How to Pass the SHL Personality Test

Does the idea of a personality test make you feel a bit uncomfortable? It may make you feel like your personality is on trial.

You may be thinking… ‘Will my personality pass the test?’ or ‘What happens if my personality fails?’

Our answer, ‘It needn’t be this way.’

In this article, you will learn how to take control of your personality test reins and how to steer the test in the direction you choose. You can be in control of the aspects you decide to put on show so that you can provide your potential employer with the most suitable image of your behavior.

‘How can you do this?’

Read on to find out how to ‘pass’ your SHL Personality Test.

The SHL Personality Test At a Glance

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) also known as the OPQ32 is a well known psychometric assessment used to evaluate behavioral traits in a workplace setting. Organizations use the questionnaire to gain insight into how the behavior of a prospective employee may influence their job conduct and effectiveness. Once a candidate has completed the personality test, a set of reports are created. Organizations use these reports to decide which potential employees to hire.  

Organizations also use the SHL Personality Test for team building and organizational changes. The aim of the test is to:

  • Isolate the right candidate for a specific job
  • Increase the success rates of the interview process
  • Find suitable leaders

The Format of the SHL Personality Test

The SHL personality test is a computer-based test made up of around 104 questions (in the ipsative version). These questions measure 32 personality traits.

The 32 personality traits fall under three categories:

  • Thinking
  • Relationships
  • Feeling and Emotions

The test taker is presented with a question and then given four statements. They need to choose the statement which they believe best or least describes their personality.

There is also a normative version of the personality test which features 230 questions. 

The SHL Personality Test Results/Score Report

An organization will be presented with a written report which shows a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of the test taker.

Some examples of the reports are as follows:

  • Sales report
  • Leadership report
  • Emotional intelligence report
  • Universal competency report
  • Standard manager report
  • Team impact selection report

The organization will also receive a graphical representation of the predicted job performance of the test taker.

How to Pass the SHL Personality Test

There are two key elements that will help you ‘pass’ your SHL personality test and impress your potential employer with your results:

  • Know what your prospective employer is after
  • Practice on trial SHL personality tests

Once you master these two elements you will be able totake control of your personality test reins and steer the test in the direction you choose.

So let’s take a look at each of these elements individually:

  1. Know what your prospective employer is after

Each company conducting this personality test does so with the intention of identifying individuals with specific behavioral traits. These companies will look for specific qualities when they examine the results of your personality test. The trick that will put you in the driving seat is to figure out which traits your potential employer is looking for and to work out how to best present them with these traits.

To work out what your potential employer is after, read the job advertisement carefully. It may include hints as to the desired qualities the hiring company wants from their applicants. You can also think about what behavioral qualities are needed to do the target job. For example, a company recruiting a salesperson will probably want someone outgoing and bubbly, whereas a company looking for a computer programmer will likely seek someone dependable and consistent.  

Once you have identified what your potential employer is looking for you need to learn how to make these elements of your personality apparent through your SHL personality test. How do you do this? One way is by taking an online SHL personality test preparation course. 

  1. Practicing on trial SHL personality tests

Practicing on trial SHL personality tests can help you sharpen your test-taking skill so that you can control which elements of your personality you would like to emphasize and those you would like to minimize. The more tests you take the better you will get at doing this. So practice, practice and practice.


Hopefully, now you are feeling comfortable with the idea of a personality test and know what you need to do to impress your prospective employer, and how to show them the suitability of your personality.

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