How to Pass a Psychological Test for a Job

Three Methods:Preparing for the TestTaking the TestUnderstanding the Purpose of the Test

Many jobs require you to take (and pass) a psychological test before you can begin work. This is a common practice in many professions, but it can still be very nerve wracking. In order to pass the test, there are many steps you can take to help you succeed. First and foremost, try to be calm and confident. It's also important to remember that you can't actually fail a test. The worst that can happen is that you discover that you are not right for the job.

Method 1
Preparing for the Test

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    Think about the job requirements. As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, the hiring process is becoming more complex. More and more companies are turning to psychological (or personality) assessments to determine whether someone is the right fit for the job. Do some serious thinking about the qualifications that are necessary for the particular job that requires the test.[1]
    • For example, if you are seeking a job as an executive or upper-management, the interviewers will want to make sure that you have strong leadership skills and are an excellent communicator.
    • If you are applying for a job such as a police officer, candidates will be expected to exhibit an ability to deal with high levels of stress and think on their feet.
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    Consider your personal characteristics. Psychological exams are essentially an assessment of your personality. Think about why you are applying for this job. It is probably because you feel that you are qualified and have the right disposition for this particular career.[2]
    • For example, if you are applying for a sales job, you know that a portion of your income will be generated by commission. Therefore, you need to be highly motivated. Does that sound like you? Reflect on your personality traits before the test. This will help you be prepared to formulate answers that fit the role.
    • It's important that you be yourself when answering questions. But you should also remember that you are being evaluated. For example, if you were asked, "If you knew you would not get caught, would you steal from the company?", you should answer "No." Even if you know that you might consider stealing, that is not something you would want to say during an interview.
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    Know the company's needs. During the interview process, you need to not only highlight your strengths, but you need to convey how you can specifically benefit your future employer. Think about what you can do to improve the productivity of the company. If you are conscious of the company's needs, this will likely be reflected in your personality test.[3]
    • Before your test, feel free to ask the recruiter or HR representative what characteristics are most important on them. Then you can focus your answers on conveying those traits.
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    Take a practice test. It is impossible to predict the content of the test. However, you can prepare yourself by getting comfortable with the format. Be aware that most psychological exams consist of a face to face interview and a written questionnaire.[4]
    • You can search for practice tests online. Make sure to choose one from a reputable site that has solid psychology credentials.
    • You can also hire a consultant to give you an in person practice exam. This person will then provide you with analysis and helpful hints.

Method 2
Taking the Test

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    Come prepared. Use your professional common sense. Show up on time and well-groomed. Make sure to bring any materials that were requested. Schedule your day so that you have plenty of time for the test. This will help you avoid becoming flustered if the process runs long.[5]
    • Make sure to eat a light and balanced meal before the test. Being hungry can adversely affect your personality, so arrive properly nourished.
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    Ask questions. You can and should ask questions before and during the testing. Try to determine the format of the exam. You can also ask how your results will be used. It is also good to know who will have access to your results.[6]
    • While you are taking the test, make sure to ask for clarification if any question is unclear. The examiner should be able to provide context or clarification.
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    Stay in interview mode. Remember, it is not just your answers that are being evaluated. Your overall persona is also being considered. Testing is part of the interview process, so make sure that you remain professional and confident throughout the entire process.[7]
    • If you become flustered, take a few seconds to gather your thoughts. You can also step outside for a moment under the pretense of using the restroom. This will allow you time to take some deep breaths and collect yourself.
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    Be honest. Do not try to portray yourself as anyone other than who you are. First of all, dishonesty is likely to be reflected in your answers. This would not be seen as an asset for any job. Second, you do not want to give the employer any false expectations of your character. Any false information would likely come to light after you start the job.[8]
    • Remember that this test does not contain right or wrong answers. There is no benefit to being dishonest.

Method 3
Understanding the Purpose of the Test

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    Think like an employer. Hiring managers are not forcing you to undergo a personality test simply for their amusement. The purpose of these tests are to help them make the most effective hiring decisions. Employers utilize the results to help them decide whether or not you have the right temperament for the position.
    • Try to view the test as something that can benefit you, not just the employer. You can look at it as an excellent way to determine if this is a job where you can reach your full potential.
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    Understand the validity. Keep in mind that psychology is not an exact science. Therefore, the results of any psychological exam are never 100% reliable. You should know that prospective employers will be using the results as one of many factors in the hiring process.
    • Feel free to ask the HR representative how heavily the test results will be weighed when choosing the successful candidate.
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    Be prepared for any result. You may or may not get hired. But remember, just because you were not the person best suited for the position, that does not mean you "failed" the exam. The employer is looking for certain traits. If you are not the best match, that simply means that you should continue your job search.[9]


  • Try to be yourself during psychological testing. Be calm and confident. You can't fail this test.
  • Each test is different. Your results may vary if you are applying for (and testing for) a variety of jobs.

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