02.08.21

An Expert’s Guide to Personality Profiling Tests

Jobseekers may feel nervous or uncertain about completing a personality profiling assessment as part of the recruitment process but there are benefits for applicants, and they can take steps to become more comfortable with it.

Hender Careers principal consultant Paul Bell says employers generally use these types of assessments or questionnaires to uncover an individual’s cultural fit, such as their values, but they do not base hiring decisions on them alone.

“They can also be used to encourage participants to develop greater levels of self-awareness through understanding the results and to also provide an insight into potential development needs,” he says.

To prepare, he encourages jobseekers to:

Practise

A variety of assessments are available online for free for jobseekers to familiarise themselves with format and topics.

Research the employer

Do your homework on the employer so you are aware of their values and culture.

“While it is important to be honest when answering these questions, the knowledge about the sort of person the employer may be looking for could assist when working your way through the assessment,” Bell says.

Be focused

“(At home) ensure you are able to undertake the assessment in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed or feel rushed, and that you have a secure internet connection,” Bell says.

“If undertaking the test in an assessment centre, then get there early so you can familiarise yourself with surroundings.”

Go with your gut

Avoid overthinking and remember there are no right or wrong answers.

“Make sure you read each question and instructions carefully but then try not to overthink your responses – best to ‘go with your gut’ as they say,” he says.

Have a view

Try not to regularly answer indecisively, such as selecting “neither agree nor disagree”, which can make you appear vague and noncommittal.

“These options are fine every now and then ... but not to every question,” Bell says.

“On the other side of the coin, if you select ‘strongly agree or disagree’ for every option then you may come across as opinionated, outspoken or even aggressive.”

Stay in context

Focus on how you would act in a work environment, which may be different to how you act at home or in other personal settings.

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