Hate those job personality tests? Here's how to hack them


As if interviewing isn't already stressful enough, today's job seekers often have to take personality tests before they receive an offer.

RELATED: 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview

You might be asked some head-scratching questions that seem impossible while wondering what the company is trying to learn about you.

When faced with personality tests, here's what you need to know:

Why do companies give them?

They're used as a screening tool to help determine which job candidates will stick around and succeed on the job, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ideally, they'll help identify high, or at least good, performers who won't be the type of employee that the company will need to fire after a few months or who will leave on their own.

In addition, your reaction to being asked to take the test is telling, according to Monster. If you have an overly defensive or paranoid reaction, a prospective employer is sure to wonder about it.

Should you take the test?

In theory, you could respectfully decline, Monster says. But in practical terms, you're likely to have some competition for the job, so if you don't take the test, you can probably kiss the position goodbye.

Asking a polite, professional question or two about the test can also glean some telling information about the company. One expert told Monster that she advises asking, "It seems like assessments are being used by a lot of employers these days. What prompted you to start using one for this job?" The answer could yield some important information about the job and company. If the recruiter gets annoyed, you may not want to work for a company that doesn't welcome a question.

What sort of questions do prospective employees ask?

The following are some sample yes/no questions, according to Business Insider:

"I'd rather do things quickly than perfectly." This question measures perfectionism versus proactivity. Perfectionism can be valuable in research and development and artistic/design jobs. Proactivity can be valuable in sales and entrepreneurial jobs.

"My parents never really loved me." People who answer "yes" often have lower emotional intelligence, and those who answer "no" are usually optimistic and calm under pressure.

How honestly should you answer?

You might think you can outsmart the test by giving the answers that you think a prospective employer wants to see. But the more sophisticated tests have built-in checks that can detect inconsistencies.

Experts recommend not overthinking the questions and instead going with the first answer that comes to mind.

It's best to be truthful, because even if you manage to fool the test, you may end up with a job that's not a good fit.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Business stories of the week: Amazon, 2018 priorities, Phipps Plaza
Business stories of the week: Amazon, 2018 priorities, Phipps Plaza

The week had no shortage of business headlines among Atlanta area companies – or perhaps companies that want to become Atlanta area companies. From the Amazon second headquarters search to major development projects, here are some of the big business headlines you might have missed from the past week. Georgia and Atlanta area economic development...
More job cuts coming to Atlanta as part of Coca-Cola restructuring
More job cuts coming to Atlanta as part of Coca-Cola restructuring

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola plans to cut an additional 179 jobs in its hometown as part of a broader restructuring the beverage giant announced earlier this year. In filings with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division, Coke identified layoffs at three corporate offices in the city effective by the end of December...
Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza makeover plan shifts into overdrive
Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza makeover plan shifts into overdrive

The reinvention of Phipps Plaza into a mixed-use entertainment and shopping complex has been in the works for more than a decade. But the announcement Tuesday of a $200 million-plus expansion, including a flagship Nobu hotel and restaurant, will take that the makeover to a new level, officials with mall owner Simon hope. In Nobu, Phipps will add...
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
More Stories