Tips for Undertaking Personality Assessments

Tips for Undertaking Personality Assessments


If you are currently in career transition, there is every chance that a potential employer will ask you to complete a personality profiling assessment / questionnaire as part of the application and recruitment process.

It is natural to feel slightly nervous about completing these assessments if you have not been subjected to them before.

Employers generally utilise such tools to assist them in understanding the fit between the job and the individual (personality, motivators and values etc) and ideally should be used more as a guide in conjunction with your more typical recruitment processes such as written applications, interviews and reference checks.

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

If you are a bit “twitchy” about undertaking one of these assessments then the following steps may help:

  1. Practice – there are plenty of free assessments online that you can use prior to undertaking “the real thing”. Simply google key words such as “free online personality assessments” and take your pick. Doing a couple of these will give you a better idea as to what to expect.
  2. Be mentally prepared – make sure you are mentally fresh and prepared. If you are completing the online assessment at home then 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! If you undertaking the test in an assessment centre then get there early so you can familiarise yourself with surroundings.
  3. Don’t overthink – 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. There are no right or wrongs as such but more to do with your tendencies and preferences.
  4. Context – remember that these assessments are all about job fit for the most part so try and answer questions with a focus on how you act in a work environment rather than at home or in more personal settings.
  5. Don’t “sit on the fence” – important to not regularly answer in an indecisive manner, eg always selecting answers such as “Neither agree nor disagree” which can come across as you being vague and non-committal. These option are fine every now and then of course if you genuinely feel this way but not to every question! 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. Balance is the key!
  6. Do your homework on the employer – make sure you have researched the organisation, in particular their values and culture. Whilst 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

Finally, it is important to be your yourself and display consistency – these assessments are well known for probing around certain themes by asking variations of the same question so answer truthfully and you will be fine!


Paul Bell

Principal Consultant, Hender Careers

Published on 29 Mar 2021

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