All About Personality Tests in the Job Search

All About Personality Tests in the Job Search

Personality tests have been around since the early 1900s. Most of us do these tests out of curiosity when figuring ourselves and our values out. In fact, they were originally used to identify neuroticism in soldiers during World War I to weed out who would be more likely to have a nervous breakdown in battle. This is where personality tests were first used in the workforce. Human Resource professionals are now using these tests to improve company culture and turnover rates.

What Are Personality Tests?

Personality tests are a tool used to identify personality traits. They come in the form of self-report inventories or projective tests. The first has participants read questions and rate how well it applies to them. The second provides a vague scenario that participants need to interpret.

There are many personality tests to choose from nowadays. Some of the most popular ones include the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, DISC Assessment, Caliper Profile, and Hogan Personality Inventory. While these tests are not scientific, they are research-based.

These tests can provide you with labels that interpret your dominance, where you get your energy from, or your decision-making style. While this pseudoscience is obviously useful for self-awareness, it can also assist in your job search.

How to Use Personality Tests in a Job Search

Your personality has as much value in a job search as your experience and education level. Therefore, it can be helpful to categorize it. The ability to clearly communicate your soft skills demonstrates professionalism to a recruiter. They can then make more refined judgments.

Rather than saying you're a good listener, you can explain that due to being an intuitive feeler, you are highly sensitive toward others' emotions and therefore work well in a team. This example could be an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging) personality type, according to Meyers-Briggs. Coming to a recruiter with a label for your personality really shows you know your stuff.

Identifying your personality traits can also help you broaden your career opportunities. Face it, we all have traits that hold us back. Rather than getting upset about it, be proactive. The results of a personality test allow you predict the ups and downs you'll experience in certain jobs. Use this information to guide your job search.

Personality tests make it easier for recruiters to categorize people and put them into buckets. Though this sounds harsh, application numbers are high and employees need effective methods to sort through them. Note: This is out of your control. You cannot change your personality test outcome. Make sure you identify suitable personality traits and that yours align when conducting your job search and applying for a position.

Why Employers Care About Personality Types

Employers use information from personality tests in more ways than one. Firstly, they need to be sure that you're fit for the role. Secondly, they need to be sure that you'll fit in a company.

Although these tests can't prove how capable someone is of a job, they can identify soft skills. If someone is applying for a retail position, they may want friendly, extroverted traits to ensure strong communication skills. A recruiter needs to ensure that your personality traits meet the requirements specific to their company.

The other consideration is company fit. Companies have culture and it's important to fit into it to make the workspace comfortable for yourself and others. This will then improve turnover rates. The hired candidate is more likely to stay in their role and even progress in the same company if they are a good fit with a compatible mentality. Therefore, personality tests can save employers time and money.

Some companies implement personality tests into the hiring process themselves in the early hiring stages. When submitting a resume online, you may encounter a questionnaire before submission. This gives the recruiter a brief insight into your personality type. Interview questions will give recruiters personality insight through the way they're answered, too.

Do the Test

Knowing yourself is important for communication, growth, and your career. Part of knowing who you are is understanding your personality. But how do we define our personalities? Personality tests can categorize your traits into types or styles. With this improved self-awareness, you can realize your soft skills and blind spots to broaden your career opportunities.

Written by Career Specialist Jan 13, 2023
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