Are you ready for a personality test?

Marianne Bom & Rie Jerichow, Publicér

You might as well prepare yourself for a test – more and more companies use them to hire new people. And how do you handle that kind of challenge best? Get tips from a career counsellor at IDA.

“Unless it is an online test to even have your application considered for the job, you can always ask for feedback on the test. Remember that the feedback is no more useful than the one giving the feedback,” says Lise Dan. Photo: Rene Løkkegaard, PressConnect.

More and more companies use tests when hiring new employees
“Small companies may not use them so often, but medium-sized and large corporations seem to use them all the time. It may seem scary for some, but there is no reason for that. Don’t forget that it is still about having the right qualifications, first and foremost. The test only plays a minor role,” says Lise Dan, engineer and career counsellor at Karriere & Kompetence in IDA.

There are a number of different tests
“There are tests that show how you behave in different situations. There are logical tests, competence tests, and more soft tests that give an idea of the applicant’s personality type, cognitive skills, motivation, and so on – all with the purpose of giving the company an impression of the applicant’s behavior, collaboration skills, strengths, and weaknesses,” she explains.

The profile should be seen in relation to the job
You may have to do a personality test. And no, this is not an exam for your personality, says Lise Dan.
“Of course a personal profile will be made of it, and of course it is a test of how compatible your personality is with the job in question, with the group, and with the culture you should be a part of. The aim is to find out more about the applicant’s social and personal competences. The social competences are about the ability to apply one’s professionalism. For instance, whether you are able to communicate your knowledge, both in writing and speech. The personal competences are about all the adjectives – for instance if you are neat and calm, analytical, or empathic,” she says.
There will be a great difference between what kind of profile they are looking for – depending on whether the company is looking for an employee as super specialist or project leader. “Because of this, one profile is not better than another, but a given profile will fit one job or corporate culture better than another,” she says.

Be yourself
Most people know that they are not equally strong in all areas. The question is, whether you can tactically highlight your best sides.
“Of course you can give the most positive picture of yourself without lying, and in that context it is always positive to be honest. But one would presumably not know what kind of profile the company is looking for, because that is dependent on the corporate culture and the colleagues you have to work alongside. Finally, if you do not answer honestly, you just make it harder for yourself to elaborate on your answers during an oral interview. Besides that, it is never fun to land a job where you six months later realize it is not something you enjoy,” says Lise Dan.
It may take some of the pressure off, if you prepare before the test.
“It might be a good idea to look into what types of tests exist, so you aren’t completely unprepared. You can also take some of the free tests, which are available online, so you have an idea of what you will be asked. And if you are a bit nervous, it may be a good idea to talk to a friend who has tried it, so you can demystify it. But the most important part is to relax and be yourself,” says Lise Dan.