It is important to prevent nervousness. Maybe you simply repress the thought of the threatening test and imagine that you are not at all nervous. But when it really happens, you anyway do something less clever. In the clear light of hindsight, you can then realize that you actually had been nervous without knowing.
It can be recommanded well in advance to familiarize oneself with the physical conditions on the location, where you are invited for a test or interview. It will take a bit of possible nervousness. Explore the bus connections or the parking place possibilities beforehand. It is not good to come running up the stairs, late and sweating, on the day of the event, because of such problems. Go there some days before and look at the door or gate of the address, mentioned in the letter, it will make you feel more comfortable.
Follow the sports psychologist's advice. Sit down in a quiet corner prior to the event, close your eyes and imagine the whole sequence of events. You will imagine how you park the car, walk to the gate, introduce your self for a porter or reception secretary. You will be picked by a human resources officer, together you will walk through the corridors smalltalking. There is a room with a table and a computer. You will say hello to a superior human resources manager and exchange a few remarks. You're doing well, because you are well prepared, and in the end, you will be offered a job.
Try to exchange a few words with the gatekeeper or the reception secretary while waiting to be picked up, it takes the tip of the nervousness and makes a good impression. You can talk about the traffic or the weather or innocently ask if there have been many applicants for the job.
Some consultants will use a stopwatch.
In connection with a personality test, some consultants will put a stopwatch on the table or otherwise indicate that they will measure the time. It is because that when the applicants feel some time pressure, they are assumed to respond faster and more impulsive to personality test questions. In reality, it is not so important whether you answer a few questions more or less. There will often be so many that the test taker simply cannot possibly get through them all.
Before a personality test, the human resources officer might tell the applicant that they would discuss his answers to the individual questions of the test during a possible future interview. In reality, they will not waste time on such things. They give this statement simply to motivate the applicant to complete the test as honestly as possible. It is a common tactic among personnel consultants. The applicant will most likely never get a chance to tell, why he does not always like sociability, or why some of his friends might think, he may be somewhat reserved.
In some tests issues related to personality are mixed together with issues relating to IQ testing, small arithmetic problems, small logical problems and the like. It is all arranged together in a single large test in a seemingly random order. This is also designed to make the applicant's responses to particular personality issues more impulsive.
Most modern tests have been programmed for computer.
You just have used all your concentration to solve a difficult logical problem. After such an achievement, you will inevitably relax a bit and lean back in the chair. That is precisely why the next question is about personality. In this situation, you impulsively will think that a question of how many hobbies you have, and what color you like, it is some inferior left-hand work. Most people in this situation will hardly think about what they respond to such a question. And this is precisely the intention.
Personality tests often have scales. This means that the test person not simply must answer yes or no to the questions. He has to weight the truth value of statements on a scale, for example from one to five or similar.
It is not wise to weigh too much on the extremes, this is max. and min. One can easily get into troubles.
For example, you can have scored high on quality awareness and working in accordance with official rules. Then you also have scored high on always being polite to others. It will be interpreted as a discrepancy in your personality.
Test designers may think that some employees and colleagues will have a more relaxed attitude to, what they find as too strict regulations and unnecessary quality rules. If you really want to create quality and work in accordance with rules and standards, it sometimes will be necessary to say things directly and speak with capital letters. But this you will be unable to do if you weigh politeness very hight.
Be careful with terms like never, anyone, never and ever. They can be a test of the applicant's honesty.
A question may read: "Have you ever felt envious or jealous of anyone?". Who has not, one must answer yes.
Another question might be: "Have you ever talked bad about others behind their backs? "Of course we have. It's something everybody do now and then. It is a test of the applicant's honesty. The answer must be yes.
Or a statement may sound, "I will report any irregularity in my company's accounting." There is a difference between deliberate fraud and small stupid mistakes. If you really reported any irregularity, you would quickly get a very bad reputation. But perhaps one should never the less answer yes here. Companies are very sensitive to that kind of subjects.
Applicants with a tendency to over-confidence can be a little fast, they read the beginning of a question and then think that they recognize; well, that's this and that kind of problem and then they start solving. The test is also a test of whether one can read, get the meaning and follow some instructions or a manual. They should concentrate to understand the questions correctly.
It's good to chat with the staff responsible for the test. As said before, it makes a good impression and takes the tip of the nervousness.
But it is not wise to come up with ironic or funny comments about the tests. In a relaxed atmosphere, it can be very tempting to give a funny comment on such test as the inkblot test or similar. But the staff employees, you will get in touch with, will be fully convinced of the value of their tests. They will impulsively think that this candidate can certainly not be particularly sharp.
In large modern enterprises, many decisions are taken in view of career tactical considerations. If something goes wrong, the responsible manager wants to be able to say: "Yes but, he had all the right educations with a good exam result, and his personality test was also perfect. How could I foresee ---- ?". He will also ensure that the consultants, who supplied the test are certified, and that the psychologists have the right diplomas. But whether the test actually works as intended, this will rarely stir up big interest.
Therefore it becomes more and more common with personality tests in connection with recruitment, and therefore it is important for applicants to be able to pass a personality test.
The great psychologists, Freud, Jung, Cattell, Luscher and Eysenck, were very intelligent men, who dedicated a lifetime to their science. It is undoubtedly true that their tests can reveal things about us, which we barely even knew. That is precisely why one should be so careful and well prepared to a personality test.
This article is a contribution to the debate on personality tests and Dalum Hjallese Debate Club assumes no liability for a use
of the article in real life.