Right person? Wrong person? Just be yourself

Morgan McKinley November 15, 2013 3 mins read

As the search for the right talent heats up, it is quite common for big companies (especially foreign-owned firms) in China to request for potential candidates to undergo a personality test towards the end of the interview process.

However, I noticed that quite a significant number of candidates are none-the-wiser when it comes to preparing for personality tests, so I’m sharing some tips, hoping that the larger audience out there will be less fearful and more accustomed to it if it happens during the next career move.

There’s no right or wrong answer

A personality test is just that: To understand who you are and what makes you tick. Most importantly, does that align with what the company can offer and do you fit the culture. Many times, I had questions like: How can I score a “higher” point, or anyway to “ace” it. To be brutally honest, if the personality test shows that the candidate’s personality is clearly not a match to what the company can offer, then perhaps it’s a valid point to re-consider the option again.

Respect it just like any part of the interview process

Just like any part of the interview process, it is important that you give it due respect. I have heard of candidates who “multi-task” while answering the questions, or to brush it off as an insignificant part of the interview process only to rush through it at the eleventh-hour. Just like how you would not sit in front of an interviewer and start playing with your iPhone, it is important to complete the personality test in the best possible environment: Undisturbed, clear-minded and calm.

Many times, employers refer to these test results as a sneak-peak to your characters, and it is detrimental if a sudden lack of attention caused you to portray a different personality to your actual self, which also brings me nicely to the next point.

Do not lie

If you read this article here, you will immediately realize that there’s no point in lying. The questions are designed with in-built “lie-detector”, where questions asking about the same traits are repeated in different forms. Unless you are blessed with super memory (bearing in mind there are usually a huge number of questions) or clairvoyant, do not attempt. Lying on a personality test is as detrimental as lying at a face-to-face interview as this shows what happens where there’s no supervision.

Have confidence in yourself

If you look at these sample questions, you will realized that it is very tempting to portray a better image and answer in the “model answer” format. However, bear in mind that the personality test is never a stand-alone deal-breaker for any applicant, and you should feel confident enough to tell the truth.

Hopefully, with these tips (and more with your own research), there’s lesser fear when you sit for the next personality test. Good luck!

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