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Career (Con)Quest Comic

Career (Con)Quest #37: Test Time

strip #37 test time

In some HR personality tests the logic just escapes you.

If you’ve been job hunting for a while you, you’ve already heard of the popular array of HR personality tests:

  • The Caliper Profile
  • Gallup StrengthsFinder
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory

…And that’s just to name a few.

So should you really cram for each test to game the system? That depends. Some companies make a huge deal out of the personality test results and won’t let the otherwise qualified candidates advance to the next interview stage.

Is this a problematic HR practice? To some extent, yes. As Neel Doshi, co-author of Primed to Perform, How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Motivation, mentions in his interview:

“The biggest problem with personality tests is when companies weaponize them. That is–when the “results” of their test are used for justification on their progress (or lack of) at the company, whether it’s getting a promotion, being tasked with important assignments, or getting the green-light to lead an ambitious project.”

And Doshi is not alone in his thinking. Many other researchers, psychologists, and HR practitioners agree that personality tests have strong limits and should not be deemed as a decisive element of the hiring process.

The bottom line? You might want to pass on a job posting requiring you to complete a lengthy, ridiculous HR test.

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