand

I bet you’ve been asked a variation on the question “What do you think your strengths are?” and its partner in crime “Tell us about your weaknesses,” or something similar. Regardless of the way the question is phrased, they are trying to get an understanding of your level of self-awareness and taking a personality test as part of your job search could leave you better prepared.

Benefits of taking a personality test

Benefit #1 – personality tests help you know yourself better

In most interviews you are likely to be asked to tell the recruiter a little about yourself. This is your opportunity to pitch who you are and what your offer is.

An online personality test or one carried out by a qualified assessor can help you figure out what strengths and predispositions to play on in relation to the job you want.

Benefit #2 – knowing yourself helps you figure out the kind of team you would hate to work in

A job interview is as much about you getting information from the potential employer as it is about them extracting information from you. Being clear on who you are and what you prefer can help you create questions to ask the interviewer that will give you useful information.

For example, if the test you have taken shows you prefer to dictate your own workload and not necessarily follow the rules, working for an organisation or in a team which is ruled by compliance with tightly-defined structures, processes and procedures might not be for you.

Benefit #3 – anticipate the results of tests you do at interview and the questions they prompt

If you have already done some personality profiling you won’t be thrown by the results of any tests you’re asked to do as part of an interview process. Most tests rely on similar base theories, so although the results might be presented differently, you should be familiar with the kind of results they give for you.

When an interviewer uses the test as part of their questions you will be able to anticipate the areas they might ask you about – for example, if you avoid conflict or aren’t good at taking direction. Being prepared with answers for how you deal with these aspects of your personality will make you a much more credible candidate.

It’s not actually a test

Okay, so I’ve referred to personality testing throughout this blog as that’s what most people would call it, but it’s not a pass or fail scenario. Personality profiling is simply about understanding the different facets of you, what your preferences are, where your strengths lie and what might make you stressed or unhappy.

Personality profiling is not actually a legitimate recruitment tool because personality can’t be right or wrong and doesn’t predict behaviour or competence. The tests are only ever an indicator of your motivations, natural reactions not your ability.

Aptitude and values profiling are much more relevant for recruitment as they reveal whether a person is likely to be able to do the job and whether their values align with the company’s. However, many companies do use some kind of testing as part of a recruitment process to generate conversation and questions around strengths and weaknesses. (An example of this is Thomas PPA profile which can be used to benchmark against a normative group/role profile).

However, personality profiling is really useful when used for team or individual development and can really help you to understand yourself and give you valuable information to help describe yourself at interviews.

Test yourself

There are a wide range of personality profiling tools available. You will get the best results from one done by someone qualified to both administer and interpret the test for you. There are some very credible free tests available but be careful to avoid the Facebook ones that judge you based on your answers to just five questions!

I am qualified to use MBTI, Thomas PPA (DISC) and SDI but there are many to choose from that all do slightly different things. I use a wide range of questionnaires and activities to help clients carry out this self-analysis so they feel confident answering any questions asking them to describe or sell themselves.

If you are interested in finding out more about yourself and doing some self-analysis please get in touch.

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