You failed your employer's personality test. Now that? (2023)

You failed your employer's personality test. What now?

06.08.2019 / Wedjayne thompson Clinically evaluated bySteven Melendy, PhD in 6. August 2019

Category:personality in the workplace.

When people talk about itPre-employment personality tests, usually refer to questionnaires such as the Myers Briggs Inventory, the Big Five, or the DISC profile. A test, e.g. A math or literacy test, for example, has a right or wrong answer, allowing you to pass or fail. A personality questionnaire, on the other hand, helps the employer to find out whether your strengths and weaknesses match the job requirements. In fact, you can't fail or pass a personality test: it only shows if you're a good fit for the job.

So what happens when you are rejected for your dream role because you "failed" a personality test? Or when you keep getting turned down for all sorts of jobs because you're not what the employer is looking for? Could it be that your personality doesn't fit into any job profile... or is there something else going on?

Why do recruiters use personality tests?

From the employer's point of view, the results are apersonality testIt can reveal a lot more about your character than can be learned from an interview. Interviews typically focus on a candidate's education, skills and experience, and a well-rehearsed candidate can win an interview simply by repeating an impressive set of answers. It's difficult for employers to get a glimpse of who you really are and how you might fit into the team culture in a single 45-minute interview. This is why recruiters use personality testing: it helps them gauge suitability in a way that might not show up in a job interview.

Another reason employers like personality tests is that they provide a very good basis for performance. For example, if all of your best sales reps score high on Agreeableness, Openness, and Extroversion, then it makes sense to filter candidates based on these traits. This is because a candidate with a similar personality style is more likely to have what it takes to fill that role. I know it's a simple point of view, but personality tests provide companies with a simple comparison to replicate skills that have worked for them before.

From a recruiter's perspective, a hiring mistake is costly, really costly. Some researchers attribute an appetite-stimulating effect to itPrice of $240,000make a single bad hiring when you consider advertising fees, staff time, reassignment, training, litigation costs and the negative impact on employee morale and company reputation.

Numbers like these make them active advocates for recruiters looking for information on a candidate's suitability for a job. Proponents believe personality testing offers a quick and repeatable way to weed out misaligned candidates before they make a costly mistake.

Are the benefits real?

The test only works as a recruitment tool if the employer knows what he wants. Sometimes that's obvious. For example, a company that is losing customers due to rude and aggressive customer service might look to hire someone with strong interpersonal skills. Or if the role is traveling alone for many hours, then logically we can assume that an independent person in the role would be happier than someone who gets their energy from teamwork.

Pre-employment personality tests fail when a recruiter has a terribly stereotypical view of what it takes to be successful in a role: the notion that you have to be "bubbly" to work in HR, or "dominating." , to work in a role . be a good leader. These assumptions are simply wrong. Last year the use ofpersonality testAs a recruitment tool, it came under fire in the UK when it became clear that former Co-operative Bank chairman Paul Flowers was getting the job ahead of more experienced candidates after passing his personality test. Flowers was later forced to move away from a £1.5billion black hole in the bank's finances, showing just how much damage personality tests can do when prioritized over other factors.

Personality is not destiny. Despite years of rigorous testing, no one has found a correlation between personality test results and actual job performance.atThe personality has the ability, for example, to be persuasive or creative or to lead: they just do it in different ways. So when a company uses tests to measure this, it's actually only excluding potentially good candidates who just have an "unconventional" approach to the job.

And that means you can be pretty unfairly disqualified from a job.

Is there anything you can do?

So what happens if you "fail" a pre-employment personality test? Is there anything you can do to get back in the game? The unsatisfactory answer is perhaps; depends on the weight that the personality assessment has in the decision-making process.

If you have the dreaded "Sorry, we don't think your personality style is right for us' asks for a summary. The recruiter should be willing to provide you with a copy of the personality test so you can see how they interpreted the results. This gives you a head start on what your concerns are and how to address them.

Once you have the results, compare the strengths identified in the report to the job requirements and identify any weaknesses. Is the employer evaluating candidates or testing for the wrong qualities? For example, you may seem quiet and introverted, but you're still the best salesperson I know and your resume shows it. Chances are the company views salespeople as sociable and outgoing and neglects the skills you bring to the job, such as communication skills. B. Listening and giving thoughtful advice.

If everything seems wrong, you can contact the recruiter and explain how surprised you were by the test results, since the traits you described as weaknesses were actually the foundation of your success in previous roles. This may or may not prompt them to take another look; But it's worth a try.

A good hiring manager will use the personality test as one data point among many, so it's a good idea to rely on supporting evidence as to why the company should move forward. If you can (and it won't hurt your current job), encourage the hiring manager to call your references and talk about specific areas where you didn't do well. If you're confident that the assessor will say that you've excelled in a similar role, that might carry more weight than a personality test that completely lacks the human factor.

Finally, ask the hiring manager if they've ever hired someone who didn't seem perfect on the test but turned out to be a real winner — say, an introverted salesperson. Most people know high achievers who have topped personality tests and truly contributed to the organization. Can you get the recruiter to think of you in the same category?


Employers want personality tests to be the silver bullet for weeding out problem candidates and delivering the perfect ones to the door, but they're not. Claiming that only one type of person can do any job, and firing good candidates because they failed an evaluation is pretty silly and can lead to a company developing a monoculture instead of good, diverse teams .

Ultimately, you should treat the experience as a mutual aptitude test. If a candidate "fails" solely on their personality test, it indicates that the employer is looking for people who think and act a certain way, rather than hiring people for their unique talents. They also think it's okay to make hiring decisions based on evidence of limited relevance, rather than knowing and knowing. Is that a culture you want to belong to?

jayne thompson

Jayne is a B2B Technology Writer and Editorial Director here at Truity. When she's not writing to meet a deadline, she talks about personality psychology and conspiracy theories. Jayne is a true Ambiverte, only INTJ and Enneagram 1. She lives in the UK with her husband and daughters. Find Jayne underwhite rose font.

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About the clinical assessor

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a clinical psychologist who received his PhD from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in a variety of settings from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He firmly believes in the importance of self-care, good friendships and humor whenever possible.


Anita S. (not verified)Dice...

3 years 6 months ago

I would like to point out that these tests work well to exclude jobs that would not be suitable for employees. As a stay-at-home mom returning to work after 18 years, I applied for everything and was quite devastated when my call went unanswered. I decided to dig deeper and try to see myself through the interviewer's eyes. I started with some personality tests commonly used by employers. The accuracy of these tests opened my eyes to a new level of enlightenment. I saw coping patterns, strengths and weaknesses that were missing from my resume. I've stopped applying for everything and have focused on jobs that match my skill level and personality type.

I also saw red flags in my test results that distracted potential employers. My penchant for multitasking was like a person who routinely bites off more than they can chew. For example, my testing has highlighted patterns where I'm wearing many different hats, which can lead to a feeling of overwhelm and distraction. The reality couldn't be further from the truth. Age has taught me to say "no" to tasks that don't fit my schedule or bring me joy. However, this trait looks like a disadvantage on your face without qualifying for an employer. When an interviewer raised concerns, I simply said, “I don't think there is a mother who doesn't balance multiple responsibilities in a dynamic family. Also, I'm more of a stay-at-home mom in my community and enjoy volunteering. At this point in my life, I need to be able to achieve my professional goals. I don't see that the problem is what I assume. The problem is how I use my time. and take care of myself.” Job offer in 24 hours. But I've also received other offers from other employers because I went through the interviews with a better understanding of the culture and needs of the office. Understanding me as a complete package from the point of view of an employer was a great help. Use your test scores as a tool to negotiate what to expect from your next employer. Remember that employer-employee relationships are not a one-way street. You are an asset that should not be wasted in an environment incompatible with work.

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Elena (unverified)Dice...

2 years 3 months ago

Thanks for writing about it. It is very difficult to find information about it. I was never asked to take a personality test before this year and now it seems every employer uses it. And if you fail, you will be automatically eliminated. I keep hearing that the US has a hard time finding skilled workers (I'm in tech) but they keep putting up all these ridiculous barriers to hiring skilled workers.

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tam-tam (unverified)Dice...

1 year 4 months ago

I felt extremely depressed from these tests. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have extensive mortgage experience but have been left by 3 employers due to personal screening. Almost every job I apply for uses them. I have great references but I'm not getting that far.

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Suzie McKenna (unaudited)Dice...

2 years 1 month ago

I was also denied a place on the personality test. And my previous work says otherwise

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Jac (not verified)Dice...

2 years 1 day ago

This "personality test" to secure the job simply offers a disturbing loophole for discrimination of all kinds. Modern eugenics. You probably shouldn't be making people take a test based on a system created by a racist. For personal development, you have a choice. However, relying on a test to make a living is very disruptive and should be illegal during the hiring process. There are many high functioning people living with mental health issues. Don't they deserve to feed themselves or their families because of the systemically biased test?

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Carol (unverified)Dice...

1 year 10 months ago

This was interesting reading. I am so disappointed that I can be highly qualified for a role and not even get an interview based on a personality test that identifies strengths and weaknesses that can often be seen as appropriate for the culture or role. I am very humble and I probably didn't express it on the test, but I was very successful and submitted an excellent CV which should speak for itself. I lacked longevity and success in a field that involved relationship building and a proven track record of achieving a high sales rank among my peers due to personality issues. These achievements required strategy and a combination of many natural and adaptive personality traits to best fit my client's personalities. In fact, my performance was based on how well I could adapt to the personality of others. This may be a passing sign of the times, but I have a feeling employers will start to realize that they've embraced the idea of ​​a personality survey, which isn't the most effective approach to weeding out candidates. I understand how HR wants to evolve with new tools, but an old school interview process and CV review gives you a much better view of a candidate. I didn't even get a chance to introduce myself and give my elevator pitch. Just a total rejection of the interview process.

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Thiago (unaudited)Dice...

1 year 9 months ago

I was invited to a second interview after an initial video interview with the contractor, plus a dpt. Specialist (engineer) and recruiter for an engineering position in a large pharmaceutical company. In the meantime, they sent me a personality test and a logic test to take before meeting them for the interview. On the way to the company almost 2 hours driving time. This time the director was there instead of the specialist of the department. So 2 women, project manager and HR employee and head of department, one woman. First, the HR woman showed all the test results, we spent about 10 minutes talking about logic, which was average, and almost 1 hour asking weird questions about the personality test. When I was younger I started studying biomedicine at university, after the first semester they realized that it was too much theory for me. I studied automation in technical school as a teenager, so naturally I quickly made the decision to go back to something I knew would be great. The interviewer asked me. Didn't you feel tired or something when you changed your path? I said no. I establish the real reasons why I decided to devote myself to automation engineering. The first thing I mentioned was the lack of hands-on approach in biomedicine, especially early in your career. 2º I said the lack of market and employment opportunities where I lived at the time for this area. Finally, I said that I think it was the right choice because I graduated with good grades and some experience. I asked each of them intelligent questions in turn. When they asked me about the salary, I replied that I'd rather look up the full offer (vacation, health insurance, etc.) first so I wouldn't give them a rude answer. I sent each of them a short and concise letter of thanks that same day. The project manager quickly replied that she would give him an answer shortly. Then 6 days later he called me on a Friday at 4pm. M. to tell me that they would switch with another candidate. I asked why? He answered my personality test, they couldn't figure out a few things. I said what exactly. She said this career change question, she said. When you said you just made the decision to change and had no feelings, I thought about it. I laughed. I noticed that they were not paying attention in the middle of the conversation. First, I'll name not one, but three different reasons why I made this decision. Second, does the company that says incorporating values ​​exclude a candidate because they are honest? WTF. Just so you know, this "Pride" month, they have already put a colored flag on their company flag on their social networks. Yes I am a man. If you're really looking for a pimp, you'd better look elsewhere. Men and women have different characteristics that are unique to everyone. Men are generally more logical. We rationalize our decisions more, we tend to show less emotion when it's not necessary. Women are often the complete opposite, but they don't decrease or increase based on cognitive ability, personality, or decision-making. I feel that all of the comments here in this section share some similarity in that. I have nothing against anyone, I treat everyone with decency and respect. But hey, welcome to Agenda 21 of private enterprise. Buckle up before it all blows you up!!

  • answeror

Cameron (unverified)Dice...

1 year 4 months ago

Are you asking about the results? That's ideal. I can't even get an answer after an interview let alone a pre-interview rating.

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Tama (unaudited)Dice...

12 months 2 days ago

Once I've found a job that interests me, I research the hiring process, especially if personality tests are included. If not, I won't apply because I don't want to work for companies that can't interview without them.

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Joel Ross (unverified)Dice...

10 months 3 weeks ago

Interviewers should conduct personality tests to see if they are a "good fit" and the right person to interview a qualified candidate, not just looking for a reason to ignore a candidate. Looking for potential employees. They try to disqualify as many as possible unless a personality test says otherwise.

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Drunk (Without Verification)Dice...

8 months 4 weeks ago

Just to share my recent experience with the personality testing process. First, a recruiter approached me directly through Linked in for a middle management position in my field. I agreed to proceed with the interview because the job was in the industry I was interested in and I had a lot of experience in that field. I had to do face-to-face zoom interviews with one of the stakeholders and a hiring manager. According to the applicant, both interviews went very well. So they asked me to pass an online personality test. Here was a surprise: when I entered the test provider's website and entered my personal data, in addition to the personality test (SHL), another test, the interactive version of the general ability test (numerical, inductive and deductive resonance), was blocked in the process. Here's an important disclaimer: I haven't taken algebra or calculus since I graduated from high school. As a lawyer by profession, I have worked most of my career on verbal reasoning. Not surprisingly I failed this test, to top it off, it was also timed (36 minutes/24 questions full of graphs, calculations, calendars, patterns). The personality test seemed to be going well (at least that's my impression). After a week of silence, the recruiter came back and said there was a problem with one test (without specifying which one) and the company decided not to proceed. No specific report or feedback on the actual problem, just like that, with a test not relevant to my skills and job, which I felt really inadequate for.

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Jason Ames (unverified)Dice...

5 months 22 hours ago

I interviewed a forklift company in the southeastern United States. The interviews went very well. I was asked to take a cognitive/analytical assessment test that also included a personality test. I'm pretty sure I did pretty well on the cognitive test, even though the test took a couple of HOURS. There were many questions across the logical spectrum. I took the test on a Saturday to keep my head fresh instead of after work. I found out on Monday that someone else had already been offered the job before I called! I applied on Saturday, the candidate accepted on Monday. From what I've seen on LinkedIn, it looks like they offered it to an internal candidate! All the learning, time and stress was a WASTE. They never bothered to tell me, nor did the recruiter I worked with. In the end I got the message from your HR department. And...they refused to give me my test results. It is "his" property. Simply put, I wouldn't recommend taking any of these things unless the company agrees to provide the results. Also, for an average company, I wouldn't bother with them if they had to. If it's Microsoft or Google, then yes, take the hits. But for a forklift company in the field? Give it a while. They probably couldn't get through it alone.

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Brittany Chisma (unverified)Dice...

1 week 5 days ago

I can't seem to pass a pre-evaluation for any position I'm applying for. All tests are based on my personality or whether I'm fit for the job as they call it. But the questions are repetitive and totally irrelevant and ridiculous.
After going through this for months, I feel inadequate and hopeless.

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Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of MBTI Trust, Inc., which is not affiliated with this website. The truth offers apersonality testbased on Myers and Briggs types but does not provide an official MBTI® evaluation. For more information on evaluating the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®, go toHere.

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