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October 31, 2021

Can personality tests really tell if you're right for the job?

Your handshake may play a role at a job interview. But a personality test that can tell a prospective employers what's behind that handshake is likely far more important, the Wall Street Journal suggests.

Most major companies employ some sort of testing to help assess job applicants for conscientiousness, extroversion or any other traits that may be useful in forging a successful career. 

But job seekers should expect even closer scrutiny, given today's tight job market, experts warn.

"There are two issues: Is the person the best fit, ideally, to the pool of other candidates — and how likely are they going to succeed at the job?" explains John Fennig, a licensed psychologist and managing partner of DRI Consulting.

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Recruiters and human-resources managers generally prefer to perform psychological tests early in the selection process, and many are now conducted online, before an initial interview.

Click here for some personality-test questions, what test designers say about what each question is really looking for, and how the range of possible responses might be interpreted.

Of course, if you'd like to get a feel for what employers might be hearing about you, you can always go off on your own and take a test yourself.

Have you undergone personality testing during your job search? Accurate? Fair? Or do you think it derailed things altogether?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...