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Beating a Personality Assessment

Given time, application and practice, you can beat most psychometric tests. But before you do, ask yourself: is that really what you want? Employment is a two-way street; a good employer is looking for the right employee for the candidate's benefit as well as its own. Lever yourself into the wrong job and the result is likely to be pretty miserable.

So use the advice you'll find on this site wisely. By all means try to give the best impression you can, but don't try to give a false impression of your real character. If you take a trial test, look carefully at what it tells you and ask yourself what elements of your personality you could work on. Improve yourself in those areas and you could change your life. How to Pass Personality Tests



How Personality Assessment Works

Whom should we regard as the inventor of personality testing?

It's probably an unanswerable question. Certainly much of the theory behind it comes from the thoughts and writings of ground-breaking psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Of these, the latter has arguably more validity in modern psychometrics. Jung was a free thinker, preferring to categorize people less rigidly than Freud. He believed more in individuality, and the ability of the human mind to change, adapt and evolve.

This is a crucial consideration; we are all products of our environment. While separating our attitudes and motivations from our education and social privileges might be a useful equaliser, it has less relevance when we apply it to an employment situation. An employer engages the total person, who will act according to his or her upbringing and education, overlaid on top of his or her core psychological structure.

Jung didn't have the advantage of computer analysis to help his observations. He understood the complexity of the human mind, and endeavoured to make it measurable by identifying a small range of identifying components.
These he divided into categories as follows:

Attitudes: Extroversion or introversion

Rational preferences: Thinking or feeling

Irrational preferences: Sense or intuition

The basis of his theory states that we each make decisions biased towards one or the other of these mutually exclusive poles. Do we interpret the world based on our senses or our intuition? Do we make decisions based on rational thought or "gut-feeling"? In theory it should be possible to map a person's personality based on these criteria.

But Jung observed that this view was too simplistic; it ignored our ability to adjust our behaviour according to circumstances and experience. Put a marginally introverted person in a group of more introverted people and we'll see apparently extrovert behaviour. An intuitive person who's made a series of poor judgment may learn to become more rational.

The interview is an exceptionally false situation. Everyone acts to some extent out of their normal character - including the interviewer. Here we see Jung's observations on adaptability in action. Each person involved is modifying his or her base behaviour to suit an unusual set of circumstances. Once the unusual circumstances are removed, he or she will revert to a more normal behavioural pattern.

Personality Assessment endeavours to peel away as much as possible of this circumstantial overlay. We want to know the natural behaviour patterns of the person underneath. There's no right or wrong, no superhuman or poor performing profile. But there can be certain drivers that are important - positively or negatively - in a particular job. If a candidate needs security and reassurance, he or she may well be able to operate in a high-risk business environment, but at what personal cost?
How to Pass Personality Tests

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