Pre-Employment Testing: What do Personality Tests Measure?

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Onboarding is often a time-consuming and expensive activity. That’s why recruitment teams try their best to vet potential candidates carefully. Considering that the average amount of time an employee stays with a company is 4.2 years, especially when it comes to Gen-Z employees,  it’s important for employers to know that a candidate will be a good fit for the position and will likely stay around. This ultimately saves the company from investing time and resources to re-fill the position.

However, it’s hard to truly know a candidate through interviews alone. It is for this reason that many employers have started incorporating personality tests for job applicants in their overall recruitment process.

Personality Tests for Job Applicants: What do they measure?

In hiring, personality tests for job applicants are typically used to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the position in terms of their disposition, preferred working environment, work ethic, and overall nature.

To reliably predict job performance, it is essential to measure multiple dimensions of a person’s personality. When predicting job performance, some personality traits and characteristics are more relevant than others when predicting job performance. Overall results also depend on the job description and responsibilities.

Typically, personality tests for job applicants measure the following:

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to recognize, control, and manage their own emotions and those of others. Pre-employment emotional intelligence tests help recruiters identify which candidates have the best relationship management skills and which candidates to place in leadership positions.

Candidates who are emotionally intelligent are typically:

  • Self-aware
  • Not quick to react
  • Able to perceive other’s emotions
  • Able to empathize with others
  • Likely to help others
  • Adaptable
  • Curious

Extroversion and Introversion

This type of personality test for job applicants helps recruiters understand the types of interactions and working environments a candidate feels most comfortable with. It also reveals how they prefer to work and the way they interact with the world around them.

For instance, introverts find meetings and social interactions draining. They usually prefer to spend their shifts focused on quiet and deliberate work, and this is something that can be valuable to an organization. On the other hand, extroverts are more likely to be energized through social interaction and constant collaboration. It’s good to have a healthy balance of the two in any work setting.


Teamwork is a valuable personality trait as all jobs require employees to interact and work with others. A team player is ultimately someone who’s reliable, willing to chip in when needed, and keeps the greater good in mind. Team players also boost team morale and positively influence business results.

While all positions require some level of collaboration, interaction, and teamwork, specific jobs require more than others:

  • Human resource professionals
  • Law enforcement
  • Consultants
  • Chefs & food service workers
  • Athletes
  • Medical assistants
  • Construction managers


Conscientiousness refers to how dutiful a person is — their desire to complete and perform a thorough job, whatever the task may be. This type of personality assessment for job applicants helps employers identify candidates who are more likely to be diligent and thorough with their tasks.

Candidates who are conscientious are typically:

  • Hard working
  • Organized
  • Goal-oriented
  • Deliberate
  • Careful
  • Disciplined
  • Reliable

For more information and inquiries about personality and pre-employment testing, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

Culture Fit

Culture fit personality tests for job applicants help organizations determine if the candidate’s personal values align with corporate ones. It’s also an important determinant for employee retention. When there is a misalignment, teamwork will inevitably suffer, productivity will decrease, morale will drop, and turnover will increase.

However, before candidates undergo culture fit assessment, the culture of the workplace must first be defined. Companies can do this by testing current employees so that they can identify trends in their workforce and use the data gathered to screen future employees.


Adaptability is the ability of a candidate to be flexible, versatile, and tolerant of uncertainty in the work setting. In today’s dynamic and ever-changing work environments, it has become increasingly important to hire adaptive workers. Adaptability personality testing for job candidates helps employers identify applicants who are calm under pressure, can deal well with changing circumstances, and can step up to challenges.

Adaptable people are often described as:

  • Good listeners
  • Open-minded
  • Empathetic
  • Creative problem-solvers
  • Team players
  • Resilient

Soft Skills

Soft skills refer to how an employee interacts with others in the workplace. Pre-employment personality tests for job applicants help recruiters assess soft skills by describing how people communicate, their level of empathy, and their listening style. A person’s soft skills ultimately affect their job performance and how they work with others, so it’s important to understand if their personality aligns with the requirements of the job.

People described as having good soft skills are often:

  • Able to communicate clearly
  • Active listeners
  • Empathetic
  • Adaptable
  • Responsible
  • Hard-working

Work Ethic and Motivation

A person’s work ethic is a clear indicator of how willing they are to do their job and meet expectations. Employees with strong work ethics are crucial to the success of an organization. When employees are motivated to thrive in their position, managers can spend time supporting their growth, instead of simply trying to get them to do the bare minimum. This means that companies are always looking for professionals who come to work ready to contribute and are eager to learn.

Personality tests for job applicants can help identify people who:

  • Produce high-quality work
  • Are reliable
  • Follow the rules
  • Want to do well
  • Are accountable for mistakes
  • Are organized
  • Are cooperative

Make Pre-Employment Personality Tests a Part of Your Recruitment Process

As mentioned before, hiring new team members can be costly, time-consuming and stressful. Even the top candidates with stellar resumes and good interviews may end up falling short when it comes to actual performance due to mismatches between their personality traits and the job requirements.

That’s why many companies are opting to conduct personality tests for their job applicants. It ultimately helps lessen the risk of making hiring mistakes as it is a systematic and efficient approach to gathering objective candidate information. When pre-employment personality assessments are integrated into the recruitment process, companies are able to make more informed decisions.

Additionally, as stated by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), employment tests that are carefully developed and administered can provide companies with a way to systematically decide and accurately identify the candidates who will perform well on the job, will learn from training programs, won’t participate in counterproductive behaviors, and will not contribute to employee turnover.

Aside from providing you with additional insights about a candidate, personality tests also help you:

  • Screen faster
  • Increase objectivity
  • Recognize potential
  • Raise red flags early on in the process

There’s simply no downside to making sure you onboard the best candidates on your team. For more information and inquiries about personality tests for job applicants, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

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Reach out for a free trial today and take advantage of our introductory promo. You’ll get a full overview of the questions as well as a sample report. We can provide online or on-site training on how to administer the test and interpret the data given.

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