When you apply for a sales role, many hiring managers will ask you to take a sales personality test. They’ll look at your results to determine if you’ll be a good fit for the role, company, and current sales team.
We’ll cover everything you need to know to pass a personality test for a sales job, including the most common types of questions and tests so that you can go in fully prepared.
Here’s how you can prepare for your personality test and get the sales position you want.
You can find many free sales personality tests online. While you won’t know which questions you’ll have to answer on your actual test, practicing can help give you a good idea about what to expect. It can also help calm your nerves and give you some insights on how similar questions get phrased in various ways, helping you avoid answering with conflicting responses.
The main purpose of a sales personality test is to determine if you’re the right fit for the company. It’s a way for your potential employer to gauge your behavioral characteristics. For a sales role, they want to see answers indicating your confidence and communication skills. You want your answers to show that you’re a strong conversationalist and an outgoing, engaging person.
Another big reason for giving sales personality tests is to verify your trustworthiness. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully think about each question to ensure that you don’t contradict yourself. If one of your answers speaks to your strong time-management skills but another admits to oversleeping, the employer might take that contradiction as a sign of being untrustworthy. It’s important that you stay as consistent as possible when answering themed questions.
Regardless of the sales position you’re applying for, there are some responses on a sales personality test that can cast some doubt on your fit for the role. You should be aware of questions that look for you to admit personal biases or bad habits. Other questions to watch out for include ones where you might indicate that you’re not a team player or that you buckle under pressure. You should try to position yourself as a reliable, skillful salesperson.
In the end, being honest with your responses is the best approach when answering questions on a sales personality test. You can tailor your answers to what you believe they want to hear, but that’s not a good way to go about taking the test. If you land the sales position by lying about your personality, the odds are that your new job isn’t going to work out very well. It’s much better to answer honestly rather than manipulating your way into a role that you’re not the right fit for.
While there are several types of sales personality tests, they typically consist of a combination of these four kinds of questions:
Statement-based questions are the most common ones you’ll see on a sales personality test. For these questions, you’ll get a list of different statements and have to choose the extent that you agree or disagree with them. You might see a statement like “I work better in a team-based setting” and you’ll choose an answer with choices that range from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”
While slightly less common, most sales personality tests incorporate at least a few forced-choice questions. These types of questions provide you with a list of adjectives, and you’ll be tasked with ranking them in an order that reflects your personality from most to least. You might get a list of words like “approachable,” “persuasive,” “friendly,” and “confident.” Most of the time, each adjective listed will be a desirable trait for the job, and the employer wants to see which ones you feel are your strongest.
Most sales personality tests include open-ended questions, but they typically only make up a small percentage of the assessment. When you answer these questions, the employer will look at your answers to determine your behavioral tendencies and preferences. Open-ended questions include ones like “How would your closest friends describe your social skills?” and “How would you handle a customer who is upset with their purchase?”
Questions from either of the three categories listed above can also be covert. Many of the questions asked aren’t always straightforward, and it can be challenging to determine what they measure. Sales personality tests do this on purpose to get more honest answers. However, it’s important to be wary of the questions; it’s easy to misread or misunderstand them, leading to your results not making the cut. Covert questions are one of the main reasons it’s helpful to take practice tests beforehand to prepare.
There are many different sales personality tests you might get asked to take when applying for a sales position, but these are the five most common ones that you should prepare for:
The Caliper Profile sales personality test determines how well a candidate’s traits correlate to their performance in a sales role. The most common Caliper Profile tests mainly use statement-based questions to assess an applicant’s personality. They also include forced-choice and true/false questions but don’t usually contain many (if any) open-ended ones.
The main goal of a Caliper Profile test is to examine a candidate’s negative and positive qualities to give a full-picture view to the hiring manager.
The Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) examines how a candidate’s personality affects their work performance. It looks at 32 characteristics in three main categories
For this sales personality test, candidates will get lists of four statements and must pick the two that describe them best and worst. SHL designed this assessment to specifically identify positive and negative traits that directly relate to workplace performance.
The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) sales personality test was designed for socioanalytics but is now predominantly used to determine job performance. This test is used worldwide for over 200 different occupations and is quite popular in the sales industry.
It consists of true/false questions and looks at six different occupational scales:
The Myers-Briggs sales personality test is one of the most common ones for candidates to take. It places potential employees in one of two tendencies in various groupings:
The Myers-Briggs test focuses more on whether a candidate would fit in with the current team and company culture than on job performance. It’s a straightforward test: For each question, you’ll choose from two statements and pick which one describes you the best.
The DiSC sales personality test has been around the longest, and there are many different versions that candidates might see. It measures the four DiSC factors:
Hiring managers use this sales personality test to determine how a candidate would likely behave at work and their abilities to work in a team setting. It’s also the shortest of the five tests and consists of forced-choice questions.
The SalesGenomix test basically assesses the success potential of candidates across 14 different potential roles.
Drawing upon 20 years of research and data from 500,000 sales professionals, it measures 140 sales attributes to help companies decide if a candidate who has been successful in one sales role would do as well in another.
The 16PF sales personality test was created in the 1940s and is still one of the most popular ones today. It looks at 16 different factors related to a candidate’s personality and behaviors, such as self-efficacy, vigilance, control, and flexibility.
The 16PF questionnaire is composed of over 150 forced-choice questions that require a response to each statement on a 5-point scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree.
Sales personality tests can be a great way to assess the potential of candidates – that’s you – for sales roles.
To pass these tests successfully, it is important to be aware of the types of questions they will ask and to familiarize yourself with the different types of tests.
The most common ones include Caliper Profile, OPQ, HPI, Myers-Briggs, DiSC, SalesGenomix, and 16PF.
Remember, preparation is key! So be sure to do your best and you’ll be in with a good chance of success. Good luck!
A sales personality test is a type of assessment used to measure a candidate’s suitability for a sales role. It looks at their personality traits, behaviors, and skills to determine if they are a good fit for the sales position.
The five most common types of sales personality tests are the Caliper Profile, Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Myers-Briggs, and DiSC tests.
The best way to prepare for a sales personality test is to familiarize yourself with the different types of tests out there and the questions they contain. It’s also helpful to take practice tests beforehand to get an idea of what to expect.
Sales personality tests typically ask statement-based, forced-choice, true/false, and open-ended questions to assess an applicant’s personality and how it relates to job performance.