How to Excel at a Character Test

Have you ever had to write a character test when you were applying for a position or attending an interview?  They are easy to spot- they ask about your values, or they seek your opinion on ethical matters.  They tell you that there is no right answer (we all know that’s not true!). They are not difficult, but they can be tricky.  From this test, the employer may determine that you are not a hard worker, or that you are dishonest.

Here are some tips to help you survive this evaluation of your character:

Be clear about the instructions.  If you misunderstand the instructions, it could significantly impact your test results.  Don’t begin the test until you know what you are supposed to do.

Don’t try to guess the right answer.  Many of these tests will provide you with a situation, and will ask for your honest opinion.  It is not a good idea to try to guess the right answer, because the test is designed to detect when you are not telling the truth.

Never forget the purpose of the test.  While it is important to be honest, remember that you are taking this test as part of a screening process for a job.  You don’t have to be as forthright as you would be when talking to your mother, or your therapist.  Don’t lie, but don’t volunteer everything either.

Keep the job description in mind.  When you are completing the test, always keep the specific position in the back of your mind.  Even if it does not directly relate to the questions that you are answering, it may slightly affect how you present yourself.

Stay focused throughout the whole test.  These tests are often long and tedious.  There can be a temptation to concentrate hard at the beginning of the test, and then breeze through the last few questions.  Don’t fall into that trap, as it can skew the results of your test.  Try to keep your focus, and if you need a break, take it.

When doing a character test, it is better not to think too much.  If you put yourself in a professional mode, stay focused, and answer the questions honestly, you’ll be fine.

 (Written By:  Karen Bivand, Photo From: Grant Cochrane /

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