All good personality assessments have measures to pick up one or more of the following:
This is where the individual has tried to manipulate the test to “look good” or portray themself more favourably than is true.
Some test makers recommend getting individuals to resit the assessment if faking is detected.
Other providers recommend information gained from a "faked" assessment is given less weight or no weight in the selection process.
Some organisations go so far as to exclude those who fake the assessments from going further in the recruitment process.
Consistency measures picks up if individuals have answered inconsistently compared to others. Inconsistency can indicate either careless answering or that the individual has tried to manipulate the tool and in doing so became inconsistent in their answering.
Answering centrally applies to assessments where there is a rating scale. For example a 1-5 rating scale:
Answering centrally is taking the middle answers and not using the extreme ends of the rating scale (for a 1-5 scale, answering centrally would mean only or mainly using ratings 2, 3 or 4).
Answering centrally can indicate either than the individual has tried to manipulate the tool so not to show strong preferences, or it can indicate someone who is more conservative and who does not have strong preferences.
The three measures above are used by the test makers and interpreters to gauge whether the information provided is valid.
Most often “faking” occurs when individuals are taking tests for employment, and therefore there is an incentive to try to “look good”.
While you can try to cheat or fake an assessment in an employment process, there are several reasons that we do not recommend you do this.
By revealing your true preferences you are more likely to get a job you will enjoy and be good at, but also by revealing weaknesses, the organisation knows the areas you will need support and development in and therefore if you get the job they can put this support and training in place for you.
No one is perfect, we all have weaknesses, revealing them upfront in the assessments you complete is what is best for you and the organisation considering employing you.