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Personality Testing For Employment

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the strongly-disagree dept.

Social Networks 581

Thelasko writes "While I was in college, I had the opportunity to take an elective course in Industrial Psychology. One section of the course covered hiring practices and the validity of 'personality testing' to screen applicants (Google link for non-subscribers). The Wall Street Journal has a long article discoursing on how such tests are used in today's economy. While personality tests may be designed to uncover underlying personality traits such as honesty, critics claim that the tests instead reward cheaters." The article talks mostly about the tests' use in winnowing candidates for retail positions — deciding whom to interview. Anybody encountered them in an IT or more technical context?

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FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26427981)

FP...

Opening for discrimination lawsuit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428017)

Companies that have formalized tests of personality might be opening themselves up for a discrimination lawsuit, unless there is a way to map personality type to a tangible requirement for the job. (IANAL.)

I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (5, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428185)

Companies that have formalized tests of personality might be opening themselves up for a discrimination lawsuit, unless there is a way to map personality type to a tangible requirement for the job. (IANAL.)

There are federal laws banning the use of polygraphs in interviews, but this type of thing is VERY similar.

These personality tests are, imho, worse then polygraphs.

Polygraphs only determine if you lie or feel discomfort, but these tests determine whether you conform to some arbitrary personality type.

"rejected from e-harmony" commercial anyone?
Apparently not being a blithe, extroverted yes-man on some arbitrary test now means you can't get a job.
Talk about social darwinism.

I've taken very similar tests on sites which give ME the results and it shows that, while I possess many good qualities, my reserved nature makes me hard for others to read, particularly in that my expression of happiness or enthusiasm are externally muted.

In fact, my personality type is represented by 0.003% of the population.

I'm a pessimist and an introvert. This does NOT interfere with my ability to put on a professional face and be friendly to clients, but it does cause a great deal of stress when a potential job is at stake. Further, being a pessimist, while many people frown on it, has many positive qualities in a work environment, such as a propensity to properly assess and prepare for likely hurdles on a project.

This doesn't matter though, as the slightest sign of discomfort or non-conformity is construed as some kind of black mark.

Job ad says "we need free thinkers", personality test says "sorry you don't meet the 99.99999999% match we require with our VP's personality." Interestingly the most brilliant and talented people tend to be eccentric. A classic example of mediocrity rising to the top... except now only mediocrity is allowed in the door period.

The academic equivalent would be someone being passed up who knows their stuff but doesn't test well, while an incompetent who's good at telling people what they want to hear gets top marks.

I would also like to know if this falls afoul of discrimination laws.

Your personality is far more deeply ingrained than your religion. You should not be disqualified because of it unless you are severely psychologically impaired.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (5, Interesting)

Vertana (1094987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428265)

As a teenager, I was always passed up because I couldn't "pass" the personality test on BestBuy.com (for The Geek Squad), despite the fact that I already had my A+ and was on my way to a CCNA at the time. I talked to the employer at that local store and while he recognized that I probably knew my field I 'HAD' to pass that personality test. Needless to say I never got hired by them.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (5, Interesting)

ishobo (160209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428625)

When I was teen, I applied for sales job at a local computer store. I had to take one of these tests and failed. The manager made an exception and hired me. Of the people that passed the test and worked at the store, three were fired for stealing and the manager (who became an area manager) was fired for having an affair with his subordinate. Yeah, they work well.

If I can add something, and this is a real kicker! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428297)

I was applying to a separate division of a company my mother works for

She is considered the best in her department, and even the VP's worship the ground she walks on.

She helped with the test!

I never got a reply!

The conclusion: personality/ "unicru" style tests would easily reject the best workers, and If she had applied today as opposed to when she came in 20 years ago she would never have graced their department!

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428323)

Interestingly the most brilliant and talented people tend to be eccentric.

Insightful... my favorite line to use is:

"There's a fine line between Genius and Eccentricity, I like to think I've got a foot firmly planted either side! :)"

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428397)

Things are heading down to an employment singularity.

Remember the days where you could walk into a place and hand them the help wanted sign in the window, and after a few questions, you were hired? The interviews were usually on the spot with the manager on duty and you had your job right then.

Now-a-days, everyone wants to run background checks. Everyone drug tests. Everyone makes you fill out a pretty big application, and every job I've applied for had a basic personality exam. It asked questions like, "Do you steal office supplies?" etc

As employment gets harder and employers get choosier, even the faintest gray mark on your record will mean that you're going to have trouble finding work. Because there's a lot of people out there with totally clean records, or at least, a lot of people that can make their records look clean. The more 'dirt' they can weed out, the better.

One of the most difficult-to-obtain jobs that I had been in, that didn't require a lot of experience, just several interviews, ended up being very lacking in diversity. The same kinds of people..same attitudes..same personalities..etc.

In the end, assuming a sufficiently large pool of candidates, tests like this will only ensure that each pool of positions only hires a certain kind of person. Innovation will suffer at the hands of liability and perceived perfection. After all, who made the choice to hire the guy that scored 3% less on his personality exam? Looks like your hiring skill is fading..why didn't you just follow procedure?

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428619)

jobs today have a higher technical requirement than back in the day, so while i don't agree that just turning up is enough to get the job, i certainly think HR departments are out of control. we recently went through rounds of cuts like most companys and the ONLY department not to lose staff was bloody HR! inspite of the fact we now have a lot less people and less positions which means less work for HR, they weasled out of having to cut anyone. and our HR isn't even as bad at the personality and drug test as many places.

it won't last though, this recession is good for cleaning out the cruft.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428401)

Apparently not being a blithe, extroverted yes-man on some arbitrary test now means you can't get a job.

I was recently hired for a new job, and of my new bosses, while they've uniformly expressed pleasure in my technical abilities, they all say the reason for hiring me was my personality. One mentioned specifically that their job involves keeping clients happy, and who would you rather bring to meet the client: the arrogant jackass who's got a lot of technical experience, or the personable guy who is willing to learn anything he doesn't know and happy to admit that he doesn't know everything.
Your mileage may vary, but I just jumped $30k in salary during a recession.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428439)

Careful. You'll have all the wannabe Asperger's sufferers down on your head, saying there's no way you can be both smart and socially unhandicapped.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428545)

Apparently not being a blithe, extroverted yes-man on some arbitrary test now means you can't get a job.

I was recently hired for a new job, and of my new bosses, while they've uniformly expressed pleasure in my technical abilities, they all say the reason for hiring me was my personality. One mentioned specifically that their job involves keeping clients happy, and who would you rather bring to meet the client: the arrogant jackass who's got a lot of technical experience, or the personable guy who is willing to learn anything he doesn't know and happy to admit that he doesn't know everything.

Your mileage may vary, but I just jumped $30k in salary during a recession.

Did any of them hear of "faking it"?

It's quite possible to "fake it".

it's also quite possible to have an adaptive and modular personality with a "core" that is "you".

I fall into this final category.

My mother thinks i'm one person, my friends think im another, my boss thinks i'm another.
Back in school, the motto was: if it's for a grade I can and will do whatever is necessary. This included phys ed. I'm by no means an athelete but I outperformed the jocks on the track when there was a grade attached to it.

Provide a great enough point of interest (compensation, subject material, a cause to work for, or please please please all 3) and I will adopt whatever demeanor and expertise are necessary to get the job done.

All the personality test does is weed out people like me.

It can measure the core, or whatever I THINK they might want, but without them telling me what they're looking for I can't adapt myself to their environment.

"we're going on a trip, we want a vehicle"

via which medium? microgravity? the ocean? land? the atmosphere?
what are you taking along?
what balance of efficiency or redundancy do you need?
do you value endurance or speed?

When faced with some automated test you can't ask these questions!

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Interesting)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428569)

Likewise, after my most recent hiring I was told one of the strongest factors in my favor wasn't my 15+ years of technical experience, it was the hiring manager's sense that I was a low-stress personality type who would not be driven to insanity by the high-stress nature of the job.

This wasn't based on any particular personality test, mind you, just the hiring manager's judgment call based on my performance in the interviews.

Since then I've seen potential candidates for other positions in my group who met the professional qualifications passed up because they seemed wound too tight for the work.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Insightful)

dragonturtle69 (1002892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428455)

These are heavily used in the service sector. My personal view, if used correctly in conjunction with an interview and the application/resume, they help give a fuller picture of the applicant. They should not be used as a pass/fail measure.

But, HR believes in it, so it must be golden. If only they knew how many managers had their own answer key tests hard copied onsite, and were used when they had applicants that they wanted.

People are too complex to be sorted out in 200 questions.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428457)

you can always lie. unless you are stupid. in which case you would not be qualified for the position anyway. think intelligence test not personality test.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428617)

you can always lie. unless you are stupid. in which case you would not be qualified for the position anyway. think intelligence test not personality test.

Ah, so it's designed to weed OUT the intelligent.

an intelligent person would understand that different sectors, firms within sectors, and departments within firms place different values upon divergent priorities.

Efficiency is composed of accuracy and speed. How is each of these weighted?

Work dynamic is composed of the independence vs the subordination of workers to the chain of command. How are those weighted?

I received a test which asked questions on subjects like this as if I should know their specific internal policy before I'm even allowed to ask.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428477)

That surely applies on a US context, as we are used to the wild type of people that are competent but dicks, anyways they get the job done so why care about their personality.
But I am working overseas and as I got my working papers straight, I went to a couple of interviews to see if I could get a couple of consulting jobs.
Well, the locals set me through a battery of Psychological tests, kinda like "Blade Runner" stuff: "You have a green and a blue butterfly, you step on the blue and wait to see it agonizing, how do you feel?"
Was gruesome. I am a military type of guy, and I am American for God's sake, so I don't have all this crying, hugging, feeling thing the locals got over here, so I failed their tests badly.
I think that is why you don't hear about any successful International top executive born in Brazil. Locals here are too emotional and ask people to be emotional before they are competent.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (4, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428481)

I generally agree with just about everything you said, except for one of your last statements.

Your personality is far more deeply ingrained than your religion.

Yes, your personality is quite deeply ingrained. However, just like religion, it can also change, for better or worse.

Growing up, I was a very extroverted kid. However, I changed schools a lot and as high-school hit, I realized that I was a geek, and I started becoming more introverted and less inclined to be in social situations.

However, around freshman year in college, I started dating a non-geek girl. She was an extrovert, and over time, I started exhibiting some of her characteristics. Over the years, as I've gone through my career, I've moved away from the research/tech types to mostly the business/management types.

Result? I've become more outgoing, social and my personality has undergone a transformation. Now make no mistake - I'm still a geek at heart. I own (and read) more books than most people, enjoy scifi and fantasy, build Lego contraptions and solve puzzles for fun.

However, I feel that my horizons have broadened. I still like Asimov and Herbert, but I can now appreciate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Neruda. I watch Stargate, but I also enjoy going to the ballet. I enjoy parties and socializing as much as solving puzzles.

Until a few years ago, I had always been called quite non-confrontational and very pacifist in nature. But just the other day, a girl I work with told me that I'm a hardcore Type A despite the fact that I've always thought that I was more passive aggressive. Surprising yet is the fact that my industry in general is filled with really aggressive Type A folks, so coming from them, it was a genuine shock to me.

Of course, sometimes it amazes me how much people stereotype. For instance, last week I overheard someone calling me a "suit", despite the fact that I still enjoy technology and am quite partial to it. Unfortunately, people equate dressing well and being extroverted and talking to business as being "suit-y". That is the sad reality.

Re:I would like to hear from a lawyer on this.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428649)

This story is all fine and good, but I don't understand how this provides a counter to my point.

Nobody should feel compelled to change who they are in order to get work.

I'm still searching and have seen a LOT of these tests. The implication is clear: we don't want ANYONE remotely introverted... never mind most people have the capacity adopt a "game face".

Re:Opening for discrimination lawsuit? (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428203)

I don't think I'd like to work for a company that personality-tested technical candidates as part of their screening process.

I don't really have a problem with PHB's pulling this kind of shit so they feel they can better herd their cats.

Re:Opening for discrimination lawsuit? (3, Insightful)

eof (33820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428345)

I see this along the same lines as the lookign down on not dressing up for an interview: an excellent early warning sign that the company and I are not going to be a good match for one another. As to whether this could be considered a form of discrimination, it certainly seems to flirt with it. Makes you wonder whether simply letting them be stupid isn't punishment enough.

Re:Opening for discrimination lawsuit? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428359)

Companies that have formalized tests of personality might be opening themselves up for a discrimination lawsuit, unless there is a way to map personality type to a tangible requirement for the job. (IANAL.)

Nope. Personality isn't a protected class, unlike race or gender. Personality is (arguably) not an immediately apparent characteristic, though it may be immutable; and people with arrogant jackass personalities are certainly not underrepresented in political power. Just look at Ted Kennedy, or Dick Cheney.

From an Industrial Psychologist... (2, Informative)

RichDiesal (655968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428575)

There are actually several validation techniques that you can use to do just that. Personality actually has a moderate but fairly consistent relationship with job performance across most job types.

The problem is that the shinyness surrounding personality in the business world these days makes a lot of organizations think that they can just write some questions about the kind of people they like, throw that into an online test, and hope for the best. This does not work, and is not usually legally defensible.

Also - discrimination is legal. Hiring someone with more work experience is discriminatory in nature. Discriminating against a protected class is not. But generally speaking, as long as the results of the personality test do not correlate with membership in a protected group (race, color, religion, sex, or national origin - see Title VII [wikipedia.org] ), or predict job performance differently between members of the various classes, then that is not a concern.

Sounds accurate to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428027)

Real life rewards cheaters. See the Bailout, or your average middle-management.

Thusly, the test is completely accurate.

Re:Sounds accurate to me (1)

samtihen (798412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428123)

As far as I'm concerned, it simply punishes the extremely stupid.

If you can't even figure out how a "good employee" would answer for most of the questions, then I highly suspect you stand little chance of actually being one.

Re:Sounds accurate to me (3, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428239)

I've never seen one where which answer went with which "type" wasn't completely obvious.

Just pick how you want it to turn out, and answer consistently. Piece of cake. I'd be shocked if anyone with half a brain did anything other than that.

Surely even if you try to answer it honestly you're unintentionally favoring the answers that you want to be true (or the ones that you believe to be expected) rather than the ones that are true.

"ORly?" (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428335)

As far as I'm concerned, it simply punishes the extremely stupid.

If you can't even figure out how a "good employee" would answer for most of the questions, then I highly suspect you stand little chance of actually being one.

Except you have NO IDEA how a "good employee" would answer.

Policies differ from company to company, department to department, and even in sub-departmental work units.

This type of material should be covered in training.

It's like demanding a medical school applicant perform cutting edge neuro-surgery in order to be accepted.

From an Industrial Psychologist... (5, Interesting)

RichDiesal (655968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428599)

This is actually hotly debated amongst industrial psychologists.
 
Vendors of personality tests include items that "detect" patterns of responses that appear to be due to this kind of cheating. They then look at these cheaters (the ones who are purposefully answer how a "good employee" would answer instead of with their own tendencies) and check their level of job performance. Oddly enough, there is a correlation - people who pad their responses to look like a "good employee" also tend to have higher job performance ratings, at least as it appears to their supervisors.

Re:From an Industrial Psychologist... (2, Insightful)

shog9 (154858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428667)

As the parent stated: Life rewards Cheaters. Play the part, win the prize. The only ones hurt are those unfortunate applicants who take the test at face value and answer honestly...

First post motherfucker! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428045)

I actually failed one three times for a clerk position. I knew the manager of the establishment and he thought I would make an excellent employee, so the fourth time he was looking over my shoulder and guiding my answers ("no, pick 'c'").

Sour Grapes (1)

Dr Egg (1451323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428051)

"critics claim that the tests instead reward cheaters" The critics wouldn't moan if they could cheat as well as these apparent cheaters.

Not technical (5, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428059)

Many years ago, I took one of those for a Sales job at Sears, an ethics test. The thing was completely worthless; Anyone with an IQ over 90 could have figured out the "correct" answers. Basically, suggest harsh punishment for any crimes, admit to committing one minor offense as a child and feeling guilty about it, and deny ever having broken a law since.

In high school I took one for an avation class. Apparently pilots are required to take them. (?) That was a test of my sanity and equally easy to figure out. It consisted of tests like "you just killed a man. Why?" and the trick was to admit equally to each of four possible psychological problems so you look balanced. God forbid a smart lunatic or a smart criminal take those tests.

Re:Not technical (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428125)

LOL, I know a guy with questionable mental stability who "studied" to pass his pilot's psych test.

Re:Not technical (1)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428419)

"you just killed a man. Why?"

So, why did you kill him? ;)

Re:Not technical (4, Funny)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428541)

Because he wouldn't help a flipped tortoise in the desert!

Re:Not technical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428651)

Because he was there.

Re:Not technical (3, Insightful)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428437)

Ah, so they end up hiring the either the balanced or the intelligent. Not a bad end for them.

Re:Not technical (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428465)

"He had captured the princess."

Did I pass?

Re:Not technical (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428587)

So, now that you've captured the princess from him, does that mean I need to kill you?

Re: Personality Testing for Employment (4, Interesting)

agy (169514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428063)

I was given a couple of these at a company I applied to some years ago (a hi-tech job). I took them on condition they'd show me the results, which they were fine with doing. Nice guys, but kind of a creepy outfit. Amusingly, I scored slightly above normal in the hostility department (my inward reaction to that was "Who you callin' hostile, m___f___r?"). But they took all that in stride and offered me a job, which I didn't take.

Re: Personality Testing for Employment (1)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428379)

Amusingly, I scored slightly above normal in the hostility department (my inward reaction to that was "Who you callin' hostile, m___f___r?"). But they took all that in stride and offered me a job, which I didn't take.

You made me almost fall out of my chair. Funny stuff ...

google does (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428073)

Google makes you take a looooooong and in depth personality test just to apply for an IT position. It's really insulting.

P.S. Fuck you, Google. Didn't want to work for you anyway. Put that in your personality test.

Re:google does (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428107)

If I went for a job at google I would expect them to have my profile already. You have been visiting the following web sites...

Re:google does (4, Insightful)

femto (459605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428615)

I recently completed a postgraduate course on "organisational behaviour", which is the field from where the justification for these personality tests is supposed to originate.

It turns out that there is no objective justification for the tests. The texts were quite clear that little if any benefit can be derived from subjecting individuals to such tests, as the tests were only ever designed to measure populations. While the aggregate score across many people might have meaning, a single individual's results are meaningless. Being subject to such a test is a useful indicator that the prospective employer you are interviewing has a clueless HR department.

It was interesting doing a few job interviews with large companies after having completed the course. It was soooo tempting to answer each question with a page number from the text.

HR's recruitment process in a nutshell... (5, Funny)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428081)

Here's something I thought was an exellent example of HR people tend to think (copied from here [theage.com.au] ):

1. Put 400 bricks in a closed room.

2. Put your new hires in the room and close the door.

3. Leave them alone and come back after six hours.

4. Then analyze the situation.

a. If they are counting the bricks, put them in the Accounting Department.

b. If they are recounting them, put them in Auditing.

c. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks, put them in Engineering.

d. If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order, put them in Planning.

e. If they are throwing the bricks at each other, put them in Operations.

f. If they are sleeping, put them in Security.

g. If they have broken the bricks into pieces, put them in Information Technology.

h. If they are sitting idle, put them in Human Resources.

i. If they say they have tried different combinations and they are looking for more, yet not a brick has been moved, put them in Sales.

j. If they have already left for the day, put them in Management.

k. If they are staring out of the window, put them in Strategic Planning.

l. If they are talking to each other, and not a single brick has been moved, congratulate them and put them in Top Management.

m. Finally, if they have surrounded themselves with bricks in such a way that they can neither be seen nor heard from, put them in Congress.

Before someone points it out... (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428279)

Somehow I misspelt excellent, and forgot the word "how"...

Here's something I thought was an excellent example of how HR people tend to think.

Re:HR's recruitment process in a nutshell... (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428393)

why not just leave them in there for 6 to 10 days and then hire the one or two still alive?

One question I still remember (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428099)

"If you found a stranger "making out" in the park would you inform the authorities?"

I answered "Yes" and that's what the hiring team wanted to hear. If I had answered "No," then this team would assume that I would engage in similar activity if I were in a place that I am not known.

"Making out" here, was intentionally phrased that way to keep it vague, but we all know what it means right?

I got the job, though I quit seven months later because this job was had began to run my life, something I loathed with a passion.

Re:One question I still remember (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428149)

They didn't ask you what you would do you you were out in the desert and you found a turtle on its back roasting in the sun?

Re:One question I still remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428245)

He must be a replicant.

If it were free-form, and not multiple choice, (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428349)

and assuming that I were alone in the desert with scant food or water, my answer would be "drink its blood, and eat the rest".

That is a completely sane and eminently practical answer. Oh, and "keep its shell for future collection of water."

But I'll bet you just about anything that is not the answer they want to hear. They would rather see you dehydrate and starve, as long as you are "warm-hearted" and "ethical" about it.

Re:If it were free-form, and not multiple choice, (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428441)

You should probably watch the first five minutes of Blade Runner. I don't want to spoil it for you but the Q&A session ends badly.

Re:One question I still remember (3, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428405)

They didn't ask you what you would do you you were out in the desert and you found a turtle on its back roasting in the sun?

it's a hackneyed question.

Everyone knows you're hot helping because you're also a turtle on its back.

Re:One question I still remember (1)

dragonturtle69 (1002892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428489)

Tortoise, what's that?

Re:One question I still remember (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428567)

Have you seen a turtle?

Re:One question I still remember (2, Funny)

jeko (179919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428565)

Is this testing whether I'm an applicant, or a lesbian?

No... (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428317)

we DON'T all know what that means. "Making out" as a phrase is terminally vague, and could mean many different things to many different people. That is precisely why these tests are so worthless: they presume to test things based on information that is not just imperfect, but horribly distorted as well.

"I got the job, though I quit seven months later because this job was had began to run my life, something I loathed with a passion."

Hint: I have heard that Google is "the exception that proves the rule", but in general, if a company asked me to take a personality test prior to employment, I would walk out the door and not come back. Not because I have anything to hide, but because I know just how much bullshit these tests really are. If you are a good person, you should never take one, because unless it is one of those awesomely simple-minded tests, it can only make you look worse than if you had not taken one in the first place.

Sounds like pseudo-science woowoo. (3, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428127)

Given that these tests have if not methodological history, then atleast spirtual ancestry in stuff like the MBTI(tm) test, which is horribly flawed in it's concept and methodology, I'm pretty skeptical of these tests. these tests really only weed out the obscenely stupid or inept. Which I guess where they succeed, but I'm also wondering if they weed out honest and capable individuals. Although if you can't do some googling and get an answer in an IT context, maybe you shouldn't get that job as an admin or support rep.

They do (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428377)

weed out honest and capable individuals. See the question about the toroise above.

From an Industrial Psychologist (2, Informative)

RichDiesal (655968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428635)

There is no spiritual ancestry in modern personality testing with the MBTI - it lacks the psychometric properties required of tests these days (reliability and validity). It is still used because the creators still want to make money off of it. Few industrial psychologists with any decent statistical training would be caught dead using it.
 
An example of a modern personality test that is currently used (and has been successfully legally defended) is the NEO-PI-R [wikipedia.org] . Scores on several scales in this measure have been demonstrated to correlate with job performance across a variety of jobs.

Let's See... (4, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428137)

There was a "personality" test I had to take when I was a clerk for Radio Shack back in college... I remember the manager showed me the "results" and it basically said, "This person is either a very good person, or understood this test enough to give the answers we hoped for." But the questions were like, "Have you ever stolen from an employer" and "Should you swear at stupid customers" and the like. I'm not sure what it was supposed to ascertain other than, maybe how seriously applicants would treat a ludicrous and arbitrary test...?

When I applied at GoDaddy, I was given an intelligence test--Thurston? Thurstone? I'm sure it's on wikipedia somewhere, but anyhow when I was in a position to hire other people, I found that these scores were a significant part of hiring, and the fact that I had one of the highest scores in my department played a major role in my rapid promotion.

My father, a civil engineer, once worked for a Phoenix company that employed another kind of test--long, pointless, exhausting tests and interview questions for candidates, followed at the end of the day with one or two questions that were actually important. He, too, was in a hiring position, and informed that it was "all about wearing them down" so they would give honest responses at the end out of sheer impatience with the process. Put me in mind of the tests they put applicants through in Men in Black...

I've heard of others enduring myriad personality tests--the color test, the four-letter tests, I'm sure these all have very nice names which I'm disinclined to look up at the moment. All of these are a kind of personality testing. But in my experience, from both sides of the hiring process, they're pointless exercises from any perspective but a litigious attorney's (and I say that as a law student). The idea is to create quantified evidence that can be used to back up whatever ad hoc decision HR (or whoever) makes.

Rewarding cheaters may be a problem, but the bigger problem is that we're relying on suspect assumptions about the quantifiability of human relationships instead of the (more time consuming, costlier, but ultimately more effective) approach where you get to know someone before hiring them on a permanent basis.

Re:Let's See... (1)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428341)

Out of curiousity, did your father ever encounter a candidate that was both patient and dogged enough to deal with the BS questions, and sharp enough to snap to it when faced with a real problem? There are people like that. I'm energetic but astute, so unless I was faced with 2^10 basic math questions, I think the test would be easy to beat.

Re:Let's See... (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428391)

My father, a civil engineer, once worked for a Phoenix company that employed another kind of test--long, pointless, exhausting tests and interview questions for candidates, followed at the end of the day with one or two questions that were actually important. He, too, was in a hiring position, and informed that it was "all about wearing them down" so they would give honest responses at the end out of sheer impatience with the process.

Part of the reason for those long exhausting personality tests is repetition.

Important questions are repeated with the question/answer slightly changed. If you're 'cheating' (aka lying) then it is likely you won't give consistent answers and it shows up as a giant red flag when the answers are being evaluated.

Of course, none of that matters when the testing procedure flawed. I.E. I've done monolithic personality tests where you can flip back and look at your answers. A proper test is broken up into sections that get taken away when you've completed them.

Re:Let's See... (1)

biobogonics (513416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428639)

There was a "personality" test I had to take when I was a clerk for Radio Shack back in college... I remember the manager showed me the "results" and it basically said, "This person is either a very good person, or understood this test enough to give the answers we hoped for."

The purpose of the test is to select those who will put with bullshit as part of the hiring process. On my list for automatic DQ of employer are:

Most types of "H.R." B.S.

Resume in Word document.

Provide salary history.

Clueless (is there any other type of?) recruiter.

Buzzword laden job description.

No identification of who or what the business is.

Since I run my own business I can say

1. I probably don't want to work for you anyway.
2. Fuck you!

Industrial Profiling (1)

Winn Schwartau (887346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428145)

I have been advocating Industrial Pyschological Profiling for almost 20 years as a means of filtering out unsuitable people for key IT positions. The logic is simple: As an employer, yoiu cannot ask all of the real meaningful questions that allow you to get to know them - P.C. rules. With IT staff often holding the keys to the kingdom, understanding what makes them tick is essential to well managed security and policy enforcement. What we care about is proclivity, tendancies, allegiances, and underlying character issues that can be quickly and easily determined (on a plus/minus scale...). These data then become a critical HR, security and management metric when hiring for key positions. I am a huge fan of the technique, and have been involved with various training experts and sessions on how to use this technique with specific application to I.T., critical infrastructure, finance etc.

The problem, however, (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428443)

is that you would be replacing one unworkable system with another system that is not useful for what it is supposed to be for. Why bother to trade in a poorly-working system, for one that works at least equally poorly? You do not gain anything thereby.

Specifically, personality tests are: (1) Notoriously unreliable. All too often they do not measure what they claim to measure. (2) Transparent. Most of these tests can be answered dishonestly by people with a little bit of intelligence, further distorting the results. (3) Because of (1) and (2), they have a tendency to weed out good and honest people. (4) They set a "guilty until innocent" tone in the workplace.

There is more, but I won't go on. If the tests were actually reliable, I might might change my mind about them. But they are not.

Re:Industrial Profiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428579)

you simply cannot be this stupid. you are assuming people doing the test DO NOT LIE. which is A STUPID ASSUMPTION. anyone with half a brain can pass your silly tests with flying colors. a sociopath will get through even easier than a normal person would.

Re:Industrial Profiling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428657)

And too bad for the honest ones.

As an ISTJ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428159)

That sounds like a perfectly logical application of personality testing.

Personality Testing For Employment [& Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428173)

I think we should give the politicians similar treatments. This new era should be the end of treating them as royalties.

I suggest, not personality tests, but psychological tests in an attempt to make sure thy are not sociopaths, which I understand now can be medically tested for as well. Often employees are tested for drug, IQ and soon maybe genetic screening.

Politicians do make decisions that impact not only our country, but depending on their title, the whole world...

Do something, that is if you are a real patriot or even care slightly about the worlds future...

But that's an other story...

Good luck to all

They're usually boring (3, Funny)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428197)

The one I really liked was the one in the movie "The Game"...

You just can't beat the Consumer Recreation Services' true/false test with items like "I frequently hurt small animals." and "I feel guilty when I masturbate."

Re:They're usually boring (4, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428507)

I know that was a joke, but it brings up a real point:

The problem with ALL such "true/false" personality tests is that there are frequently good reasons for answering the "wrong" way, that the test-makers did not anticipate:

"I frequently hurt small animals... I was raised as a Buddhist, but I eat chicken and eggs."

"I feel guilty when I masturbate... because the wife is trying to get pregnant, but she is out of town today."

And so on. Maybe silly examples, but they are examples.

I once took one... (1)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428215)

For some summer jobs I was applying for in high school. Turns out Acme Markets was looking for people who could work well with others.

Last I heard they were still a crock... (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428223)

I too took Industrial Psychology, and some other psychology courses as well. I remember that two of the courses covered the subject of "personality testing", and nearly all the material and cases we covered criticized the use of personality testing for any kind of serious use, as being notoriously unreliable.

For example, my professors (and our course material) taught me that some corporations still use one or another form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), or tests derived from it, for personality testing prospective employees and so on. In the words of one professor: "This test and similar tests were thoroughly discredited over 20 years ago. It is astounding that anybody would still give them credence."

But apparently some still do.

Some personality tests are easy to figure out, which indeed rewards cheaters. Others use various levels of trickery to try to combat cheating (multiple, modified forms of the same question scattered throughout the test, for example), which rewards the more intelligent cheaters. And so on. Often the tests are biased culturally, and some of them still in use are so old that their wording, assumptions, and scoring are questionable today.

In short, I would look at personality tests for pre-employment screening the same way I look at drug testing and standard polygraphs: If you are an "innocent" person, you should NEVER volunteer to do these things. They do absolutely nothing to help your situation, and all you can do is lose. Statistically, they are also biased toward false positives more than false negatives, and the odds are not in your favor. And finally, I thoroughly despise the "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that is firmly set by the use of these tests when there is no prior suspicion of wrongdoing or problems. It sends the wrong message to employees, and their families, and their children.

Re:Last I heard they were still a crock... (3, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428357)

And, as a follow up, these tests notoriously reflect a person's "self-image," not necessarily the way their personality actually functions and how they will interact with others. The indications a test determines must be carefully verified in an interview, not taken at face value like a piece of litmus paper.

The basic fact is that a single person's testimony is demonstrably unreliable, sometimes even (or in many cases especially) when it regards themselves.

--
Toro

Re:Last I heard they were still a crock... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428463)

To add to that, you also don't want to WORK for a company that uses these tests, even if you successfully nail the offer. Since they reward cheaters, the entire company quickly gets filled by manipulative assholes.

At my last job, one of the most highly paid programmer was a compulsive liar. Out of curiosity, I googled up his resume, knowing him well enough to be able to tell the truth from not... It was extremely carefully crafted and full of lies that were difficult to disprove. (I realize most resumes are made to make the person look good, but that was pushed to the extreme). The hiring process of that company was mostly full of yes/no questions. "Do you know technology XYZ?" "Are you comfortable in working in ABC environment?" And having talked with him, he would never say he didn't know something, even when it was the case. All that in addition to these silly personality tests.

So these tests that "reward cheaters", they're a corporate culture more than anything. Avoid companies who use them at all cost.

Yeah, for dating/marriage (0, Troll)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428235)

Informal personality tests are often administered by women to gauge males' employability as a boyfriend/husband.

This often doesn't go well for those in "an IT or more technical context"

Re:Yeah, for dating/marriage (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428315)

Informal personality tests are often administered by women to gauge males' employability as a boyfriend/husband.

This often doesn't go well for those in "an IT or more technical context"

...Also because a lot of guys in our thing don't get that you need to be interviewing them to figure out their flaws, too. Yeah, she's got boobies... Yay.

Real question is: Would a psychiatrist refer to her as "a complete whack-job" or not?

Snake oil... (4, Insightful)

Alyeska (611286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428251)

Research tests that are supposed to judge sociological phenomena, designed to be issued to mass numbers of people for data, are being sold to employers as tools to judge individuals. It simply doesn't work that way. Might as well use Astrology....

Mod Up (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428563)

Extremely well put.

If raw statistics had predictive value for specific cases, I could make a lot of money flipping coins.

Inept management (3, Insightful)

hwyhobo (1420503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428275)

I am deeply convinced (a euphemism for "I have no proof") that most of this nonsense is driven by the fact that a lot of today's management does not understand the subject matter of what they manage; therefore, they cannot appropriately interview candidates. Instead, they engage in meaningless "personality tests" and other psychobabble, which is mostly what they learn during ever-popular "management" (read, "I-have-no-aptitude-for-science") studies.

Re:Inept management (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428503)

I agree . . . these types of tests are associated with the rise of "professional managers", who supposedly have some sort of general management skills, such that they can manage factory line workers and retail salespersons equally well, they just know how to manage. I question whether such a general managerial skill exists.

Another feature of the professional business manager who knows nothing about his (or any) business, is undue attention to tax breaks and tax avoidance, and games of accounting. When you don't know how to make cars, run a pipeline, or write software, but you are part of shifting professional class that may find themselves in charge of any of these, then you tend to do things such as move facilities to a lower tax area, rather than improve basic opporations. Changing the way you calculate the worth of loans and facilities from "mark-to-market" to something else is considered "innovation" only if you truly have no idea how to take $100 and make something that is worth $110.

I also suspect that professional managers ignorant of business tend as a group to over-spend on advertising, branding, and marketing, but that correlation is not as strong as the tax / accounting focus.

Testing personality testing arbitrary skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428283)

I don't know about personality testing, but IBM once had an aptitude test (and it still might) called IPATO. It was a ridiculous exercise, and required one to perform arbitrary matrix operations in one's head within a finite amount of time. I'd be curious if anyone on these forums has gone through this bizarre process ... Here's a summary taken from an internal IBM site (does not appear to be available publicly):

Glossary IPAT/IPATO - Information Processing Aptitude Test

The Information Processing Aptitude Test (IPAT) is currently administered to US job applicants for Band 6 positions in Job Families 01, 02, 03, 04 and 06 which consist of Software Engineer, Information Technology Support, Hardware/Development Engineer, Other Engineer and IT Architect/Specialist positions. The IPAT (which measures reasoning and predicts the ability to rapidly learn and process complex information) is intended to be used as part of the Total Assessment of applicants being considered for these positions.

Implemented in 1987, the IPAT is used by IBM in over 20 countries worldwide and available in 10 languages. The original validation study for the IPAT showed that IPAT test scores were the best single predictor of success in training and job performance when compared to other single predictors including Grade Point Average (GPA). This original study also showed that the IPAT was a fair test for minorities. The Global Selection Team, Talent Management and Delivery, revalidated the IPAT in July 1999. The results of this study confirmed the finding of the original validation study: higher IPAT scores predict higher probability of job success. The results also indicate that the IPAT continues to outperform Grade Point Average (GPA) as a predictor of job performance. An additional validation study was completed in July, 2000 for Hardware/Development/Other Engineers with highly similar results. In 2002 a study was conducted which extended the use of the test for applicants to technical co-op positions (Job Families 01, 02, 03, 04, and 06).

The IPAT was redesigned in 2001-2002 to allow online administration. The redesigned test was designated Information Processing Aptitude Test Online (IPATO) and was first implemented in the US in 2002 (currently available in 19 countries, 6 languages). Because of this, significant redesign to the test and its administration were made, IBM's Global Selection Team conducted a study to (re)validate the IPATO. Results from the 2004 study again confirmed the IPATO to be a strong predictor of job success - - higher IPATO scores indicated higher probability of job success.

Given IBM's commitment to hiring based on total assessment, it is important that managers give proper consideration to all relevant job-related factors. If a manager wishes to make an offer to a candidate whose IPATO score is below average (as indicated on the Test Results Sheet provided by Talent Delivery), he or she should ensure that there are other clear, job-related compensating factors that support this decision. Compensating factors may include specific technical knowledge, outstanding communication or demonstrated leadership skills.

In addition, if a manager does not wish to extend an offer to an applicant whose IPATO score is considerably above average, there should be clear job-related reasons for that decision as well.

Re:Testing personality testing arbitrary skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428447)

In the mid-1990s IBM hired me as a software engineer straight from university.

They gave you the job application, urine test, and this test after they made the decision to hire me. It was like "you have to do this, so just do it" The test was so easy that 99% of technical 4-year-degree graduates would pass it with flying colors and a good number of them would max it out.

Oh, the piss test was easy too. They gave you plenty of notice.

Re:Testing personality testing arbitrary skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428497)

waaaaa

try the USMLE if you want a REAL test

Just Took Industrial Psych Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428303)

Came off as a lot of BS to me. At least the way it was presented. Every so often there would be a sprinkling of foundational psych in there, but most of the time it's just a matter of exploiting believed trends for the purpose of hiring efficiency.

Personality tests simply serve as a quick way for organizations to screen out candidates who likely don't have the traits desired for the position. Those remaining don't necessarily posses them either, but it is more likely that they do.

The problem is that personality tests don't tell you much about a person's ability to actually perform a job (granted you'd hope that some effort would be put in to uncover this). It also greatly over simplifies the complexities of the human personality. That and there's the whole business with test taker honesty and bias.

What it can do is possibly screen out candidates who have extreme traits that generally aren't desirable on any job.

Yep... (3, Interesting)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428307)

I was recently turned down by a recruiting company when they discovered that I had 2 DWIs (both of which were 10+ years old) and 2 weapon possession cases (one of which was legitimate, the other was total bullshit that I signed a plea-bargain on so I wouldn't have to sit out the time and lose my job).

Now, personality tests aren't a big worry to me. I'm pretty crazy (by "normal" standards) but intelligent and diligent, so not only do I make a good (if outspoken) employee, but I figured out a long time ago how to manipulate psychological tests. I did it as a teenager, when I was incarcerated in numerous state institutions. If I wanted out of the place, I just picked the answers that made me sound as sane and healthy as an indoctrinated drone. If I wanted to beat a criminal case on grounds of insanity (that's the shortened term for it), I simply picked answers that would make sense for the given situation.

Human beings are pattern-recognizing creatures by nature. And the more intelligent a person is, the more aware of a situation they are and the easier it becomes for them to manipulate a test.

A place that used IQ tests (3, Interesting)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428347)

I worked for a place that gave interviewees - right down to the front desk secretary - an IQ test.

I was hired as part of a sort of package deal (they were stuck with me regardless of IQ, lol) but I found it incredibly scary that this company judged their employees by an IQ test.

For the record, the employees at this company were no brighter than at any other company I've worked for. I had lunches stolen by employees, and the top non-C-level earner in the company was a wreck, taking just about every medication in the book to keep up with the stress. In fact, the company was almost universally hated by the people who worked there, but the pay seemed to be sufficient for them to stay.

What the IQ test came down to was, the guy at the top who was administering the test was constantly reminding everyone in private that he hadn't met someone yet who had a higher score than him. He was defending his little piece of ground, pyschologically speaking. And he was the type that, had he met someone with an IQ higher than him, he probably wouldn't let that person alone until he found a deep character flaw or piece of trivia they didn't know about.

The company had previously gone through related lawsuits, so it's surprising that the collective ego of those at the top was so great that even such a poor hiring policy escaped scrutiny.

Personality testing strikes me as a rather good idea, but it also seems to indicate that corporations are firmly planted in afraid-to-fire-people land now.

Personality testing might be a good idea (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428607)

if it worked. The sad fact is that there are IQ tests out there today whose results are fairly accurate and repeatable... but there are no readily available "objective" personality tests that can claim the same thing.

Now... understand that there is a huge amount of debate about just what IQ is, and what it is good for, what it predicts... but the accurate and repeatable measuring of it has become something of a science.

The same cannot be said for personality testing.

These tests can be good self-assessments (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428371)

An employer could try this tack:

"Take this test on your own. We find that most of our long-time employees tend to score this way. If you score differently, be prepared to work with people who scored this way. We've found that people who score some other way tend to have problems including this, this, and this. If you scored some other way please take that into consideration before applying."

This will deter some of the employees who are probably going to be high-turnover or high-maintenance, which will save the company some money. There will be some false-positives of course, but if it's designed well it will be a net benefit for the company, and determined or hungry applicants won't be automatically turned away.

I've found it once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428373)

Those kind of tests are not so common in my country (though I has been a while since I looked for a new job).

It was in 2002 and it had nothing identifiable as "X" or "Y" test. It was just a bunch of questions which you replied in another sheet (it was "yes" and "no" AFAIR).
The curious thing is that you had to connect (graphically, with a line.. like "yes" goes to the right and "no" to the left) an answer to another.
Apparently the psychological evaluation was done in the form of the resulting curve/shape of the global vertical line.

Back then I badly needed a job and my CV was not that impressive (I was not hired BTW). If it were today, I would simply say "please discard my CV" and walk away.

Had to do it as a condition of accepting (1)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428383)

I was offered a job at my current work *after* I passed the interview, but before I could sign the paperwork.

I found it a bit strange that I sat in an interview, impressed them enough to get hired, and then they - what? wanted to know if I was an axe murderer?

The one question that stuck in my mind was "Have you ever felt so angry you thought you couldn't control your violent actions?". Seriously WTF? I would have thought that was covered in "No I don't have any violent crime convictions..."

I like it where I work though. Great company - but that psych test was amongst the wierdest set of questions I've ever been asked.

Re:Had to do it as a condition of accepting (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428627)

Do you think they would have accepted, "Yes, when I saw my father being murdered." as an acceptable response to that question? Or was it just Yes / No?

Just pointing out that there are far too many assumptions in such tests.

Re:Had to do it as a condition of accepting (1)

RancidPeanutOil (607744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428653)

I remember answering a question like that more than once. I've unfortunately had two experiences with these tests - temp firms use them a lot. At first I thought the usual - how ridiculous it was etc. - but then I noticed that they always administer these tests, then leave you alone. I think the parsing of this stage of hiring is critical but simple - these are blunt instruments to measure only whether you're a complete psychopath, and not because you answer "yes" to the above question, but because the crazy tweakers that yell at strangers about their money or the homeless mentally ill who throw burritos at you on the sidewalk would read these questions, take it personally, and refuse to take such a test; it violates their rights, the test is "proven" to be discredited according to their professor, etc., etc. Nobody wants to hire those type of people.

Manipulative sociopaths are accepted and encouraged in the workplace, quiet stressed-out types who get frustrated by tests and can't make their own decisions and want to tell strangers too much information only rust up the gears.

Application of Information (3, Insightful)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428449)

Information gathered from personality tests should be used by intelligent managers in order to maximize the potential of their subordinates by playing to their strengths? Using the information to screen out certain individuals could be useful in some _very specific_ situations, sure. Generally speaking though, it is just misuse of valuable information that thus educated person would apply in their management practices.

You do not ask an Idealist to proofread your financial documents, you do not ask a Pragmatic person to make long term strategic plans and you certainly are not going to get anything from a Realist if you ask them to brainstorm. Knowing how someone constructs their thoughts is _invaluable_. What does not do much good, however, is filtering your candidates to only one type. You are only asking for failure there, as every personality/thinking type has its vices.

Every single type.

Re:Application of Information (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428643)

Perhaps, but again, here is the problem: How can an intelligent manager properly use the information from the results of these tests, when an INTELLIGENT manager knows that the tests are notoriously inaccurate and unreliable?

Just asking.

Rewarding Dishonesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428515)

I applied for a job that required a personality test and lied on it supplying the "correct" answers. I was hired. My sister took one and was truthful about it. Stating "no" to the question "if you forgot to pay for a movie ticket would you go back after the movie and pay for it." She was not hired.

This is a real world example of a personality test rewarding dishonesty.

This type of testing could be useful if ... (1)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428533)

... if it used "properly". By that, I mean to get an idea of where to put the person. However, to judge the "quality" or "employability" of someone based on these personality profiles is not a smart idea IMHO.

Any "good" can be translated as a "bad" (and vice versa) depending on the environment and situation one is put in. I think any good company needs a range of diverse people and those people need to be placed in the appropriate environments. This could mean something as simple as the right manager, or not giving someone who is scattered mundane tasks ... or the like.

These tests really should be in place to better understand your fellow employees. Unfortunately, I doubt the metrics from these tests are not used responsibly in many places.

What's wrong with rewarding cheaters... (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428673)

after all every single performance review at a company like this will continue to do so for the rest of time.

Personality test are bullshit. (1)

fat bastard of doom (1187649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428675)

Honestly, I take very little stock in these bullshit personality tests at work. I typically have made up my mind to hire you or not in less than a minute after I started talking with you. Some of my best and most reliable employees are homeless scumbags that I let take showers in the chemical sink when we are closed, and some of my worst employees, and the ones that I fire the most, are 'normal' people who would have scored well on the test.
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