Personality test tips. People with question marks above their heads.

Personality Test Tips

Our focus here is on personality test tips.

Personality test specialists

We are personality assessment specialists. Happy to answer any personality test queries you may have, big or small!

Personality tests intro

How are personality questionnaires scored?

These score will typically form part of any candidate data that’s used to inform selection decisions.

Other recruitment / selectin information that’s typically used are cv’s, personal (biodata) info, details of previous work experience, and qualifications.

Some people complain about struggling to pass tests to get their jobs. It’s worth improving your:

  • Self-awareness of your strengths at answering each of the different types of question on the personality questionnaire
  • Understanding which are your weakest areas.
    • Lack of preparation.
    • Focusing most of your psychometric test preparation on your weakest question areas.
    • With only around a quarter to a fifth to ensure you can run through your stronger test question sections in the most efficient way possible.

Personality Test Profiling

  • Extroversion: Introversion, shy, quiet, withdrawn, untalkative, inhibited, VERSUS extroversion, talkative, verbal, sociable, outgoing, dominant, assertive.
  • Agreeableness: Sympathetic, kind, warm, understanding, sincere, considerate, VERSUS self-centred, non-conformist, unsympathetic, unkind, harsh, insincere.
  • Conscientiousness: careful, organised, neat, orderly, systematic, precise, practical, VERSUS risk-taking, experimenting, disorganised, disorderly, careless, absent-minded.
  • Emotional stability: emotionally stable, un-envious, relaxed, optimistic, unemotional, VERSUS anxious, neurotic, nervous, tense, fidgety.
  • Intellect: creative, imaginative, complex, philosophical, intuitive, abstract thinking, open to experience, VERSUS uncreative, un-intellectual, unintelligent, shallow, ignorant, short-sighted, sensual, concrete thinking.

personality test tips

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Developed in the 1920s by mother-daughter team Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers and based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator attempts to describe personality type based on where you fall within four categories: introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling and judging or perceiving. Using these traits, users come up with four-letter personality types that more accurately describe their personalities (INTJ, ESFP, etc.)

In developing the MBTI, the pair addressed two related goals: first, the identification of basic preferences of each of the four dichotomies specified or implicit in Jung’s theory; and second, the identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences. According to the MBTI Foundation, these are preferences of the four dichotomies:

  • Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
  • Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
  • Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
  • Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

The Big 5

Developed in 1980s, the five personality types of this model are typically referred to as CANOE:

  • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. extravagant/careless)
  • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. critical/rational)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. resilient/confident)
  • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)

NEO

Studies, like this one published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have shown it that it effectively predicts behavior, and the test is often used in academic psychological personality research. You can determine your Big 5 personality type by taking online tests like IPIP-NEO.

Big Five Personality Test Tips

Otherwise known as the 5-Factor Model, this assessment groups various traits together into five main categories – extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism and openness to experience. The Big Five is the most widely accepted personality model in the academic community and the basis for most personality research, but it is less popular outside of academic circles because it does not categorize people into easily summarized types. There is no one “official” Big Five test, but many researchers have developed their own assessments based on this theory. 

Type A Personality

In 1976, cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman discovered the two main personality types: the Type A personality, who is prone to stress (and therefore cardiac issues), and the Type B personality, who is more laid-back (and less likely to have cardiac issues). Over the years, their model has been expanded to include Type C and Type D personalities, all described as such:

  • Type A: Known as The Director, The Overachiever or The Go-Getter, this person is a natural leader and wants to be in control as much as possible.
  • Type B: Known as The Socializer or The Peacemaker, Type B personalities are on the opposite side of the spectrum from Type A personalities. These outgoing folks are enjoyable to be around in positive situations but can verge on being needy.
  • Type C: Though similar to Type A in their focus on details, accuracy and control, Type C personalities are typically more introverted. Also known as The Thinker or The Analyst, they use logic and rationality to make sense of the world and can become easily overwhelmed when they aren’t in control.
  • Type D: More similar to Type B personalities, Type D personalities (or The Supporter/The Philosopher) are in touch with their emotions and can have a hard time feeling optimistic. Sensitive and enigmatic, they experience joy and happiness more intensely than others, but can become more easily anxious and depressed as well.

DISC Personality Test Introduction

The DISC personality profile was designed to measure behavioral styles and describes people in terms of their levels of dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. Assessments based on the DISC model are used widely in organizations to develop leadership skills, management training and team building. Free DISC tests are less common, as this model hasn’t gotten much attention outside of the business world. 

DISC Personality test tips

  • Firstly, DISC’s theoretical model is based on Jung’s personality “types” theories.
  • Secondly, DISC has lower construct validity than the OPQ, NEO, PAPI and WAVE personality tests.
  • Thirdly, Employers are looking for certain personality traits in any role. However it’s a bad idea to second guess what those might be.

Enneagram Personality Test Tips

The Enneagram began with a spiritual practice, not a scientific one, and conceptualizes personality as a dynamic system driven by emotions, fears, and beliefs. Traditionally, Enneagram knowledge was passed on by spiritual teachers, rather than formalized in an assessment. Recently, though, the system has become more popular, leading to the development of several assessments that aim to determine your Enneagram type. 

Passing personality tests

  • Firstly, employers are looking for certain personality traits in any role – as indicators of high job performance in key areas.
  • Secondly, personality test practice is of paramount importance.
  • Go with your initial reactions rather than thinking about each question in detail.
  • Don’t try to guess what type of person they are looking for.
  • Employers are usually looking for several different profiles, and there may be checks within the questionnaire to identify false answers.

Big Five Personality Test tips

Do you work well with others? If you’ve ever thought about this skill and want to know how well you execute it, then this personality test is for you. Big Five personality tests focus on how you work and how well you communicate with others.

While it’s a tightly focused test, its results shouldn’t be scoffed at. It gives you insight into whether you should be in a job that has you communicating with others all the time or a loner that gets the job done by yourself.

SHL Personality Test Tips

As two of the most popular personality tests used by UK employers for development, OPQ and NEO practice is important to us.

OPQ personality test tips

  • The OPQ has 32 personality traits grouped into categories such as Sociability, Influence and Thinking Style. For example, the Influence grouping of personality traits includes the personality traits of being Persuasive, Outspoken, Independent-Minded.
  • Check for a “faking scale” which for the OPQ personality test is called the Social Desirability scale. This measures how socially desirable your responses are. An example question with socially desirable responses, such as never lying, that everyone lies.
  • Thirdly, read each personality test question carefully and don’t lose your concentration before you reach the end of the personality test.
  • Check whether you will be doing either the ipsative or normative version. There are three main types of personality test: ipsative (forced-choice); normative; or ipsative (a mixture of normative and ipsative personality test format).
  • There are no time limits when completing such a personality questionnaire.
  • Finally, since this is a personality test, there are no right and wrong answers.

16PF5 Personality Test Tips

Please see all of our 16PF personality tips. The 16PF5 personality test is one of the best, but least used personality tests.

Firstly, the 16PF5 has excellent supporting materials.

Secondly, there are readily available personality test reports.

Thirdly, like the NEO personality questionnaire, it’is based on academically rigorous factor analysis.

Points to remember when completing the 16PF5 personality test are:

  • There is a systematic model, based on factor analysis, behind the set of the 16PF5 personality questionnaire’s personality questions.

Personality test tips

  • The 16PF5 profile and many of the 16PF5 personality test reports show the global personality factors. These global personality factors are very similar to the NEO’s Big Five personality model: Extraversion/Introversion; Conscientiousness; Agreeableness; Openness to Experience and Neuroticism.

Personality feedback – Analysts

Members of this group possess “O” and “D” as their common traits

  1. OCED (Commander: Commander)
  2. OUED (Debater: Royal court advisor)
  3. OCID (Architect: Battle strategist)
  4. OUID (Logician: Magic researcher)

Personality feedback -Diplomats

Members of this group possess “O” and “A” as their common traits,

  1. OCEA (Protagonist: Protagonist)
  2. OUEA (Campaigner: The Wanderer)
  3. OCIA (Advocate: Wizard)
  4. OUIA (Mediator: Diplomat)

Personality feedback – Sentinels

Members of this group possess “L” and “C” as their common traits.

  1. LCID (Logistician: Magic scientist?) (so similar to logician)
  2. LCIA (Defender: Paladin)
  3. LCED (Executive: Puppet master)
  4. LCEA (Consul: Healer)

Personality feedback – Explorers

Members of this group possess “L” and “U” as their common traits.

  1. LUID (Virtuoso: Inventor)
  2. LUIA (Adventurer: Adventurer)
  3. LUED (Entrepreneur: Merchant/ Salesman)

Additional assessment practice

Personality Test Tips