Motivation, Extraversion and Leadership

So, are employers using these tests just to screen out people with undesirable characteristics? The answer is very definitely not. Whilst personality tests are used to screen out the dishonest and the unstable, employers are also looking for some very specific qualities in their employees.

Motivation, Extraversion and Leadership

The single most important of these is motivation. In the western world he cost of employing people has risen out of all proportion to other business costs. Technology, equipment, communications and even real estate have all become relatively cheaper, but the cost of employing anyone has increased dramatically. This is why it is worth the expenditure and upheaval to move jobs offshore to countries where labor is cheap. Consequently, the days when organizations could ‘carry’ employees who were giving less than 100% effort are long gone. Employers now expect staff to be totally committed to the organization and to getting the job done.

You should agree or strongly agree with questions of this type.

  1. Work is the most important thing in my life.

  2. I admire people who work long hours.

  3. People who know me say I work too hard.

  4. I am nearly always happy to work late or over a weekend if needed.

  5. Employees should be expected to work extra hours to finish a job on time.


You should disagree or strongly disagree with questions of this type.

  1. I know many people who work themselves too hard.

  2. Work can be an addiction just like gambling.

  3. I really look forward to my annual vacation.

  4. I know many people who work themselves too hard.

  5. I feel sorry for people who put in long hours at work.

  6. Vacations are very important to me.


You need to be seen as the employee who will go the extra mile every time. Determination, persistence and the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals are the things that employers are looking for.

There are some jobs which have become synonymous with extrovert personalities. Sales is one example, it is difficult to imagine a successful sales person who is not naturally extroverted. The qualities associated with this personality trait; friendliness, gregariousness, assertiveness, cheerfulness, and a high activity level are all qualities associated with successful sales people.

For employers to look for these qualities when recruiting sales people makes sense and is exactly what you would expect. However, for almost all jobs, not just sales, employers prefer extroverts over introverts every time. The reasons for this are twofold; Firstly, even people in highly technical jobs work in teams for much of the time, they need to get on with people and get them to cooperate to get the job done. Secondly, most employers take a long term view of the people they employ. The person employed today to input figures into spreadsheets could be working as a supervisor or manager in a couple of year’s time and it is better if they appear to have some of the attributes that will be needed in the future.

Obviously, there is no point in trying to ‘fake’ that you are highly extroverted if you are not. Psychologists believe extroversion/introversion to be the most difficult personality trait to consciously change. However, you most definitely do not want to appear to be too introverted.

You should strongly agree with all of the following types of questions.

  1. I almost never feel bored at parties.

  2. I am usually described as an outgoing person.

  3. It's easy for people to see my moods.

  4. Almost none of my friends are quiet and reserved.

  5. I find it easy to keep a conversation going.

  6. In social settings I enjoy introducing myself to an unfamiliar person.


You should strongly disagree with all of the following types of questions.

  1. I am usually quiet and reserved at social gatherings.

  2. In conversations I like to let the other person do most of the talking.

  3. I do not enjoy chatting with strangers.

  4. I find it more productive to work alone than as part of the group.

  5. I avoid being the center of attention whenever possible.

  6. I sometimes try to avoid meeting new people.


Leadership qualities in professionals at all levels of management play a key role in business success and there has been a increasing interest in the qualities that make someone a leader rather than just a boss. Many of the graduate and management personality tests try to determine your leadership qualities. Whatever type of job you are applying for, showing some of these qualities is probably a good thing. Once again, there is no point in trying to ‘fake’ that you are natural leader if you are not, but you don't want to give the impression that any sort of leadership is beyond you.

You should strongly agree with the following types of questions:

  1. I have a strong set of personal goals.

  2. Every person has the potential to be creative at work.

  3. People can become more successful through the right motivation.

  4. The great figures in history always looked at least five or 10 years into the future.

  5. Many managers focus too much on details and not the big picture.


You should strongly disagree with the following types of questions:

  1. I rarely have a strong set of personal goals.

  2. The majority of people are already inspired to do their best work.

  3. Nothing motivates employees more than money or fear of losing their job..

You may also be interested in: Personality Tests Introduction, Why You Need to Understand Them, How They Work, How Many Personality Traits Are There?, The Big 5 Aspects of Personality, How Personality Profiles are Used, Your Personality at Work, Testing for Honesty, Integrity and Stress, Negative Aspects of Personality, Motivation, Extraversion and Leadership, Can You Beat the Personality Test, Understanding the Personality Test Industry, Even Popular Tests are Controversial and Best Practice Guidelines for Personality Tests.

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