It’s tough to gauge a job applicant’s true self in a few emails or phone calls and a face-to-face interview. Personality-assessment tests can help you hire the right candidate — and they’re not as cost-prohibitive as you may think.
What Is a Personality Assessment?
Personality assessments use the answers to a series of questions to measure an individual’s specific traits, such as cooperativeness, leadership mentality, and ability to work in a team environment. Psychologists create these quizzes through rigorous testing.
Because certain personality traits tend to make people better suited to certain jobs — for instance, outgoing individuals are more likely to succeed in sales — these assessment tests provide deeper insights into whether a potential candidate is a good fit for any given position.
How to Use Personality-Assessment Tests in Hiring
Some companies administer personality-assessment tests at the start of the hiring process and use the results to choose who to interview. Others use them to narrow down the final list of candidates.
A personality assessment shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a face-to-face meeting, but rather in conjunction with your standard interview process to help paint a complete picture of the candidate’s personality and suitability over the long-term. This is where these tests are useful — in identifying any incongruities between the applicant’s personality during the interview and the results of the assessment.
If the results of the personality-assessment test seem out of line with your first impression of a person, bring the candidate back in for a follow-up interview. Armed with the test results, you can ask targeted questions to clear up any issues that don’t add up.
The hiring decision is, of course, still yours. Assessment tests are merely a tool to help you draw the right conclusions based on what your business needs.
Where to Find Personality Tests
About 18 percent of companies use personality-assessment tests as part of the hiring process. Commonly used tests (that are easily obtainable and affordable) include:
- DiSC Profile ($35.95 each for DiSC Classic Online 2.0 Assessments) — The DiSC test measures dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. It’s useful for determining how candidates solve problems, their ability to work in team environments, and their approaches to customer service.
- CPI ($21.95 each for CPI 434 Profiles) — The California Psychological Inventory test provides insights on creative temperament, managerial potential, work orientation, leadership potential, amicability, tough-mindedness, and law enforcement orientation.
- 16PF Questionnaire ($120 for Mail-In Starter Kit with two tests) — The 16 Personality Factor test gauges self-reliance, perfectionism, dominance, reasoning, rule-consciousness, and social boldness, among other traits. Add-ons measure management potential and other job-related factors that may be relevant to your business.
Don’t get stuck in the endless interview cycle. Personality tests can provide valuable insights and steer the interview process — and help you hire the best candidates for your business.