Pre-employment personality tests: 5 free samples for HR


As talent war intensifies, finding the right candidate for the job will become only more difficult for HR professionals. According to the 2018 Job Outlook & Salary Survey conducted by JobsDB and, six out of ten employers have said that they will increase or maintain their hiring rate, indicating a high expectation for staffing level growth in 2018, further challenging an already tight talent market.

In such a competitive market for talent, hiring through a standard application and interview process may not be sufficient. It calls for an additional vetting method that goes above and beyond the precisely edited and possibly overstated resume: using personality tests as a hiring tool.

So, what are job personality assessments and tests?

As the name implies, personality tests examine the behaviour and temperament of an individual through a series of tests; questions or even given scenarios. These tests have the potential for recruiters to narrow down the search for the right candidate more quickly. In fact, some of these tests are free and widely available online.

Here is a list of 5 free job personality tests versions that can help you find the candidates with the right fit:

  1. Myers-Briggs

The Myers-Briggs test is so well-known in the world of personality tests that it has several free versions on the Internet. The test is based on personality indicators such as introvert/extrovert, intuition/sensing, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Each pair of indicators are then combined to create a 4-letter abbreviation for each personality type, for example, ESFP: extraversion (E), sensing (S), feeling (F), perception (P) or INTJ: introversion (I), intuition (N), thinking (T), judgment (J). These personality traits will fall under four categories that describe the way the individual behaves and interact with others.

The test results help you to identify if the candidate has what it takes to succeed in the job. For example, if your organisation is in the midst of expansion and requires innovation, hiring a candidate who is a thinker and an innovator could have significant positive effects.


  1. Big Five

With many free personality tests versions online, the Big Five test divides an individual to five key traits: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience. The test consists of a list of statements that you must rate on how true they are about you on a five-point scale from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree. The test score depends on which choices you make and will reveal if you scored higher or lower than others who have taken the test.

Big Five can potentially help to determine the learning styles and work preferences of your candidate. For example, if a candidate had a score of C74, it indicates that 74% of people who took the test scored lower than the said candidate in conscientiousness. It means that this candidate will likely be more organised and self-disciplined than the rest of the 74%.


  1. 16Personalities

16Personalities is another popular free online personality questionnaires and test that has been describe as ‘freakishly accurate’ by many who have taken this test. It derives from two different philosophies; Carl Gustav Jung, the father of analytical psychology and the Myers-Briggs dichotomies. The test revolves around almost the same idea as to the combination of four different characteristics that eventually defines our personality.

You’ll learn if your candidate is an introvert or extrovert at the end of the test and reveal other different spectrums such as whether the candidate is a person who likes to make decisions versus keeping opinions quiet or how emotional the candidate can be when making decisions versus using logic. Interestingly, the test also labels your candidates with cool titles such as “Campaigner,” “Commander” or “Adventurer.”


  1. Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment

The PI Behavioral Assessment involves filling in a checklist and the answers are then analysed according to the Performance Requirement Options worksheet. This worksheet helps to understand the specific behaviours of a candidate that can lead to the most effective performance in a particular role. Available in 70 languages for use around the world, the test claimed to be “scientifically validated against populations large enough to be used for many jobs, in an array of industries across the globe.”

In fact, according to its official website, the PI Behavioral Assessment has been designed to provide “an accurate depiction, or pattern, of your core drives, and therefore insights into your needs and behaviours.” In other words, this rigorously tested test helps to determine your candidate’s strongest workplace behaviour that is necessary for superior performance.


  1. Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Another well-known personality test is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. This test is based on the Keirsey Temperament Theory, which briefly realigns the Myers-Briggs indicators into four personality temperaments: Rational, Guardian, Idealist and Artisan. Each of these four personality temperaments are further divided into four more sub-types, making it a total of 16 temperament types.

By identifying the type of temperament, it can give you an idea on how the candidate communicates with others and determine what their actions tend to be. For example, if your candidate is a Guardian Supervisor, he or she is deemed to be dutiful, dependable and hard-working. According to the test indicators, a Guardian Supervisor is fit to be leaders as they are community-minded and are comfortable issuing orders.


The above list of personality tests provides good and sometimes really insightful profiling services which can boost your task in finding the right fit. Nevertheless, these results may not be perfect. Humans are very complex in nature therefore recruiters should only use these personality tests in addition to other assessment methods for a more accurate screening of candidates.


This article is either written or edited by JobsDB HK. If you would like to publish it on other website or publication, please contact us by email: [email protected]. JobsDB reserves the right to take legal action against any person that infringes the copyright.

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