Personality Tests for Repetitive Jobs

The Problem

Some jobs require only a handful of repetitive tasks.  That’s not a problem, but the person in the job can be.  When an entire position exists for tasks to be performed repeatedly – and at a high level of quality – people who aren’t comfortable with repetition can cause BIG problems.

It’s frustrating and costly to hire a worker who says they prefer repetitive tasks, but their work and their morale over time says different.  (If you don’t notice it in their work, you’ll usually find it in their exit interview.)

Employees who aren’t strong with repetitive tasks eventually start producing less, producing poor quality work, or leave the position altogether.  Usually these things happen within the first year.

The Cause

Comfort with repetition is hard to discover in a resume or interview alone.  Most past employers will not, or cannot, comment about it.

Candidates who really want the job may be inclined to exaggerate abilities or their interest in repetitive tasks.  Equally, candidates may have some experience with occasional repetitive tasks, but may not have experience with repetition at a level that your position requires.  Although they’re enthusiastic at the start, they may fail in the long run, and the quality of their work – and your production – will suffer.


Determining a good fit with a candidate who thrives performing repetitive tasks should start with:

  1. Looking beyond their work history. Do any position titles or duties indicate they may have performed repetitive tasks in the past?  Did they leave those roles because of repetition, or lack thereof?  Do they have absolutely no job titles indicating experience with repetitive work?
  2. Using pre-hire testing for the job. Find a test built specifically for the position or the type of work it entails.  Do the results show that this person will be a good match for the role?  Many pre-hire tests will also give suggested interview questions to ask the candidate which help give extra certainty to your hiring decision.
  3. Watching the candidate’s body language during the interview. Body language, especially in response to a specific question, tells more than the verbal reply.  Do they keep eye contact locked on while giving their answer?  Do they nod their head?  They may be signaling comfort and honesty.  Do they shift in their seat, pause and think, or are they over-eager in their response?  They may have something to hide.  Remember that many career coaching and recruiting services, from local agencies to com, teach candidates to use interview body language to their advantage.  Don’t rely on this information alone.
  4. Making “working interviews” a policy. If your company can afford it – not just financially, but from a time and production standpoint – make working interviews a part of your hiring process.  Sometimes also thought of similarly to temp work or “contingent employment”, you will have to do new hire paperwork for the employee and consult with your HR professionals on how to make it a policy.  The cost benefit and rewards in determining if a candidate is right for the job, however, may make sense if the position tends to have high turnover.

Comfort with repetition is hard to discover in a resume or interview alone.  Most past employers will not, or cannot, comment about it.

Get better results when you add Pre-Employment Testing to your hiring process.

Resource Associates, a company that provides online pre-employment tests, has hundreds of job-specific tests to provide additional proof that a candidate who looks good on paper will be just as good in the job. These tests are statistically reliable and valid.