Would You Complete a Personality Test for a Freelance Writing Job?

When a person is working for a brick and mortar job, it’s not uncommon for the employer to request that the candidate undergo some type of testing. People who are interested in working in law enforcement or as firefighters are required to complete physical and personality tests as part of the screening process. Applicants for administrative positions could expect to be asked to do a typing test at some point in their job search.

Freelancers are in a different category, since they are not applying for a job. I’ve been asked to do a personality test as part of a screening process twice and while I have complied both times, it did feel a bit uncomfortable to do so.

Why did I hesitate about sharing the results of the test? It seemed a bit intrusive at the time. I was of the mindset that I should be able to answer the client’s questions about my experience, provide samples and a resume and that should be enough information for the person to make a decision about whether to hire me. What difference would it make if the client found out what kind of person I am?

I now realize that it matters a great deal. The work that freelance writers do isn’t just about stringing words together. It has everything to do with establishing relationships with clients. For the relationship to succeed, the freelancer and the client need to be able to work together well. If their personality styles don’t mesh, then the professional relationship will flounder.

Part of the reason that I agreed to do the personality test was that I was curious about what it would reveal. The Myers-Briggs test that I took was very accurate, right down to my consistently messy desk.

I suppose it’s not possible to fail a personality test. There are some people who I probably wouldn’t be able to work well with, and it’s probably just as well to establish whether this is the case before the project begins. Whether you call it a personality conflict or creative differences, having to abandon a project after starting the work isn’t a good situation for either party.

Have you ever been asked to do a personality test for a freelance writing job? How did you feel about it?

Comments

  1. Hi Jodee,

    I highly respect employers who do this because it shows that they value their relationship with their freelancers.

    It is a bit intrusive, yes, but it does have merits specially if you are an employer and suddenly find yourself with a freelance writer who only writes negative things about your product!

    At the moment, I am trying to transition from between being a freelancer and an employer and I’ve found that most freelancers abhor any sort of test that would highlight their personality.

    My criteria for a freelance writer is simple: original, informative, amusing, thought provoking and most of all – and I place a high premium on this:

    FUNNY.

    Very few people can demonstrate their humor through writing and I think that’s the missing link in SEOptimized content these days. Content farms, wouldn’t be content farms if people injected a little personality in their writing.

    Granted some topics such as “How to Tie Your Shoelace” can really test the skill of a freelance writer, a little sprinkling of good natured and light humor can make the dreariest and dullest of tasks – more illuminating and refreshing.

    If it’s possible, may I solicit for a writer here?

    If anyone is interested, am looking for 1 writer who can write one blog post. Pay for the gig is $75 for that one single post.
    Details on my name.

    Thanks FWJ!
    dannybuntu´s last blog post ..Believing

    • Danny:

      Did you find your $75 one -post- gig humor writer? My personality has been tested a lot; particularly through marriage. Only math tests give me anxiety.

      Digame, por favor,
      Susan

  2. Hi Danny,

    Your comment states a fee of $75, but your link shows a formula and a March 3rd figure of $62. If this is a straight $75 for a 400 word piece then please let me know via my blog and I’ll get something to you today.

    Thanks,

    Derek
    Derek Thompson´s last blog post ..Lost and Found

  3. Danny, I FULLY agree with your thoughts about humor. Injecting humor into what others would consider “dry” topics is my specialty. I see one of your desired topics is money. The stock market and “things green” are two of my specialities. Give me a topic you’d like 400 words on and you’ll get something worthy of your former cigarette money! I’ll also email you via your site.

    Jody, I take it your messy desk means your last letter in the Myers-Briggs is a “P?” The flip side of the P: you’re flexible and likely not to be judgemental. I’ve taken the MB as well — it was pretty spot-on. I’d recommend everyone take it — it provides good insight into one’s strengths and weaknesses.

    • @Beth

      Well, 400 words is the minimum, but since the rate has climbed up to $75 I’d be happier if the person who wrote on it would exert some love on it and you know…. Make me happy. After all, that’s Spiderman’s boss’ picture over there – he’s the worst editor I could think of…..

      Yeah, I haven’t gotten around to updating the site – it’s a daily chore that pains me. That’s the March 3rd rate. What date is it today? Add $1 every day.

      Beth, if you’re really interested, please do email me so we can talk about the specifics of a particular article that I need written.

      Thanks!

      @Jodee Thanks, sorry I seem to have hijacked the post. I’ll stop this right away.
      dannybuntu´s last blog post ..Believing

  4. Ah, haste makes waste! Excuse the couple typos in my last post.

  5. @Beth: Actually, the last letter on my profile is a J. :)

  6. bobbi carr says:

    I have never taken a personality test as a freelancer and I never will.

    By definition, “freelance” means “independent contractor,” which means I’m not an employee. I would never dream of asking independent contractors that I hire (for instance, the guy who’s fixing the hole in my ceiling or the plumber who cleaned out my sewer lines) to take a personality test. If I didn’t get along with an independent contractor, I wouldn’t use that person again, Period.

    It strikes me that any client who insists upon a personality test is exceptionally controlling, has no respect for the independent contractor process, and is probably difficult to work for; hence, I would be wary of taking on any client who suggests such a test.

    • Ouch.

      But your point is well taken.

      Anyway, some freelance gigs actually develop into a long time relationship as I’ve experienced myself.

      The tests I’m talking about, aren’t really “tests” in the sense that you get handed a questionnaire.

      As an employer I think you have the discretion and the right to ask people. I am an employer too in the real world and usually hire people who will clean our unoperational resort

      The tests that I was alluding to could take many different forms, such as informal verbal questions.

      Before you do get a plumber, for instance, you’d have to have a basis for hiring him on account of his work ethics. Do you hire a plumber who’s always late and always comes up with silly excuses? Chances are the next time around you’ll have your faucet fixed, you’ll find somebody else if you find that he or she has a bad personality.
      dannybuntu´s last blog post ..Believing

  7. I was asked to take a personality test. I agreed because I was curious about the Myers Brigg test and wanted to see what my personality would be according to their test. I answered the questions honestly but others may not. I don’t think personality tests accurately gauge a person’s personality. If they work for employers, more power to them.
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..Industries That Will Hire Freelance Writers the Most

  8. In my former career, our HR department went through a phase when they loved personality tests, and they tested them on those of us who were already employed. I found a interesting thing: when I took those tests with my work place in mind, my answers were entirely different than when I answered the questions with my persona away from work. Since leaving that job, I’ve never gotten a job where a personality test was given. I guess this is because I must have a split personality, and these new employers are picking up on that.
    T.H. Meeks´s last blog post ..The Broken Cup &amp Other Writing Prompts

  9. Dear Jodie, I love writing. Its always ben one of my passions. I want to go to college but cant afford it and am deffitnaly not scholarship material. I want to get a job as a freelance writer to earn some money for at least a two year college. I’m graduating this year and i cant stand thinking I might not be able to go to school anymore. Will you please give me some advice on what I should do. I’d realy appreciate it.

  10. I think Myers-Briggs type tests are really interesting and actually kind of fun, but those usually aren’t the kind of tests employers use when hiring (nor should they be). They usually use one just meant to weed out the obvious nutjobs and liars. Like “If a coworker was making you angry, would you: a) shoot them b) talk to them in a civil manner about what was bothering you or c) ignore them or d) I never get angry, so this wouldn’t happen”. It’s obvious the answer’s b), because a) is psycho, c) is a common and realistic response but not as positive as b), and d) is unrealistic. Those kind of tests are pretty easy to game for anyone with half a brain.

    Howevs, a personality test for a freelance writing job? Seems kind of weird. But I’d do it if they were paying me well.

  11. I’ve had to do tests at various full-time jobs, but I don’t think I’ve ever had to take a personality test for a freelance gig. And frankly, I’d be sort of suspicious of any potential client who asked me to do so. As long as I do what I’m hired to do, what difference does it make if I’m an extrovert or an introvert or prefer to write first thing in the morning or late at night?
    But I guess I could be bought if the pay was high enough…
    Signed, ENFJ
    Jennifer L´s last blog post ..The challenges of working from home- a quiz

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