Using Personality Tests for Hiring – Astrology or Science?
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Using Personality Tests for Hiring – Astrology or Science?

James Elliott James Elliott Last Updated:

When it comes to personality tests, there are two schools of thought. Either you’re in the camp who believes they’re a waste of time, or you think they’re a great way to predict job performance, cultural fit, and work style.

The data can favor the latter, with 75% of large companies saying they use personality assessments to screen their applicants. And, if that’s not enough, 2016 research shows a combination of cognitive ability and personality tests predicted role performance with 78% accuracy.

And we think that’s the key here – personality tests work best alongside other tests that assess technical skills that actually prove a candidate can do the job!

We’ll show you why it’s time to merge your personality assessments with your skills tests to get the best of both worlds. After we’ve looked at the different types of personalities, and the top traits to look out for in your candidates, we’ll show you how to get a well-rounded assessment of your candidates by combining personality with Toggl Hire skills tests.

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The 4 Main Personality Types Explained: A, B, C & D

Understanding the 4 Personality Types: A, B, C, and D | Hire Success®

Before you start assessing a candidate’s personality, you need to know what’s out there. While there are many different personality assessments, one of the most common is the A, B, C & D personality profiles.

Let’s look at each one in turn.

Type A – The Leader

Those with a Type A personality like to be in charge, often rising to management and leadership positions in organizations. They don’t like detail and instead, spend their time moving teams towards goals in a direct, target-driven way.


  • Leaders
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Ambitious and driven
  • Passionate


  • Overpowering
  • Abrupt
  • Insensitive
  • Impatient

Type B – The Socializer

Type B’s are outgoing and energetic and love being around other people. They’re good at building relationships and making allies, but they’re a little insecure, constantly craving the attention and praise of others.


  • Enthusiastic
  • Friendly
  • Charismatic
  • Self-confident


  • Unrealistic
  • Arrogant
  • Impulsive
  • Whimsical

Type C – The Thinker

People with a Type C personality are very detail-oriented, liking things to be controlled, accurate, and logical. Type C’s are very ‘straight’ and like putting emotions aside so as not to risk their objectivity and desire for facts.


  • Accurate
  • Analytical
  • Detailed
  • Organized


  • Worry
  • Unsocial
  • Critical
  • Pessimistic

Type D – The Do-Er

Type D personality types like taking things easy, seeking security, longevity, and repetition in their work. They don’t respond well to change, preferring instead to work on consistent tasks to become very skilled at what they do.


  • Observant
  • Fair
  • Calm
  • Reliable


  • Quiet
  • Shy
  • Easily influenced
  • Resistant to change

When conducting a personality assessment, you may also come across a Type X Personality. These people display completely equal qualities of two or more personality profiles, making them a hybrid that’s a ‘cross’ between an A, B, C, and a D.

The A, B, C & D Personality Types are just one of the many personality assessments out there. If you want to dive deeper into personality testing, check out the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Hogan Personality Inventory, PSI, or DISC methods too.

4 Personality Traits All Hiring Managers Want To See In A Prospective Hire

Personality types are all well and good, but what personality traits actually make for a good potential employee?

We’re glad you asked! These are our favorite personality traits to look out for when conducting pre-employment assessments.

  • Collaboration – Nothing great is built alone. Candidates who are strong collaborators and can work effectively with other types of personalities will be a huge asset to the team.
  • Emotional intelligence – These candidates know how to keep their ego and emotions in check to create a balanced relationship with their co-workers.
  • Adaptability – Employees who are able to embrace new challenges, learn new skills and adapt to the changing team or business environment make the hiring manager’s life so much easier.
  • Communication – Candidates who are able to express their ideas clearly, communicate issues and listen carefully bring a different perspective to the team. Communication skills often go hand in hand with emotional intelligence – to communicate you first need to understand – a skill that is highly beneficial in any work environment.

What Can a Personality Test Tell You About Candidates? Can it Predict Job Performance?

So, there must be a good reason that some people love using personality tests in their hiring, right?

There absolutely are – here are some of the main reasons recruiters like using a pre-employment personality test to get to know their candidates:

Alignment to company culture.

Perhaps the biggest reason recruiters use a personality assessment is to understand how a candidate could fit into the business culture. For those hiring for cultural fit, personality tests show whether a candidate will slot into the work environment or, even better, if they’ll positively add to the existing culture.

Showcase working styles.

Similar to company culture, recruiters also want to know that a candidate’s working style fits with the team. The last thing a business wants is to make a bad hire who can’t slot into the way of working and leaves in the first couple of months. Instead, recruiters use personality tests to ensure candidates walk into an environment and way of working that drives productivity and long-term job satisfaction.

Similar morals and values.

Especially for public and charity sector organizations, recruiters want to know that a candidate’s morals align with those of the business. Personality assessments in the hiring process help them do this, understanding what drives, pleases, and frustrates a candidate in their working life to drive their hiring decisions.

Indicate job performance.

While not the best individual indicator, a candidate’s personality can indicate how well they’ll perform on the job. That’s especially true when you map the job role against the personality types we saw earlier.

Here, recruiters can match up the right sort of person to the requirements of that position, helping them to keep employees engaged over time and maximize their chances of job success.

personality types hiring process

But Hey, What’s The Problem With Hiring For Personality Alone?

So, we’ve seen the upside of personality assessments, but unfortunately, they’re not the silver bullet for hiring awesome candidates.

If they’re used in isolation, personality tests have the following drawbacks:

They’re inaccurate.

The thing about a personality test is that there is no right or wrong answer. Oftentimes, what this leads to is job candidates answering the questions how they think the recruiter wants them to, rather than answering them truthfully.

This makes them widely inaccurate as candidates hide negative qualities and skew the recruitment process. This leaves recruiters running the risk of hiring the wrong person.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to actually avoid this, meaning that recruiters have to take the results at face value and accept the inaccuracy.

They’re unreliable.

Personality tests are also super subjective. Because we all have our own personalities, each with our own strengths, weaknesses, and biases, it’s impossible to fairly judge someone else’s personality. Like the accuracy point, this taints the pre employment process, leaving you open to returning to the same position you started in.

They’re expensive.

Lastly, personality tests are notoriously expensive. These complex question sets overlaid upon a pre-employment testing platform don’t come cheap, leaving many organizations forking out thousands of dollars on something that doesn’t actually provide valuable insight.

As we’ve said all along, a personality assessment definitely has its place in the perfect hiring process. But, the inaccuracy and unreliability mean it simply cannot be used in isolation to screen candidates.

What’s The Value of Assessing Soft Skills and Personality Traits Together?

Soft skills assessments and personality tests go together like bacon and eggs – they just work!

That’s because skills tests clearly show you ‘what’ the candidate can do and ‘how’ they do it, while a personality assessment gives you insight into the candidate’s ‘why’.

Bring these together, and you’ll get a well-rounded picture of your candidate during the recruitment process

Let’s look at an example.

A candidate takes a skills test for a Digital Marketing role. During that test, they’ll be assessed on their knowledge and practical aptitude in areas such as SEO, copywriting, and email marketing – from this, you’ll know ‘what’ they can do and ‘how’ they do it.

Next, the candidate takes a personality test. In this, they get asked their opinions on work, management styles, and their feelings towards different situations – from this, you’ll know ‘why’ they come to work and what motivates them to do well.

Put those two things together, and you’ve got some truly powerful insight. Firstly, as a manager, you’ve got the confidence they can do the work you need of them. On top of this, you also know all about their ‘why‘. You’ll know how to motivate, inspire, and lead them in a way that matches their work style and gets the most out of them.

Combining Your Personality Types Hiring Process with Toggl Hire Skills Tests

By now, we expect you’re sold on combining your personality and skills tests together to turbocharge your pre-employment screening.

Here’s our simple 5-step hiring guide:

#1 – Job Ad

When looking for new hires, it all starts with your job ads. As we always advise, when writing your job ads, keep them jargon-free, easy to read, short, and to the point.

If you want to gear your job ad toward a personality-driven hire, include information about your company culture, working practices, and the type of people you look for at your company. This helps set expectations straight away.

And, of course, don’t link them to a CV submission. Instead, ask candidates to complete a quick skills test instead!

#2 – Skills Test

Step 2 is all about getting to pre-screening your candidate, and there’s no better way to do that than with a basic skills test. Goodbye boring, clunky resumes.

When it comes to skills tests, Toggl Hire can help.

Toggl Hire is a consistent and reliable tool that helps you build a skills-based hiring process for finding the best talent. Through a combination of asynchronous skills assessments and interviews, your hiring team can make data-driven hiring decisions with full confidence. Instead of relying on what a candidate says they can do, screen your potential employee by putting their skills, knowledge, and aptitude to the test!

Toggl Hire skill tests are easy to set up in just two clicks, with our library of over 15,000 expert-created questions giving you loads of options for any skills or job role. Skills tests are also fun and engaging for candidates, providing them with instant feedback on their performance.

Crucially, our granular skills assessment reports provide HR professionals and hiring leaders a clear view of the top performers, helping them easily select the A+ candidates to take forward.

#3 – Personality Test

Once you’ve got your list of highly-skilled candidates, it’s time to get some insight into their personalities. This will help you understand their cultural fit, working styles, stress tolerance, and general personality traits.

There are a bunch of sites out there to choose from, such as the SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire or the Myers-Briggs Assessment.

Whichever personality assessment you go for, make sure that you clearly define your requirements upfront, set a benchmark, and rate your candidates accordingly. Those that pass are ready to go to the next stage!

#4 – Interview

Now it’s onto the interview process to get to know your candidates face to face.

Use this time to learn more about your candidate’s background and experience, loop back on their skills or personality assessment results, and understand their interpersonal skills.

You may choose to do your interview in person, remotely, or using a one-way video interview tool. If you’re thinking about the latter, why not check out our Video Intros feature?

#6 – Offer & Onboard

Then, it’s time to execute your new hire and make them an offer. As always, do your market research beforehand and only extend an offer that’s competitive to avoid it being rejected.

Then, it’s all about getting ready to welcome your new employee. This can be hard to get right, especially in a remote environment, so check out our guide on 7 Awesome New Employee Onboarding Ideas if you need some inspiration!

Wrapping up

There’s a lot more to personality tests than always meets the eye. They’re a great way to assess cultural fit, understand behaviour patterns, and align on work styles. But they’re simply not reliable enough to be used in isolation.

So, whether it’s Myers Briggs, the A, B, C & D test, or the DICS theory, we’d recommend combining your personality questionnaires with a Toggl Hire skills test to get a truly valuable insight into your next set of candidates!

James Elliott

James Elliott is a Strategy Manager and Writer from London, UK. When not working on the day job, James writes on a variety of business and project management topics with a focus on content that enables readers to take action and improve their ways of working. You can check out James’ work on his website or by connecting on LinkedIn.

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