Can a personality test determine if you’re a good fit for a job?

Can a personality test determine if you're a good fit for a job

Hiring managers face a difficult task when selecting the right candidate for a job. With so many applicants, it can be challenging to determine who will be the best fit. To help make this decision, many companies use personality tests as part of their recruitment process. These tests aim to provide insight into a candidate’s personality traits and determine if they align with the job requirements. But the question remains, can a personality test really determine if someone is a good fit for a job?

Understanding Personality Tests

Personality tests are used to evaluate various aspects of a person’s character, including their strengths, weaknesses, and behaviors. These tests use a combination of multiple-choice questions and statements to assess a candidate’s personality traits. There are many different types of personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Big Five Personality Test, and the DISC Assessment.

The Use of Personality Tests in Hiring

Personality tests are used by many companies during their hiring process. Employers use them to determine a candidate’s suitability for a specific job by assessing their personality traits. These tests can also help employers evaluate a candidate’s soft skills, such as their communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities.

The use of personality tests has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, over 18% of companies use personality tests as part of their hiring process. The study also found that these tests are more commonly used for entry-level positions and customer-facing roles.

Limitations of Personality Tests

While personality tests can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s character, they do have their limitations. One of the main limitations is that these tests are self-reported. Candidates may not answer truthfully, either consciously or unconsciously, which can skew the results. Additionally, personality tests are not foolproof and may not provide a complete picture of a candidate’s personality.

Another limitation of personality tests is that they may not take into account cultural differences. For example, a candidate from a collectivist culture may have different personality traits than someone from an individualistic culture. These cultural differences can affect how candidates answer the test questions, leading to inaccurate results.

How does personality affect job performance?

Personality is a critical factor in determining job performance. Individuals with different personalities tend to approach tasks and interact with others in distinct ways, which can affect their ability to perform their job duties effectively.

Here are some ways in which personality can affect job performance:

  1. Work Attitude: Personality traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability can significantly impact an individual’s work attitude. For instance, conscientious individuals tend to be organized, responsible, and hardworking, while agreeable individuals tend to be cooperative and team players. Emotional stability helps individuals remain calm and composed during stressful situations, which can help them perform well in high-pressure jobs.
  2. Interpersonal Skills: Individuals with strong interpersonal skills tend to perform better in roles that require communication, teamwork, and customer service. Personality traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional intelligence can influence an individual’s ability to build relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers.
  3. Problem Solving: Personality traits such as openness to experience, creativity, and critical thinking skills can impact an individual’s ability to solve complex problems. Individuals who are open to new experiences tend to be more creative and adaptable, which can be helpful in roles that require innovative solutions.
  4. Leadership Skills: Leadership roles require specific personality traits such as extraversion, assertiveness, and emotional intelligence. Individuals who possess these traits tend to be confident, charismatic, and able to inspire and motivate others.
  5. Stress Management: Certain personality traits, such as emotional stability, can help individuals manage stress more effectively. Individuals who can cope with stress tend to perform better in jobs that are demanding and require a high level of emotional resilience.
Job Personality Test ProviderAssessments Offered
16PersonalitiesMyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
TruityBig Five Personality Test
Extended DISCDISC Assessment
Hogan Assessment SystemsHogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
TalentSmartEmotional Intelligence (EQ) and DISC Assessment
CaliperCaliper Profile Assessment
Job Personality Test Provider

What is a trait personality test?

A trait personality test is a type of personality assessment that measures an individual’s traits or characteristic patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. These tests are designed to identify an individual’s personality traits and provide insight into their personality type.

Trait personality tests are based on the Five Factor Model (FFM), also known as the Big Five Personality Traits. The FFM identifies five broad dimensions of personality traits:

  1. Openness: refers to an individual’s openness to new experiences, ideas, and perspectives.
  2. Conscientiousness: refers to an individual’s level of organization, responsibility, and dependability.
  3. Extraversion: refers to an individual’s level of sociability, assertiveness, and outgoingness.
  4. Agreeableness: refers to an individual’s level of kindness, cooperation, and empathy.
  5. Neuroticism: refers to an individual’s level of emotional stability, anxiety, and moodiness.

Trait personality tests typically use a combination of self-reported multiple-choice questions or statements to assess an individual’s personality traits. The results are used to create a profile of the individual’s personality traits, which can provide insights into their behavior and thought patterns.

How do you practice a personality test?

Practicing for a personality test can help you better understand your personality traits and prepare for the assessment. Here are some tips on how to practice a personality test:

  1. Research the test: Before taking the personality test, research the specific test being used and its format. This can help you understand what to expect and how to approach the questions.
  2. Take practice tests: Many job personality test providers offer practice tests or sample questions. Taking these practice tests can help you become familiar with the test format and identify areas where you may need to improve.
  3. Reflect on personal experiences: Personality test questions often ask you to reflect on your personal experiences and behaviors. Taking time to reflect on past experiences and how you respond to different situations can help you develop a better understanding of your personality traits.
  4. Review the Big Five Personality Traits: Since many personality tests are based on the Five Factor Model (FFM), reviewing the traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism can help you gain a better understanding of the test and the types of questions that may be asked.
  5. Seek feedback: Asking for feedback from friends, family, or colleagues can help you gain insights into your personality traits and areas where you may need to improve.
  6. Be honest: It’s important to be honest and answer the questions truthfully. Trying to answer the questions in a way that is not reflective of your true personality can lead to inaccurate results.
  7. Practice self-awareness: Paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in different situations can help you better understand your personality traits and how to respond to personality test questions.

Practicing for a personality test can help you feel more confident and prepared for the assessment.

Personality Assessment Test

Personality Assessment ProviderDescription
16PersonalitiesOffers a free online version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and provides a detailed analysis of an individual’s personality type.
Hogan AssessmentsOffers a suite of personality assessments for leadership development, including the Hogan Personality InventoryHogan Development Survey, and Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory.
Gallup Strengths CenterOffers the CliftonStrengths assessment, which measures an individual’s natural talents and strengths and provides insights on how to apply them in their personal and professional life.
SHLOffers a range of personality assessments for talent management, including the OPQ32, a comprehensive personality assessment used in recruitment and development.
TalentSmartOffers the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal, which measures an individual’s emotional intelligence and provides strategies for improving emotional intelligence skills.
The Predictive IndexOffers personality assessments for talent optimization, including the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, which measures an individual’s workplace behaviors and drives.
Personality Assessment Provider

Hogan Assessment Test

Hogan Assessment Systems is a leading provider of personality assessments and talent management solutions. 


Personality tests can be a useful tool for employers to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for a job. However, they should not be the only factor in the hiring decision. Employers should also consider a candidate’s education, work experience, and interview performance when making a decision.

It is essential to recognize the limitations of personality tests and understand that they should be used as a supplement to other hiring methods. While they can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s character, they should not be relied upon solely to determine a candidate’s suitability for a job. Employers must use various hiring methods to ensure they find the best candidate for the role.