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HRLitehouse: Human Resource Management -- Community Blog

Ask HR Litehouse – Integrity Tests?

by Dennis Doverspike on August 12, 2008

in Ask HrLitehouse,Selection

Our intent is to have an interactive blog. We encourage individuals to write to us with questions and we will do our best to answer them.

The questions may range from the simple, including those from job applicants, to the more complex and involved from HR professionals.

This is one of the questions we responded to as part of an earlier version of this blog.

Ask HrLitehouse:  I have applied for a job where I have to take an integrity test.  What is an integrity test?                         

HRLite's Reply: Employers want to hire honest employees.  One of the ways they identify honest employees is through the use of integrity tests.  There are a number of different types of integrity tests and you may be asked to take one or more of the different types of integrity test as part of your application.

Some integrity tests will ask you about dishonest or illegal behaviors you may have engaged in on past jobs.  Other integrity tests contain questions concerning your attitudes toward ethical and questionable behaviors.  Still others are more like personality tests; this type of test might ask you if other people see you as an honest person or if your friends have ever been in trouble for stealing. 

Most integrity tests have built in devices to detect those who might attempt to respond in too favorable a fashion or who try to lie on the test.  As with your responses in the interview or on any test, the best approach is to respond in an honest, truthful manner.


For more information on integrity tests and their use by HR professionals you can look at the SIOP or ONET sites. Bryan Baldwin's site discusses a recent research review dealing with integrity tests.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Maurice Martin August 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

Lying on an integrity test… that would have to be a really bad sign, lol…

Dennis Doverspike August 12, 2008 at 11:48 am

Great point, Paul. It is even more embarrassing when you find out someone has stolen one of your integrity tests. That suggests an interesting topic, test security in general. We will have to take a look at that topic in the future. In this day and age of computerized testing of applicants, I wonder if anyone has ever had an applicant steal a computer?

Mike Audelo August 20, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Stealing a computer? No, but with the advancement in portable thumb drives a lot can be stolen off a computer. Therefore test security in a computer environment is still neccesary. And, how about cell phone cameras? The resolution is getting better and better and your test stands a better chance of being available to world.

I’ll save the rest of my comments when we start the discussion on test security.

Dennis Doverspike August 22, 2008 at 12:34 am


You point out some excellent issues that have complicated test security. In high stakes testing situations, you have to spend almost as much time on security as on test development. I do plan on blogging on the topic soon; of course I seem to come up with more topics than days to blog. But I will come back to test security within the next couple of weeks as I get the blog up to full speed.

Louise peppard March 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

how do we know that integrity tests are reliable?
how are the relability of integrity tests measured?

Dennis Doverspike March 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

Thanks for your question. Since this was an old post, I will move my answer up to a main column.

Vaggeliw Manta January 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

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