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Prospective client wants me to take a personality test

I am new to Upwork and to freelancing. A prospective client (for a VA job) wants me to take a third-party personality test and fill out a Google form with contact info... the test seems a little ridiculous for $9/hr. What do you all think? Scam or am I overreacting?

Community Member

Hi Julia,

No, you're definitely not overreacting. I think listening to your intuition is often a really smart thing. And posting if you have concerns about dealing with unfamiliar situations is a smart too.

I haven't heard of that one yet, but I'd be really wary of any job where someone presents you with a form that asks you to fill in a lot of information. There might be a follow-up form that asks for detailed banking and personal information.

You're right in questioning it. I can't see why you'd need to take a personality test to be a VA.

If they're asking for contact information, I'd avoid it. Using outside communication channels before you have a contract in place is actually a violation of Upwork's Terms of Service. In my experience, I've never had to go through any formal interview process with clients on Upwork. I don't know how it works with VA jobs, but I think a formalized interview might be a red flag to me.

This is a really good article to read if you're new to Upwork. It explains what to look out for in job postings.

Thanks, Renata! This is helpful and confirms my suspicions. As a newbie here, I get excited for any chance at a gig but am so often disappointed by the sketchy clients.

Take time to read forum carefully. All newbies questions answered here lot of times. Always same questions and same answers. 🙂

Hey Julia,

Thanks for sending me the link. I'm just going to post explaining what I saw.

This might just be a case of a fastidious hiring manager.  The test they're asking you to take (Big Five ) is actually one that's used in industry, but I don't know why they'd want VAs to take it. It seems like overkill, but the client might think it will predict who's a good hire (and the company specializes in analytics, so they probably like gathering data).

Things I notice on the client page (you can see this information on the job posting):

-the client rating is close to five stars for 35 reviews (this is generally a good sign)
-the total spent is $10K, so this is a client that's well established on Upwork (also generally a good sign)
-the average hourly paid is about $20 per hour (reasonably good sign because they don't hire people for absolute rockbottom wages).
-you can also click through to open up the jobs in progress and see that they've hired a few people for this position (and that looks good because a bunch of people were hired for the job)

Also the test you're being asked to take (Big Five) is a well-known test.

So this doesn't look like it's anything to worry about in terms of this being a "real client." That said, you might need to decide whether you want to jump those sorts of hoops to  land a contract.  I'm not sure what asking for something like that says about what the client is like to work for.

Note:  Because it's a violation of Upwork's TOS to share your direct contact information with the client, you can mention this rule to the client (and even send them a link to where it is in the policy). If it's absolutely necessary for you to give it to them to do the test, just message them that you're providing it so that you can access the test, but that they can't use it to contact you before you have a contract in place. (As a bonus, this shows that you're being conscientious, which is one of the Big Five factors they'll be testing you on).

I think it's still okay for us to do that in exceptional cases. Hopefully a moderator will come by and verify that.


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Community Member

The Google form is kinda fishy, although not unheard of. 


I have to tell you, that I've seen non-enterprise Upwork clients, who spent up to $100k on Upwork, requiring a form to be filled out, or even posting their contacts directly (which is risking their profile being suspended).


 So it's hard to judge by this fact alone. But beware: if any personal or non-skill related (but rather bank or personal related) information is requested in the form - feel free to leave it blank and tell the client, that Upwork doesn't allow that information being shared, before a contract has been started. 



The testing part isn't that big of a deal, in my opinion.

But the client could have asked "what is your Myers & Briggs personality type,?" instead of making you pass a test.


I did the 16personalities test at my workplace, years ago, then had re-tested in my private time and have gotten different results. So I haven't seriously read into it. 


But, when I recently took the test again, I got the same result as the first time. Which made think about it a little more.

Having studied my personality profile a little bit, I have found some profound information, regarding my career choices, which correlated with my life experience.


What I am trying to say is, that having you take a personality test might be a way to determine, whether you are fit to take the role on for a long time.


Some personality types are better at following orders and doing routine work in a big team and/or in constant contact with people. 

Other types thrive working with words and numbers, with no calls or distractions from workplace colleagues or clients.


The first personality type is a good match for a VA, the second is good for analytical work, and would be miserable in the role of a VA.

So, even if you wouldn't like your client to know your personality type - it might be beneficial to find it out for yourself, in order to make the best career / learning choices for the future. 

Community Member

I think that sounds totally unreasonable.  Block this client and move on!  

Community Member

I really appreciate everyone's input here! I suspect that this client is legit, but not a great fit for me. I find personality tests to be a bit ridiculous and just pin people into categories without considering the nuances of how humans actually behave...anyway thanks again for everyone's input. What a lovely community!

Community Member

This might be a very diligent client looking at hiring somebody long term. I don't think there's anything wrong with this request. If you don't feel comfortable, of course, decline. 

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