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Employers Using Personality Tests to Judge Job Candidates

There comes a time in most of our early educational lives when our personalities are put to the test to see which careers we should consider. When they're given at too young an age, the tests are brushed aside as meaningless fun, but more employers have started implementing personality tests to determine if a candidate has the qualities necessary to be successful in a particular position. Find out more about the trend (which makes much more sense than hiring based on handwriting) when you


According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 80 percent of mid-size and large companies use personality and ability assessments for job candidates or new hires. Scott Erker, a senior vice president at Development Dimensions International, notes that companies can reduce turnover by 50 percent by using these tests to better ensure candidates are well suited for open positions. Because the tests are so valuable in saving time and money, some companies are even using assessment tests for applicants before they're invited for an interview.

Personality and ability assessment tests allow for a better understanding of a worker's skills and their methods for completing tasks, but they can also help workers achieve a better understanding of themselves. It's best not to try and manipulate the tests so that you don't end up working in a job you despise or are incapable of doing well. However, Erker says that you can learn more about a company and job by learning how and why a certain test is used.


Join The Conversation
thelorax thelorax 8 years
When I was looking for my first summer job, two places I applied, Blockbuster and Target, had you take a computerized personality test before they'd even give you an application. I didn't get the jobs...and I have to say that I got a kick out of telling people that I failed a personality test. I was a strange kid.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
omg - i had to take a personality test at my last agency - not to get hired, but becuase they wanted to get the characteristics that i had for my job to find other people who would be similar since apparently i was good at what i did and a good fit for the agency/department. i don't know if i would feel comfortable having to take a test like that to GET a job. it's kind of like sorting through all the people based on a laundry list of things rather than taking a person for how they appear. sometimes it's ok...but i don't know. i might have to sit with this one for a bit.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I think this is pretty okay. If the test indicates you're not a good match, you probably wouldn't last long in the job anyway. Better this than them hiring you and then leaving you with a spotty employment record when it doesn't work out (short employment time, no good references...).
silverpenny013 silverpenny013 8 years
I had to take one for my current job... it had a lot of repetitive questions and I was a little afraid that it would come back saying that I'm bipolar or something. But I don't know of anyone who has actually "failed" it, so....
verily verily 8 years
I had to take it for a gov't job I applied for. I failed apparently. ;)
amygem amygem 8 years
I had to take one of these tests for a position I applied to (and almost ended up in) last year. I was a little uneasy about it.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I guess it would depend. But how does the employer know if the potential employee is answering truthfully or not? Could people "fake out" these tests, especially if they can figure out what the employer is looking for?
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I did this for my current company. However, there is one company they do this for all of their candidates even if you are qualified ace the interview, and get glowing reference reviews --- if you fail their personality test you are out of the running. I have a friend who has been recruiting for this company for three years and the company really believes in there product especially since they market this test for others. The sad thing is my friend has been keeping a spreadsheet which candidates don't work out through this test.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
I guess it depends on the job. I interviewed new hires at my last job, and most of the people I liked worked out, but then again a large part of the job was dealing with clients and vendors, so the interaction of a job interview was maybe a better measure than normal. Also, I think a lot of people don't ask good questions when they interview. But I was given a personality test at another job. I remember being weirded out because one of the questions was like, "Do you enjoy soap operas?" and I was embarrassed to asnwer.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 8 years
Back in my own country, some companies require personality tests after the interview....especially positions that require social or people interaction.
syako syako 8 years
I've read that a job interview is the worst predictor of job performance. So other things helping out would not hurt right? But these companies need to make darn sure these are absolutely the most valid and reliable personality measures out there, otherwise they could be in for some pretty nasty lawsuits from candidates who were not chosen based on the scores.
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