To mark Shakespeare’s big birthday I thought I would question the very nature of our being! A task that many graduates have to face every time they complete an online job application form.

Psychometric tests are what we call personality tests. They are different from aptitude tests that evaluate your competency in specific areas such as numeracy and critical thinking. Psychometric tests are about your sense of being.

Probing on personality via a short online questionnaire is a challenge. Knowing how to respond to these tortuous questionnaires is even more challenging. When you are presented with a battery of fictitious scenarios it is so difficult knowing what to say.

My advice is to simply answer the questions intelligently. Do your homework beforehand and identify the kind of person that you think the company wants to recruit, and spend time before you go online exploring the kind of person you want to be.

But what about the truth? The problem is that our sense of being is more complex than can be summarized through a few simplistic multiple-choice statements. We have multiple identities and as a graduate applying for a job you should be enjoying a period of reinvention. This is one moment in your life when you have the prerogative to define who you want to be.

A graduate recently told me how he had failed to get an interview after completing the psychometric test for one of the top four accountancy firms. He had focused on being honest. A few months later he reapplied. This time he thought strategically – thinking about the kind of person they wanted to recruit and the kind of person he wanted to be. He got the got the job.

A final ode to Shakespeare: all the world’s a stage – when it comes to job hunting … but just check you are happy with the role you choose to play!