Job Questionnaires: Opinion, Tips, & Partial Rant

We’ve all taken them…

Those annoying, repetitive, time-consuming personality questions related to one’s qualifications for a certain job. Their purpose is to fish out the company’s best fitted from the pool of applicants. This pool can be quite large, consisting of hundreds of people’s applications per job posting, thus making it impossible for one or two people to review every single application. Therefore, we normally face these questionnaires when applying with large corporations, like Marriott. More often than not, the test is administered when applying to a managerial position, even if it is the lowest supervisory level.  With that being said, I see the questionnaire being prevalent in some industries more than others. [Hospitality is one of them, likely because personality plays an important role in determining one’s fit for a job that deals mostly with meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations.] The automated results supposedly help the talent recruitment teams save time during the screening process. But is it fair to the applicants?

A computer-generated decision maker determining one’s career path?!

And how accurate are they exactly? Companies place their trust in these questionnaires, believing they are ninety to a hundred percent accurate, but how they know that for certain is a bit baffling especially since every individual is simply unique. Such standardized tests have been questioned for decades. Many conservative thinkers feel that these examinations are administered incorrectly and are insufficient to predict every single person’s future performance.

Along with that, do you ever get the feeling that some of the questions set you up for failure? Those are the ones that may sound too harsh, overly ambitious, or too critical in either direction. For example: “How likely are you to tell on a coworker who is late for work, although you know their child’s been sick for awhile?” (extremely likely to not likely at all). Those are the kind that question your very own humane characteristics. They make you think, should I answer in order to show that I will comply with rules or to show that I am indeed a nice person. It’s a double edged sword!

So, how can we successfully pass these questionnaires that are as though designed to drive us out of our skin?

Honesty is the best policy! From all the articles I’ve read on the subject, it seems that taking your time and answering every question with honesty is the best you can do. I’ve  heard a lot of different strategies, such as “Make sure you always answer with strongly agree or disagree, because companies don’t like weak-minded answers.” But I’ve never been called to an interview after implementing that strategy. What you can also do before applying for a job is test yourself online. There are many free (much shorter) versions available on the net. I believe one I have taken and passed was this: Another good resource seems to be this:


Should personality questionnaires be used by companies to determine the top candidates?

How efficient are they to your knowledge?

Is there a way to skip this practice and find a new way to make HR people’s job easier?

Do you have any additional tips on how to pass these personality questionnaires?

Please share in the comments section.


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