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Assessments VS ‘Personality Tests’

The term “test” has enough negative connotations associated with it already. We test drinking water — it’s either good or bad. We test your ability to pass a calculus exam — either you do or you don’t. We test the specific tolerances of manufactured products — they either make the cut or they don’t. How can anyone really administer a ‘personality’ test? How would you know if you passed?

What exactly IS ‘personality’ anyway?

Every persons personality is influenced many components:

  • Experiences
  • Behavioral Tendencies
  • Education
  • Choices made by parents
  • Background
  • Intelligence
  • Acumen
  • Motivations
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Training
  • Personal skills
  • Competencies
  • Some would argue that the area of the world you were raised has an effect

cheaperisnotalwaysbetterWith hundreds of data points within each of those areas, how can anyone say there are only 16 or 28 or 64 or anything less than millions (billions?) of ‘personality’ types? For example, the ever-popular Myers-Briggs test has only 16 types. Maybe it’s popularity is due to its low cost? Well, you get what you pay for so if you want to learn is how someone will act, what motivates them, whether they’re suited for a position, or whether they can exhibit the self control needed to perform at a high level, you’ll need a validated assessment that is administered and debriefed by a certified professional.

The truth is, there isn’t any way to ‘test’ an employee’s or job candidate’s experiences, their background, or their upbringing. It’s easy to investigate their education, past accomplishments, training, and even their IQ, but do you know what REALLY motivates them, how well they understand others, or if they’re capable of reining in their own emotions? Do you know if they will naturally exhibit the behaviors to be successful on this  job? Can your current ‘personality test’ tell you if a medical assistant with show empathy toward her patients. if a salesperson will naturally understand the context of sales conversations, or where a management candidate ranks in Personal Accountability?

If there were a solution to these issues, would you be interested in learning more about that solution?




Original article by Ron Haynes.