Sample questions for 9 employment personality tests

pre-employment personality tests

Companies are increasingly using pre-employment tests, including personality assessment tests, to assess their job applicants. While personality tests are popular with employers, job seekers worry that tricky test questions could ruin their chances of getting hired. Such worried job seekers may have a point.

Personality tests, according to PSI (an assessment test provider), “while generally accurate, are not usually recommended or legal for pre-hiring assessments.” Why? Because as PSI explains, “Most employment laws demand that only skills that can be proven to be requirements for success in a position may be tested.”  In other words, how applicants answer personality test questions may not be a legitimate reason not to hire them.

So what do you do if you are faced with a pre-employment personality test? Well, you can make the employer aware that the test may not be legal, but if you don’t want to get a pissing match with the company:



  • Ask which tests will be administered (sometimes they’ll tell you)
  • Research the test online and elsewhere
  • Take practice tests so that you have an understanding of what will be asked
  • Keep reading because I’ll list the most used personality assessment tests, share a sample question for each, plus link you to the test site home page and either a practice test or test-taking guidance for each personality test.


The most used personality tests (in alphabetical order):

Sixteen Personality (16PF) Questionnaire – It measures 16 normal range personality traits and assesses candidates versus the norm. 

SAMPLE QUESTION: “I can usually adapt my behavior according to who I am with. – TRUE/FALSE | PRACTICE 

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California Psychological Inventory – It measures social skills, intellectual flexibility and interests under certain conditions.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “My home life was always happy.” TRUE/FALSE | PRACTICE

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Caliper Profile – Caliper measures 25 personality traits to assess strengths, limitations, motivation, and potential.

SAMPLE QUESTION: (Choose one): __ I am responsible | __ I am a leader | __ I am resourceful | __ I have great communication skills | PRACTICE

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DiSC Assessment -- DiSC® measures your personality and behavioral style, instead of your intelligence, aptitude, mental health, or values. DiSC profiles describe human behavior in certain situations and assesses degrees of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness in certain situations. 

SAMPLE QUESTION: "I can be pretty forceful with my opinions." STRONGLY DISAGREE | DISAGREE | NEUTRAL | AGREE | STRONGLY AGREE 
PRACTICE & GUIDANCE

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MMPI(Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory -- MMPI is the most widely used test for assessing mental health. It identifies personal, social and behavioral problems.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “I enjoy detective or mystery stories.” TRUE/FALSE | PRACTICE

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Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assesses basic preferences of 16 distinctive personality types. Interestingly Myers Briggs states that unequivocally believe that the MBTI should not be used for pre-employment testing.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “You are more interested in a general idea than in the details of its realization.” YES/NO | PRACTICE

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PSI (Personnel Selection Inventory) measures attitudes, such as honesty and identifies people likely to engage in unsafe, negligent or violent acts.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “A person who uses marijuana illegally is acceptable.” YES/NO | SAMPLE PSI REPORT

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Reid Risk Report evaluates attitudes and behaviors associated with ethics, responsibility and work habits, such as integrity; violence/illegal drug/alcohol avoidance; and stress tolerance.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “Will you frequently come to work hungover?” YES/NO | GUIDANCE

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Wonderlic provides a variety of pre-employment tests, such as cognitive ability tests, knowledge and skills tests and personality tests to measure your productivity and risk. Wonderlic claims that their personality tests are legally defensible, in large part because they are assessing integrity, which is considered legally allowable.

SAMPLE QUESTION: “Assume the first two statements are true.
Is the final one: Tom greeted Beth. Beth greeted Dawn. Tom did not greet Dawn.”
 a. True
 b. False
 c. Not certain


Next week, we’ll delve into specifically how to answer personality tests.

So what do you think? What personality tests did a leave off? Share them via the Contact tab and also let me know your thoughts about particular personality tests. Thanks, Kathy




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1 comment :

  1. Just to clarify your DISC example. There are many "flavors" for DISC and DiSC (with the little i trademark) does not ask questions like in your example. Everything DiSC Workplace, for example, uses a computerized adaptive testing tanked choice method which results in more valid results. See http://www.discprofiles.com/blog/2011/08/disc-profile-questionaire/. The link you have is to a generic DISC test. Hopefully the employer is using a better version than that.

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