Personality tests in an application process

Tanya Kruijer
  • 6 Min read

In recent years, the use of personality tests in the workplace has increased.

Studies have shown that employees who fit well into an organization are more satisfied and more often stay longer within the organization. And guess what the most effective way is to ensure that an employee fits into an organization?

That's right, personality tests!

Richard Branson once said, "You can be taught business knowledge and job-specific skills, but you can't teach personality," so to acquire the most effective employees in your team, you might want to apply personality testing to the application process.

But, which personality tests can you expect?


Below a list of the four most common personality tests:

  1. The DISC test:

    The personality profile of DISC, introduced by Walter Clark in 1940, is designed to measure dominance (D), influence (I), steadfastness (S) and conscientiousness (C). 

    With a DISC assessment you determine your personality by putting together a personal DISC profile based on your characteristic seen in your daily behavior.

    The DISC model provides a common language that people can use to better understand themselves and adjust their behavior to others within a professional team, a sales relationship, a leadership position or other relationships.

    What to expect?

    The test consists of 28 groups of four statements each. Choose the description that suits you best. Then, read the other three options in that same group and choose the description that you think is the least suitable for you. For each group of four descriptions you have to choose one that is most applicable to you and one that is least applicable.


    Once you have completed the test, you can find a graph that displays your DISC profile. This is usually accompanied by a concise description of your personality profile. You get a detailed explanation about what is typical for people with a D / I / S / C-style and what your strengths are and your potential weaknesses. You can therefore expect a list of advices and ways to best deal with your colleagues in the workplace and how best to deal with other types of colors.

  2. The Jung Personality Test / MBTI Personality Test:

    The Jung test is based on the personality model of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.

    This model is a popular model in psychology and is often used to create personality questionnaires. With this test you can gain more insight into who you are, what your preferences are, how you work most efficiently, how you apprehend information, how you interact with people and which way of working suits you best when it comes to work or education.

    The most famous adaptation of the Jung Test is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers Briggs wanted to make Jung's Test more widespread and have undeniably succeeded in their purpose. The MBTI is frequently used in companies and in educational-, counseling- and therapy institutions.

    What to expect?

    The Jung personality test consists of 60 questions and the MBTI test out of 88 (or 93 - depending on which website you choose to use). During the test you have to choose the description that best describes you. You have to select one, even if neither seems to apply to you.

    The different types of the MBTI Test are each a combination of four personality traits:

    • Extrovert / Introvert: what do you focus your attention on?

    • Observing / Intuitive: how do you record information?

    • Think / Feel: how do you make decisions?

    • Judging / Observing: how do you deal with the world around you?

    As a result, there are sixteen different types of personalities. 


    The results of the MBTI questionnaire provide insight into the differences between people. This insight can eliminate many misunderstandings and communication issues. The MBTI helps you to match your preferences to the characteristics that are needed for a particular task or assignment. Once your "type" is known, you will receive a detailed explanation and description of your preferences, your more dominant and weaker characteristics, your talents and competencies. It also shows where your potential pitfalls are and where growth and development are possible.

  3. The 16-Personalities test:

    The 16 personalities test was first published by Cattle, Tatsuoka and Eber in 1949, but since then there have been more additions. This test is based on the Jung and MBTI test, but the questionnaire is designed to measure normal behavior and can be used for career development, employee selection and personal and professional guidance.

    It measures warmth, reasoning, emotional stability, dominance, liveliness, control consciousness, social courage, sensitivity, vigilance, abstractness, openness, fear, being open to change, self-reliance, perfectionism and pressure.

    What to expect?

    From the age of 16 the test is available online and it takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the 130 questions.

    This test is based on the Jung model but divides the different personalities into 4 groups.

    Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels and Explorers. These groups are then further subdivided into 4 types.


    After a short introduction of your type, you will receive an explanation of your type in the following categories:

    Strengths & pitfalls, romantic relationships, friendships, parenthood, career path, habits in the workplace and lastly a conclusion. They also show a number of celebrities that have the same type as you, which makes the comparison interesting.

  4. The Big Five test:

    Today, most psychologists agree that a personality consists of five major clusters of traits. These are also called the Big Five. These clusters of five assets are:

    Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness.

    Using a technique called factor analysis, researchers can view people's responses to hundreds of personality elements and ask "what is the best way to summarize an individual?" 

    What to expect?

    The questionnaire consists of 120 statements and takes approximately 15 minutes. For each statement, choose the answer that best reflects your opinion. The choices are "Disagree entirely", "Disagree", "Neutral", "Agree" and "Agree entirely." For the best results, try not to choose "neutral" too often.


    As you can see in the example above, you receive percentages per asset. If we take Neuroticism in the example, with a 67 percentile, this is seen as a high emotional reactivity and therefore this person might be vulnerable to stress. Openness has a very high score and this is regarded as an intellectual curiosity, with a preference for variety. These types of people seek more than just routine and need intense and exciting experiences to feel and perform at their best.

     Once you have taken the test, you will receive a personalized explanation per asset.


Under the motto "knowledge is key" it might be a good idea to prepare yourself and take the tests at home in advance. This way you are prepared for any tests that you might have to take during a solicitation, but you will also have more self-knowledge which can only be a great advantage!

You can find the links to the tests here:

Remember that while completing the tests, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the most reliable answer.

It is also important to know that there are no good or bad answers or results. People tend to develop certain types of behavior, skills and attitudes that are associated with their type, but there will always be different people of the same type.

Every person is unique and every type is equally valuable.

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