Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people ask me how they should take a certain personality test so they could get the highest score possible. Though I am familiar with most of “the competition” and how they derive their scores, I have always told them to “read each question carefully and answer each question honestly.” That was obviously not what they wanted to hear, but it was what they needed to hear.
Many of today’s tests are scientifically constructed to measure an applicant’s tendency to leave an unrealistically favorable impression. Those that require the applicant to select one descriptive adjective from twenty or so groups of adjectives are designed primarily for workshops/seminars and training. They typically aren’t used in hiring, so they have a tough time measuring this tendency to “fake the test.” But those personality tests that ask questions are specifically designed to reduce and measure these exaggerations.
I’ve developed three personality tests that have now been used over 1,000,000 times. Each of these tests ask questions and have quite sophisticated scoring algorithms and methodologies that are designed to discourage applicant faking. Applicants (especially sales personnel) tell us they are just trying to “sell themselves.” Some even feel it is no different than exaggerating their education on an application for employment. I’m sure there are managers who have disqualified applicants feeling that this tendency is related to dishonesty.
But the most important reason to be honest and accurate is seldom emphasized. The bottom line is that “you don’t want to add another line onto your resume.” Just let the personality profile do its job and match you to the company’s position. If your personality is incompatible with the position, the culture, or your manager’s personality, you just might be miserable and leave in a few months. When that shows up on your application to another company, they might turn you down because they don’t want to hire a short-term employee.
Just remember that the personality questionnaire helps you as much as your potential employer, so be honest and accurate when you answer those questions.