What is the personality test

Personality tests

Personality tests are instruments of psychology with which certain characteristics and behaviors of test persons are recorded. A distinction is made between general personality tests (“psychological tests”) and job-related tests, which are supposed to say something about an applicant's suitability for a vacant position. General tests can be used in the private sector as a means of self-reflection. Job-related tests are used in the application process and especially in assessment centers.

From archery to military academy

The idea of ​​subjecting prospective managers in particular to a thorough aptitude test is not an invention of modern times; Even in ancient Asia, potential applicants were subjected to various tests. In contrast to the current personality tests, however, these were less directly geared towards the applicant's motivation and psychological suitability. Practical skills such as the art of archery or skills in writing and arithmetic were tested. Since the beginning of the 20th century, there has been an intensive search in the USA and Great Britain for ways of empirically verifying the suitability of soldiers and candidate officers. The civilian use of the first personality tests emerged from military research, which was also influenced by research from psychopathology.

Fundamentals and procedures

C. G. Jung
The tests are based on certain psychological models and theories. There are personality tests, for example, which were designed according to C. G. Jungs psychoanalytic models or Fritz Riemann's theory of types. As early as the first third of the 20th century, a procedure known as the OCEAN model became established in the English-speaking world. The first letters stand for the terms openess (openness), consciousness (conscientiousness), extraversion (behavior in society), agreementseableness (sociability) and neuroticism (susceptibility to psychological disorders). This so-called "Big Five Test" consists of a total of 48 questions that are answered on a five-point scale. In 1992, this principle of testing five dimensions of personality was revived by the authors Costa and McCrae who developed the NEO-FFI personality test. For the German-speaking countries, the “Bochum Inventory for Job-Related Personality Description” (BIP) is recommended by scientists as a job-related personality test. This was first published in 1998 by researchers Rüdiger Hossiep and Michael Paschen in collaboration with the Faculty of Psychology at the Ruhr University Bochum and revised in 2003.

Criteria that the personality test should meet

Like other personality tests, the BIP is designed to test an applicant's self-image. For this purpose, he is presented with a series of statements that he should answer on a multi-level scale from “does not apply at all” to “applies”. So that it makes sense to use such an elaborate test, for example as a suitability test, it must be specified in advance exactly what should be queried at all. What qualities does an applicant have to have in order to appear suitable for a vacancy? Only when these properties and behaviors have been defined can appropriate test questions be created or the appropriate ones selected from the existing tests. The tests themselves must also meet certain criteria in order to be considered sufficiently meaningful. In concrete terms, this means that the tests must be objective and produce verifiable and reliable results in a transparent manner. With regard to the test result, a distinction is made between typologizing and multidimensional methods. With regard to the type of implementation, a distinction is made between projective and psychometric tests. You can also use our checklist to select the right personality test.

General personality tests

In addition to work-related tests, there is a wide range of personality tests with which the test subjects can find out something about their ability to love, their chances of being happy, their personal weaknesses and strengths, for example. In this market segment in particular, it is particularly difficult to distinguish between serious tests and procedures that are dubious. Frequently, free tests are initially offered on the Internet, which are then followed by promotional offers depending on the test result; On some websites it is not clear that the test execution is free, but the delivery of the test result is not.

Overall, it can be said that human characteristics are very difficult to measure and that the results and processes can only be standardized to a limited extent. The test results should therefore generally only serve as a basis for a subsequent discussion / feedback. The costs for a job-related personality test are between 50 and 150 euros per test person.

This website is for sale. If you are interested, please contact us at 0221/177 399 40 or [email protected]