Psychometric Testing - Personality Questionnaires

Advice + Tools

Personality questionnaires aim to measure character traits such as confidence, empathy, attitude to risk, and so on. They are called questionnaires because there are no right or wrong answers, however the recruiter will be looking to see how well you fit with their organisation. It is not possible to wildly influence the outcome of personality tests because to a large extent you are who you are. You can start practising personality tests now by visiting

This section deals with the personality questionnaire side of psychometric tests.

  • Get to the assessment centre early - You will perform your best when you are calm and focused on the test in front of you. If you have just rushed through the door and are worrying about putting on your name badge, you are not going to give your test your best performance.
    The personality test itself will unlikely be timed, however this does not mean you can spend all day considering your responses. The instructions for the test will probably tell you to answer quickly because the first answer that comes to mind is usually the one most reflective of your true feelings. 
  • Answer honestly but with the company and position in mind - It is very difficult to distort the results of a psychometric personality questionnaire, however if you research what sort of person the company is looking for, you can emphasise those particular qualities in yourself. For example if you know a company is looking for someone who is empathetic and caring, remind yourself of that before you take the test and it should be at the forefront of your mind when answering questions. You can consider carefully your response to each question as most personality questionnaires do not have a time limit.As well as keeping in mind the culture of the company, consider the role for which you are applying. For example a new graduate probably should not answer “Strongly Agree” to the question “I prefer to give orders rather than receive them”. But a manager’s role would require some agreement with that statement.The other thing to bear in mind is that the test instructions will usually tell you to answer in the context of work, not your social life. 
  • Don't sit on the fence - Try not to answer too many questions with the response “Neither Agree nor Disagree” otherwise you will be in danger of appearing to be indecisive or afraid of conviction. It also makes it difficult for the test administrator to establish what you’re really like and if they don’t get a strong positive match to a role, they will put you in the ‘no’ pile.
  • Don't be a drama queen - Conversely to the previous tip, you must also avoid answering too many questions with “Strongly Agree” or “Strongly Disagree”. This might make you appear unrestrained and too assured in yourself. 
  • Be consistent - Personality questionnaires deliberately ask the same question more than once but phrased slightly differently. They do this to reinforce your responses and check you are answering truthfully. This means you should be consistent in your responses. Reminding yourself of the organisation’s culture can help with being consistent.
    The personality test report seen by the employer will show how consistent you have been in your responses. 
  • Answer in a work context - You will be told this before you start your test but it is important to bear in mind, especially when you find yourself thinking “it depends” for an answer. The employer is interested in only how you might perform at work, so try to keep your responses in keeping with your work personality. This approach will also help you imagine yourself in the scenarios presented and decide on your response

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