What Is a Biodata Test?

A biodata test, life experience questionnaire, or a biographical inventory test, is a tool used during the hiring process to measure a candidate's behavioral consistency. By measuring a person's behavior, a company can see how that candidate will act in the future. Biodata questions include items about past events as well as behaviors reflecting personality attributes, attitudes, experiences, interests, skills, and abilities. The results of the test can also shed insight into a candidate's future performance.

Biodata questionnaires take a more scientific approach to hiring. The scoring depends on who created the items and the trends the company is looking for in a specific position. Companies use biodata questionnaires to assess a variety of characteristics and traits their employees or applicants possess, such as teamwork, past experiences, and accomplishments.

When completing a biodata questionnaire, take your time answering the questions.


Examples of Biodata Questions

Biodata questions are similar to personality test questions. Just like a personality test, there are different kinds of questions on a biographical questionnaire.

  • Multiple-choice
  • Not familiar – Very familiar
  • Agree – Disagree
  • Almost always – Almost never
  • Yes/No

Most questions use scale-based answer choices to make it easier to score. The results are always measured against characteristics and traits that are most desired by employers for a specific position.

Unlike job personality tests, the questions themselves ask you about work or learning experiences, how familiar you are with certain systems (i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel), terms that apply to the position, and how you handle situations. Although it may not seem like it, these questions measure personality related traits and not only work experience.

The questions ask about your past and your understanding of terms to get an idea of who you are and how you may act, since your past actions are likely to predict how you will behave in the future.

How quickly do you adapt to new things?

  1. I adapt almost instantly.
  2. I adapt, but it takes a little time.
  3. I take my time to adapt.
  4. I am not quick at adapting to new things.
  5. I have not had to adapt to any new things.

When answering a question like the one above, you should try to avoid being extreme, as the question only rates one personality trait. At times, an extreme answer is appropriate, but it must be easily believable so that it is not considered too extreme.

When answering questions, always remember to keep in mind what the employer is really asking of you and how your answer can effect your candidacy in the hiring process.


Prepare for the Biodata Questionnaire

Familiarizing yourself with the types of questions found on a biodata questionnaire will help you prepare for the test. When answering questions, be honest and show the company that you are a good fit for the position.