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The inclusion of a personality test gives employers an insight into their employees’ ability to integrate into the organization and be productive. The better they fit, the more likely they will remain a part of the company in the long run. Thus, fully redeeming the time and effort required to “close” the position.
Each person holds a set of habits, experiences, skills, and character traits. And all these characteristics can hinder or help to perform some tasks. For example, a persistent and sociable person will “fit in” in sales, whereas a focused and calm person will better do in financial accounting.
Therefore, managers and team leaders should consider such features from the first moment they meet with a person, namely when looking for a candidate. After all, no one wants a person to suffer in the wrong position or leave at the first opportunity.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology report revealed that only 13% of American employers include personality tests in their interview process. However, these numbers constantly grow as smaller companies join the largest corporations.
You can keep in mind this good practice to hire salesforce developers, managers, designers, and any other employee. This article will examine which personality tests exist and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.
Why Do Employers Use Personality Tests?
A 40-minute job interview provides only partial knowledge of the candidate. During this time, candidates can tell about themselves in general terms, about their experience and expertise.
After that, it is difficult to say whether a candidate will be a good fit for the position. Adding personality tests allows hiring managers and employers to make more grounded decisions.
Remember that there are no right or wrong answers to personality test questions. Some might not correspond to what the employer wants to hear or is looking for.
It would help if you decided from the get-go whether subordinates will act in a working environment competently. To make the most of the employee’s abilities, executives conduct personality tests. If you haven’t come across this practice before, you still have a chance to prepare for such tests.
However, not all assessment techniques are the same. Some allow you to select ideal candidates with great precision, while others can be completely ineffective.
This rating system has been in use for 50 years. It allows you to determine certain personal qualities that are related to work. For example, whether a person knows how to empathize with others, whether he will be persistent enough or accurate when completing tasks.
It shows whether a person can make contact, which will be helpful for teamwork when disagreements arise or when new work practices are introduced. Also, if a person isn’t flexible enough, he is unlikely to perform well in customer service.
What the Questions Look Like
The candidate receives a test of 98 questions, grouped into four segments:
- Two personality questionnaires – choosing the statement that worst/best reflects the candidate’s point of view;
- Cognitive – working with figures and numbers;
- Personality – how much the candidate agrees with the statements.
For example, the candidate should select one of the four statements above:
Sometimes it is better to lose than to offend someone.
I am pretty good at small talk.
We should always follow accepted norms and protocols.
I sometimes lose control of the situation when working.
It is a practical test that can measure people’s motivation. It shows the big picture, reflecting the positive and negative sides.
The Myers-Briggs typology represents a system for testing individual differences originating from Jung’s ideas. The founder of analytical psychology and the famous psychiatrist suggested there are four principal psychological functions. They help a person’s perception. These include:
Jung’s research became the basis for the American Catherine Briggs and her daughter Isabelle Briggs-Myers created the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) in the 1940s. Testing was used for women who had to work to replace men in wartime.
MBTI helped identify individual personal preferences at work. Later, the Myers-Briggs typology found support among many scientists and gained a following. It has become widespread in Europe and the United States of America.
Using the Myers-Briggs typology, an HR manager can define:
- what kind of activity the specialist has the propensity to do;
- how the person resolves issues;
- other behavioral features.
MBTI contains four scales for personality research:
- EI scale: type of energy (extrovert – introvert);
- SN scale: kind of thinking (sensing – intuition);
- TF scale: behavior style (thinking – feeling);
- JP scale: lifestyle (judging – perceiving).
What the Questions Look Like
Each question has two possible answers. For example:
When communicating with others, do you prefer to agree or listen to new information and opinions?
The first option is type J (judging), the second is type P (perceiving).
Unfortunately, this test isn’t efficient enough as it reflects personal priorities. A person can choose one thing but act differently in life. Therefore, the results will be distorted and lead to an erroneous refusal to hire a good specialist.
As the name implies, this testing examines five main dimensions of personality traits:
- Openness to experience;
Each Big Five quality is composed of various unique characteristics. For example, extraversion is a tendency towards a positive attitude towards life. It consists of such specific traits as a positive emotional attitude, sociability, and soulfulness.
The Big Five traits are universal. You can use them to describe a person’s temperament regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic level, or country of residence.
The Big Five personality traits are essential in defining relationships and behaviors at work. In this way, you can better understand how people act in a team.
For example, people with strong negative emotional attitudes are more likely to experience stress at work. Such employees are more critical of themselves and their failures. They find it hard to overcome negative comments from colleagues and superiors.
However, on the other hand, this quality allows them to perform better than others and avoid future mistakes. They can prove themselves in quality control, where critical thinking and evaluation are necessary.
People with positive emotional attitudes experience satisfaction at work and exude confidence. They are most often successful in jobs that require interaction with others, such as management and sales.
Psychologist William Moulton Marston proposed the DiSC technology for behavioral assessment in the past century. While doing his research, he discovered a way to distinguish between personalities by behavior.
According to the DISC typology, all people are divided into four main types by temperament. Each letter in the name of the typology (abbreviation) is the initial letter of character:
- D – Dominance;
- I – Influence;
- S – Steadiness;
- С – Сompliance.
Considering a person through this typology, one can describe his character very accurately and choose the most effective ways of interaction.
The test also helps you understand how a person responds to other styles. As with any typology, “pure” types are pretty rare. As a rule, each of us has inherent features of each class, but one will dominate.
How can this manifest itself in a work environment? For example, a C-style employee is problem-solving-oriented. They tend to analyze details and are often overly scrupulous. At the same time, it speaks of isolation and unwillingness to seek a compromise. When working with the C style, keep in mind that they prioritize perfectionism, not deadlines.
The employer will understand what to expect from the candidate in the future. If the candidate fits its culture, they can successfully achieve goals together. The person will get along with the team and work with others. It will indicate an increased level of team performance.
Personality tests show what kind of work environment the candidate will be able to work in best, whether a corporation with a rigid structure or a startup. However, if your opinions differ, it isn’t a reason to reject the candidate. They may need more time to adapt.
For example, let’s say you are talking to a candidate for a managerial position in the digital marketing department. They have an impressive resume and a desire to improve.
But the question arises, are they team players or loners? Will they be able to meet the social requirements for this position? Will they show leadership qualities when the whole team has deadlines?
Personality tests can reveal whether a candidate can think independently and approach problem-solving.
All people in the organization are bound to communicate with each other. Therefore, a lot of attention is paid to communication when hiring new employees. After all, a person can perform his tasks well but poorly build contact with the team. Because of this, there will be obstacles in conveying information to others.
There are many tests to determine a person’s character. We all want to know why we behave this way and our inclinations. Knowing this, we will choose the positions that we like. Also, we will work as productive as possible for ourselves and our colleagues.
I have only talked about a small part of personality tests. Some are more popular; some are less. The main thing to remember is that these tests shouldn’t be the final verdict for hiring or firing. It is an indicator of what areas you and your subordinates can improve.