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What Job Personality Test Questions Mean

If you're preparing for a job interview, you've probably thought of answers to all the usual questions. You can tell the interviewer where you'd like to be in five years, how you've coped with previous challenges, and what your best and worst qualities are. But could you tell them what kind of a tree you'd be?

OK, that's a bit of a stretch -- but only a bit. More and more companies are including personality tests as part of their interview process. And some of the questions are downright weird. How weird? Well, for example, when you watch TV, do you prefer an action movie to a show about art? Remember, this will be graded, and there's no option for "Dancing With the Stars."

"The questions are rarely straightforward, and neither are the answers," writes Melissa Korn in the Wall Street Journal. "Psychology is involved, after all. Applicants may try to give answers they think the company wants to hear, and aren't likely to admit to character flaws or bad behavior."

The trouble is, any answer you choose is likely to have both positive and negative interpretations. The TV question above, for example, isn't about whether you have good taste in television. People who prefer action movies might be better at analytical jobs, while people who prefer art programs might be more creative.

So the bottom line is that the best answer on any question is the one that's true. Otherwise, all you're doing is giving the right answer ... for the wrong job for you.

More From PayScale

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A Word of Caution About Crazy Job Titles

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(Photo Credit: albertogp123/Flickr)

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