Rating today’s leading personality tests
Lots of workplaces ask candidates to take a personality test as part of the hiring process. The tests come back with recommendations for the employer, letting them know whether a candidate’s persona is considered below average, average, or above average vis-a-vis the position’s ideal one.
It’s easy to feel judged by your personality test. When you’re asked whether you like helping people out or how long it takes you to calm down after getting angry, someone on the other side of the test is looking at your responses and judging whether you are worthy.
Today, we flip the script and judge some of the most popular personality tests on their merits. You probably won’t have a choice of which test to take, but we think it will help you regain some power over the test by looking under the hood.
We look at some of the most popular personality tests out there and rank them based on their quality. In other words, do they REALLY get to know you? Check it out. It will be fun.
These Tests Are Considered Below Average
Some of the tests we’re talking about here are really popular, but simply don’t paint an accurate picture of a candidate. If you do find yourself taking one of these tests, take a deep breath and hope that the test goes in your favor.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – The Myers-Briggs test is incredibly popular. It asks 93 questions and gives you two options for each one. Based on your responses, it shows whether you tend to be an extrovert or introvert, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. Your answers put you in one of sixteen categories, such as an introvert, sensing, feeling, perceiving personality.
The personality description it includes is incredibly accurate, and yet this test is remarkably poor at predicting future job performance. Its scoring methodology makes it difficult to directly compare different candidates, and as a result it doesn’t scale well. Myers-Briggs knows that, and even issued a statement stating, “It is not ethical to use the MBTI instrument for hiring or for deciding job assignments.”
EverythingDISC – The DISC test is great if you like short tests. At only 15 minutes, it won’t block off large parts of your day. However, when it comes to accuracy in predicting the success of candidates, the test is lacking. According to Solve.hr, this test rates as Very Poor in its ability to tell whether or not you will do great at the job.
Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment – This test difinitely tickles the employers’ needs by being the shortest test out there. All you have to do is to mark which of 86 adjectives fits your characteristics. The PI test is not badat assessing the right fit for an employee based on one of four factors of workplace behavior. It helps show where people fall on the behavior spectrum but falls short on showing whether one candidate would do well in a position.
CliftonStrengths (Also known as StrengthsFinder) – Here is another personality test that is great for identifying strengths in employees but falls short in predicting a job candidate’s future success. This shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that on their webpage they don’t include recruitment or hiring in the list of ways they help organizations improve.
These Tests Are Considered Average
If you find yourself face-to-face with these tests, you’re in a good place. They are pretty reliable, very traditional, and fairly trustworthy. If you find yourself sitting at a computer taking one of these tests, do your best and know the organization you’re interviewing for knows what it’s doing.
NEO PI-3 – This personality test is a revised version of the NEO-PI-R. It is well thought of and is considered to be a good predictor of future success. However, if you are taking this test, be forewarned. The test’s age range has been scaled down, making it appropriate for adolescents as young as 12. This means it might be easier for you to do well, but this test could indicate that the role you are applying for is entry-level.
16PF – As you might have guessed, this test looks at 16 different personality factors during the assessment. The test does a moderately good job of predicting the likelihood of your success in a role and helps hiring managers to identify whether you will fit within their desired culture.
SHL OPQ – You might think that a test that strings the letters OPQ rather than the more popular LMNO is just being difficult, but the Occupational Personality Questionnaire is a reasonable personality test. Predicting future success is one of its strengths, although it recognizes that people change due to circumstances, and recognizes that taking the test again after 18 months could yield different results based on changing life circumstances.
HEXACO – This 100-question test predicts your organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and your counterproductive work behavior (CWB). A study done at the Institutional Knowledge of Singapore Management University found that the Hexaco was a good predictor of OCB and CWB.
These Tests Are Considered Above Average
The great thing about these tests is that they are pretty good predictors of future success within a company. That’s good news for good candidates, but if you are uncertain about how to approach these, or feel anxious about taking them, you might get some discouraging results…
Since employers take these tests’ reports seriously, it is recommended to get a clear understanding of what personality tests are all about, and to learn how to approach them in a benefical manner.
Caliper – It’s refreshing to know that the 180 questions are driving worthwhile results. The test not only shows how well you might fit in a role but also helps managers understand what drives you. It assesses behavioral characteristics as well as cognitive ability skills. This can be useful as they try to assess the best ways to get the most out of your skillset.
Hogan – Many job applicants are required to take all of Hogan’s three personality assessments – the HPI, HDS, and MVPI. While this might be some of the most tedious 60 minutes of your life, Hogan’s assessments are considered a highly reliable tool for assessing your job compatibility. In addition to looking at your personality, it also measures your potential and predicts your work performance. It’s pretty reliable as a test and an excellent predictor of future success.
ProfileXT – This test was already an excellent predictor of success, and now that they have added artificial intelligence into the evaluation, we believe it is going to get more accurate. If you are hired after taking this success, know that you are more likely to have higher employee satisfaction and you can look forward to a great onboarding experience.
Birkman Signature – If you find yourself taking the Birkman Signature assessment, you’re being evaluated by an organization that takes its hiring very seriously. In all likelihood, your interview has already helped determine whether the job is a match with your interests and whether you’re suited to day-to-day work. These personality tests are excellent predictors of success within the organization.
Papi 3 – Considered one of the world’s leading personality tests, the PAPI 3 assesses 22 personality traits and measures your workplace suitability. Its ability to predict success is high, and if you do well on the test, you’ll likely get the role.
Can You Beat a Personality Test?
Personality tests don’t have right or wrong answers, so it’s not like you can just eliminate an obviously wrong answer and guess C throughout the test to get a high score. These tests, even the ones that are less likely to predict success, are all about placing you on some type of personality scale.
The key to performing well is to enter the test with the mindset of the role you are applying for. Don’t give Your Average Joe Citizen answer. Imagine yourself as Head of Sales Joe Citizen, and respond to all the questions through that lens. Those answers will help place you at the front of the line of candidates.
As for these tests, the one that matters most is the one you are being asked to take. The best way to excel is to familiarize yourself with the type of questions and the test’s format. Take a practice test, breathe deeply, and simply do your best.