"Personality assessment." You’ve often heard this term thrown around in meetings and general conversation. But, have you ever wondered what is personality assessment, exactly?
Well, to define personality assessment in simple words, "it is a method of testing that helps in assessing an individual’s personality."
Assessing personality becomes necessary, especially when you have a job role to assign and need to find the right fit for the same. That’s why recruiters and managers use such assessments to identify the best fit while hiring for a new job profile.
But, how can a personality assessment help you as an individual?
Well, an assessment like this will help you answer some of the most important questions like:
- Where you are and where you want to go in life?
- What is the right career path for you?
- Are you more introverted or extroverted?
- Are you more logical or more emotional?
- Are you easy-going or cautious?
After all, knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie is the first step to succeeding in life.
There are multiple types of personality assessments that help identify which personality type will thrive in which type of environment.
For example, an introverted person may thrive better in an office environment as an IT specialist or an analyst, whereas an extrovert makes an amazing salesperson.
Logical people are better accountants, whereas imaginative people make better artists and inventors.
Before you pick a field of employment, first have a look at where you would thrive and work well. It makes no sense putting someone with no people skills in a sales-related field or someone who thrives on social interaction in a place where they see no-one for the entire day.
So, having a well-designed personality assessment tool is very necessary for testing and guidance. Now let’s have a look at the purpose and criteria of using such assessments.
What Are Personality Assessments Used For?
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 such assessments come into play.
By using these assessments 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 Are the Five Points of Testing Personality?
When conducting personality tests on potential employees, there are five points that personality tests are built on. These are:
- Career assessment interviews
- 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 favor of the other four.
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.
Some tests focus more on how the test is conducted, rather than what is being tested.
These tests could be qualitative, which focuses 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, moral values or interests, and plans for the future. By using this knowledge, the interviewer will know whether or not to hire the new employee.
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 are 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.
What Are the Various Types of Personality Assessments?
Personality tests are often referred to as "psychometrics," which is a branch of psychology that is focused on designing, conducting, and interpreting personality tests.
The data from these tests look at the subtle differences between people, such as their intelligence, personality traits and quirks, and how well they function in the workplace.
Types of Personality Tests
There are many variants of these personality assessments. Over 100 at least, some more different than others. However, when you take a closer look, you will notice that there are three main types of personality tests.
There are aptitude tests, trait-based assessments, and type-based assessments. As we look at these three main types, you’ll soon see which type will suit you and your business the best.
✓ Aptitude Tests
Aptitude tests measure how well a person can complete a task, how wide their knowledge is on that particular field, and what their potential is in the workplace. In these tests, a person’s skills and knowledge are analyzed subjectively and often differ, depending on the task at hand.
They’re very straightforward, and they are usually conducted in a boolean format, with yes/no, or true/false questions and answers, making up the body of the tests. These tests are popular when the job required is a high-performance job that requires quick thinking and wide knowledge.
✓ Trait-Based Assessments
Traits are like habits, everyone develops them, and this is what makes us unique, and human. As such, trait-based tests look at what traits a person has, and then the tester can use this data to work out how the person would behave in various situations.
These tests focus on traits such as "friendliness," "intelligence," and "honor," to name a few. Trait-based tests are more suited for individuals, as every person’s traits are unique.
However, because of all the facets of a person’s traits, these tests tend to take a lot longer to conduct, as opposed to type-based tests. These assessments are useful for the initial hiring process in companies. The five-factor test is a good example of this assessment.
✓ Type-Based Assessments
Type-based assessments, on the other hand, are more useful in finding out a general picture of a person’s personality and emotional groups. These tests are based, therefore, on psychological people groups, such as "introverts" and "extroverts."
These tests do not measure one’s competence in a subject, how well they can do a task, or whether they have inherent skills. Rather, these tests focus on generally unquantifiable characteristics, such as whether a person has "intuition," or whether they can "sense" (such as a "gut feeling) the right thing to do.
These tests are useful for streamlining efficiency in the workplace, by letting HR know which people should be placed together, and which should be separated. It’s also useful for team building, as the person in charge will be able to adjust the exercises to suit the personalities, rather than having a generic test. An example of this kind of test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
Let’s have a look at all of them.
What Are the Methods of Assessment Available to Measure Personality?
Here are two of the major methods of personality assessments:
The most commonly used and preferred method of personality testing is the system invented by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. They proposed that there were four deciding factors about people, which in turn allowed for 16 different personality types.
The four factors were:
What do I mean by that? Well, only of the two words in each section could be assigned to a person, which could create a combination like ISTJ, INTP, ENFJ, and so forth.
Using this as a way to define personalities proved far more effective than the original way of "People skills, or brains and logic" that people used to use. This meant that they discovered that extroverts preferred knowing a little about many things, whereas introverts preferred to specialize in depth.
People with the "TJ" combination tended to make better lawyers and judges, whereas "FJ" types made better nurses, as they were more empathetic. The entire workforce was streamlined using this data, and businesses ran infinitely smoother.
An outcome of the Myers-Briggs test is a test based on the "Big-Five Factors" of human personality, which are:
- Openness: The first factor looks at whether a person is willing to try new things, or whether they prefer tried and tested methods.
- Contentiousness: The second factor is about whether a person is organized and rigid in their planning, or more flexible.
- Extraversion: Factor number three (extraversion) is whether the person is an introvert or an extrovert.
- Agreeableness: The fourth factor - agreeableness, deals with a person’s capacity for empathy and compassion, or suspiciousness and logic. It looks at whether the person is warm, friendly, and tactful.
- Neuroticism: The final factor deals with emotional stability; whether the person feels and show emotions easily, or whether they hide everything as if life is a game of poker.
This method of personality assessment, however, didn’t come with a "guide to life" once you found out what sort of person you were.
Luckily, many people have used this way of assessing a person’s personality as a springboard to design their guides, which has been very successful.
Read More: Types of Career Assessments Recruiters Should Know About
That’s enough about the types, now have a look at how to conduct one.
How to Conduct a Personality Assessment?
A simple answer to this question would be - create an online personality assessment test.
These days, there are many online test makers that are designed to create personality test assessments in minutes.
Visit this page to find some of the best-standardized personality tests, best student online assessments, and personality tests examples.
Read More: A Guide To Creating the Perfect Personality Quiz
The Final Word
Of course, there are a few problems with personality assessments. Some people are biased about themselves, and try to paint themselves in a better light than they are.
People that are cold and calculating say they’re warm and friendly.
Some people think that they are friendly, because they haven’t met friendlier people, or all the people they meet are less socially-talented than they are.
One way to fix this is to create an online personality assessment so that the assessment will be more accurate.
To sum it all up, a personality assessment can lead HRs to the best talent acquisition. As for individuals, it can lead you to the best career options by bringing you closer to your best & worst qualities.
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