Personality assessments & careers

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Often the most common use of personality assessments is for company interviews with new potential employees.  It’s useful for managers in companies when they’re looking for a person to fit perfectly into a particular job slot. It makes no sense to put someone that can’t speak to people in a sales position, or someone with poor data retention in the help desk section of a company. This is where personality assessments come into play.  By using these tests and the data that comes from them, a company can correctly and efficiently place the ideal candidate for the job into the open position.

What to test for:

When conducting personality tests on potential employees, there are a few different formats and fields that personality tests are built on.  These are “Methodology”, “Attributes”, “Validity”, “Career assessment interviews” and “Target Customers”.

Although all personality tests do include these five points, each test is different, and so each test will tend to focus on one point in favour of the other four.  Although not ideal, it is done, and so it’s useful to know what to look for when choosing a test for your potential employees.

The five points of testing

The five points may be simple, but at the same time they are quite different and might clash in importance, depending on the person conducting the test.

Methodology

Some tests focus more on how the test is conducted, rather than what is being tested. These tests could be qualitative, which focus more on helping potential employees in clarifying their goals, and checking whether these goals line up with the goals of the company. Whereas other tests focus more on quantitative analysis, looking at what skills and attributes the person has, and how these can aid the company and the person in his or her desired job.

Measured attributes

The second vein of testing deals with skills and preferences.  When interviewers conduct this sort of test, they will focus on one of two things:  Skills or interests.  The potential employee will be asked questions about his or her relevant skills, their moral values or their interests and plans for the future. By using this knowledge, the interviewer will know whether or not to hire the new employee.

Validity

A problem often found with these sorts of tests - especially online tests- is that there’s no proper way to interpret and transmute the data from the test into practical, working information for the interviewer.  Therefore, some tests will focus on the validity -or usefulness- of the test, rather than the quality and questions asked.  The benefits to this sort of test is that at the end of it, any person -qualified or not- that hosts the interview will be left with workable knowledge and information.

Target customer profile

Often times, although there are many broad-spectrum tests, such as the Myers-Briggs or Careerscope tests, the data given doesn’t relate specifically to the exact career choice -such as job interviews for lawyers, doctors, mechanics and such. The tests that need to be employed have to be more specific.  So the questions asked will be relevant to the field, and possibly focus more on the personality types that suit the job. This sort of test will yield very limited results if used as a “general” test, but if used as a targeted test, the correct doctor -for example- will be chosen out of 50 seemingly identical people.

Career assessment interview

The most comprehensive of the testing types, is a direct interview with a trained and qualified psychologist.  The psychologist has to have received training in career and personality assessments, naturally.  However, because the interview won’t necessarily have to follow a rigid script -i.e; It’s adjustable depending on the potential employee-, this means that the right questions will be asked and the irrelevant ones will be skipped. The other useful attribute of having a qualified person conduct the interview, is that they will be able to correlate all the interviews and explain them to upper-management when it comes time to pick the right person for the job.

The final word

Whether you’re looking to hire a new office janitor, IT specialist, salesman or CEO, career assessments are the way to go.  It’s just the case of finding the right test for your company.

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