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Dismantling Common Myths About Personality Tests

Dismantling Common Myths About Personality Tests

If you’ve applied for a job any time in the last 10 years, chances are you have been asked to take a pre-employment personality test. Personality Tests are among the most effective tools used by companies for hiring the very best talent in the industry. However, there are several myths about such psychometric tests that often tend to mislead both employers and candidates/ employees. Here are the top five myths you keep hearing about that just aren’t true.

Myth 1- Personality Test results are unreliable

Unlike what many believe, a professionally developed psychometric test is a scientific, reliable and valid tool for making hiring or development decisions. Free from human judgements, a psychometric test is administered and scrutinized by experts to ensure that the assessment is based on intended criteria and offers an employee-role fit. The test publishers go to great lengths to ensure high levels of statistical reliability and validity. Many independent studies have confirmed the reliability of such tests, with organizations reporting significant improvements in quality of hires.

Myth 2 – Personality Tests can be easily faked

It is often believed that psychometric tests can be easily faked or manipulated i.e. people can give socially desirable answers in order to appear as promising candidates. This is not correct. While the tests follow a self-report pattern, they have evolved to become much more sophisticated these days. With the advent of the advanced design techniques like ipsative test design, it has become difficult for applicants to "fake/game" the test.The Psyft Personality Assessment is one such assessment, which uses the ipsative design to ensure that the test-taker doesn't see any apparent pattern in personality test questions and hence, answers honestly.

Myth 3 - It's time consuming

Time is always of essence for every organization, moreso in the hiring process. Many times, HR representatives think that conducting psychometric tests will be time consuming and would further delay their already long recruitment process. On the contrary, conducting an online psychometric test can actually help save a lot of time, as these tests will eliminate unfit candidates in the initial stages of hiring. It acts like a very effective funnel that channels only the best suited candidates to further stages of the recruitment process.

Myth 4 - It can cause discrimination and prejudice

One of the most common misconceptions about personality testing is that it is not objective. On the contrary, well-designed psychometric assessments are far more objective than the usual job interviews which are rife with interviewers’ own biases and world view. These assessments offer a level playing field for comparing and selecting candidates by minimizing subjectivity & unconscious personal biases. The best assessments are professionally vetted, highly scientific, backed by statistical validation and follow top psychometric standards.

Myth 5 - Personality test is solely used for recruitment and selection

Most people feel that a psychometric test can only be used for the purpose of hiring. However, this isn't true. There are many uses for such assessments. Such tests are widely used for talent search, behavioural assessment, succession planning, learning & development, team building, performance management and much more.

No personality test is 100% accurate all of the time. And none of the professionally designed ones claim to be. However, these are still scientific and objective tools that provide invaluable insights about potential candidates, their individuality, behaviors, motivations and tendencies. Choosing the right assessment and accurate interpretation of results can be a great stepping stone to making a company’s onboarding process more effective and efficient as well as improving the candidates’ experience of the hiring process


1 : Are personality test results reliable for making hiring or development decisions?

Answer : Yes, professionally developed psychometric tests are scientific, reliable, and valid tools, free from human judgments. They undergo expert scrutiny to ensure the assessment is based on intended criteria, resulting in a high level of statistical reliability and validity.

2 : Can personality tests be easily faked or manipulated?

Answer : No, modern psychometric tests, such as the Psyft Personality Assessment, have evolved to be sophisticated, using design techniques like ipsative design. This makes it challenging for test-takers to manipulate results, ensuring more honest and accurate responses.

3 : Is conducting psychometric tests time-consuming for organizations?

Answer : Contrary to the belief that psychometric tests are time-consuming, online assessments can save time in the hiring process. By efficiently eliminating unfit candidates in the initial stages, these tests act as effective funnels, channeling only the best-suited candidates to further recruitment stages.

4 : Can personality tests cause discrimination and prejudice in the hiring process?

Answer : Well-designed psychometric assessments are more objective than traditional job interviews, minimizing subjectivity and unconscious biases. They offer a level playing field for comparing and selecting candidates, following top psychometric standards to ensure fairness.

5 : Are personality tests solely used for recruitment, or do they serve other purposes?

Answer : Personality tests have various applications beyond recruitment. They are widely used for talent search, behavioral assessment, succession planning, learning and development, team building, and performance management. Their utility extends across different aspects of HR and organizational development. Personality tests, when chosen wisely and interpreted accurately, provide invaluable insights into candidates' individuality, behaviors, motivations, and tendencies. While no test claims 100% accuracy, these scientific tools contribute significantly to making the onboarding process more effective and efficient, improving the overall candidate experience.


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