Pre-employment personality tests are almost like a classic fashion trend that is never going to die out! Every job interview at one point will ask their candidates to fill out a multiple-choice questionnaire that aims to predict their personality type and let the hiring authority gain insight and gauge their future job performance. But does it really help, though? How useful are these pre-employment tests in their true sense?
There are varied opinions regarding the usefulness of pre-employment personality tests; however, the most common view regarding this is that just a personality test alone isn’t enough to make important decisions when hiring an employee.
Personality traits and behavioural patterns are very complex. For anyone test to define or predict a person’s future in black or white is almost impossible or will generate incorrect results even if carried out.
This brings us back to the question if pre-employment tests are useful enough to be used as a tool of measure? The answer is a conditional yes! Personality tests give insight into a person’s behavioural traits to an extent; however, insights are applied fittingly if they are assessed adequately. It is not the only way or test being used to determine the hiring of a candidate.
Let’s have a look at an example to understand how a pre-employment personality test can be used effectively.
For example, interviews are going on for the roles of a salesperson as well for an addition in the legal department, simultaneously. Two candidates are equally qualified, have all the required education and experience for their respective roles, and are made to take a pre-employment personality test. The results are, of course, very different, however, both the candidates score very low on being flexible.
In this scenario, the candidate who is being interviewed for a position in the legal team would be considered more desirable with a low flexible nature, but at the same time, the person who is eventually hired for the sales position would have to be someone who scores much higher in this regard. It simply boils down to the nature of the job requiring certain personality traits and the fact that the assessment is not entirely based only on a personality test result. Here, a pre-employment personality test is appropriately put to use without any biases.
Having said this, organizations need to remember to use pre-employment personality tests that are reliable and validated. Tests like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are not considered appropriate to determine employment, simply because the results can vary with each test, taken by the same person, and hence highly unreliable for critical decisions.
In my opinion, we can safely say that pre-employment personality tests are useful and should not be discouraged as they will help in the development of the business and are used in conjunction with other testing methods.