Pre-employment personality tests

  1. At least I guess thats what it was. I was kind of taken by surprise at being plunked down in front of a puter before the interview even started.

    I'm sharp enough to figure there are answers that are more acceptable than others. Can someone tell me what is the deal with the option of "neither agree or disagree? Is this a decent answer for those questions where the answers were too rigid and while one or more might have sort of been ok but not just right? There were some like "I believe all people in high positions worked very hard for their job" I ended up putting that I agreed with the statement but all is a pretty broad statement.

    Thanks, Jules
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   vampiregirl
    I have no clue about the "agree or disagree" option. I too was very perplexed when I was given a personality test when I went to interview for my current position. I had heard of personality tests affecting job offers.

    The company I work for however, I think put the personality tests to very good use. They use them to match up a new employee with a trainer with a compatible personality. In most cases (and I've worked here over 2 years), the match has been a positive thing. They also review the results of our personality test with us after a couple months of employment. I was surprised at the accuracy. I even learned a little about myself that I hadn't thought about (or didn't want to)
  4. by   abooker
    I don't know about your particular test, but many of this type are assessing the "big five" personality factors - extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Your test seems to be trying to measure your attitude towards management, perhaps? That "neither agree nor disagree" option fits together with other responses to arrive at a total score. The typical test construction usually allows you to moderately agree or moderately disagree, in addition to strongly agree or strongly disagree. Here are sites for tests someone can take for fun, or to familiarize themselves with the types of questions they might encounter in an employment setting:

    The Big Five Personality Test

    IPIP NEO-PI, Introductory Information
  5. by   Jules A
    Thank you both for replying. It was kind of interesting and I would like to have gotten some input as to my results. There were definitely questions about my work style and team attitudes also. The answer options were from strongly agree to strongly disagree. It was the neither agree or disagree in the middle that threw me.

    I'm going to try the test links to prepare myself for the next one! Thanks again. Jules
  6. by   Batman24
    Do you have to answer everything?! I just checked the link that abooker provided and I don't think my religious or political standing is any of anyone's business. That seems like an invasion of my privacy. Do items such as this often show up on a routine basis?! What happens if you leave them blank?! I will be taking the NET and I belive they do assessments like this as well.

    I'ver never seen the neither agree or diagree option. That's interesting. I wonder if it is to avoid answering the question due to the reasons I mentioned above.
  7. by   Jules A
    Quote from Batman24
    Do you have to answer everything?! I just checked the link that abooker provided and I don't think my religious or political standing is any of anyone's business. That seems like an invasion of my privacy. Do items such as this often show up on a routine basis?! What happens if you leave them blank?! I will be taking the NET and I belive they do assessments like this as well.

    I'ver never seen the neither agree or diagree option. That's interesting. I wonder if it is to avoid answering the question due to the reasons I mentioned above.
    I don't know if you could leave something blank, thats a good question. The one I just took didn't have anything about religious beliefs or anything that made me feel uncomfortable along those lines. There were a couple of questions that I interpreted as trying to figure out if you were cool with different cultures but nothing invasive, imo. Best of luck to you. Jules
  8. by   RunningWithScissors
    Years ago I applies at an inner city hospital and was given a personality test face-to-face, not written. They want to weed out the bad apples before they hire them, and several times the "how do you deal with difficult people" theme emerged.

    They wanted to hire me, but I saw red flags all over the place; if they are concerned about ME working with difficult people, it MUST BE a toxic place to work!!!!!
  9. by   abooker
    Employers should not ask you anything prior to employment about your religious, political, or sexual preferences or disability status. They also shouldn't ask if you have kids (and you don't have to tell them any of the above, or other factors about your personal life). Lawsuits happen when people asked certain types of questions are not hired because they can claim discrimination. If you are asked these types of questions, you certainly don't have to answer them. After the job offer, they might ask about disability status so they can plan any accomodations that might be needed.

    The actual employment tests are proprietary - they're copyrighted and not freely available on the web, and there is debate about whether they are actually even helpful in improving employee "quality" or "fit" or whatever the employer's goals are. There's another huge debate about whether people fake these tests or not, and another about whether such possible faking is relevant. The industrial/organizational psychologists who make the employment tests are different from the personality psychologists who create the theories that these tests are - or should be - based on. The links I provided are from personality psychologists; the other type seem to be secretive and get all mysterious about their methodologies and objectives.

    My nursing school gave us all a Critical Thinking Test from Arnett Development Corporation when we took their NCLEX preparation. Later, our teacher handed out the raw scores from this test, as an "Individual Student Summary Report". But the raw scores aren't helpful (you want to know how you compare with others in your group) and the sample sizes were extremely small (30 questions to determine our "critical thinking competencies" with only 5-7 questions each for the 5 areas they were assessing). I can't comment on this at all because I don't want to get sued, and I'm not a psychologist or a statistician, but I have studied both, and I think there is a lot of money to be made in convincing lazy managers that a simple but expensive test will reduce or eliminate problems in the workplace. (Problems caused by spending money on consultants rather than on staffing or resources, perhaps?) I think this is a huge problem in the healthcare industry because we are such a huge industry.
    Last edit by abooker on Jan 5, '07 : Reason: typo
  10. by   Batman24
    Thanks to those who answered my questions. My understanding is the same as yours in regards to political, etc. questions. I am certified in employment law and I am often shocked by what people try to get by their employees. They should know better.

    I have to take the NET which I know includes stress level, testing skills, etc. That crap bugs me more than the actual test.
  11. by   fascinoma
    My dad is an important person in one of the companies that makes these tests.

    I think the tests are a crock. Much of the time, tests are administered just to see if the employee will even finish the test.
  12. by   CHATSDALE
    usually if a question has buzz words like never or always there is a hook in there somewhere
    i don't believe that they can tell much about you . i took a appitude test once that said i was suited for office work not me not in this world
  13. by   anonymurse
    Shoot, relax, they need you. Take the test, pee in the bottle, go to work.
  14. by   busylady61
    Quote from Batman24
    I have to take the NET which I know includes stress level, testing skills, etc. That crap bugs me more than the actual test.

    I passed the NET reading/math sections with flying colors.

    I bombed the "test taking skills" part. ("frustration" level)

    Ha! Let's see if the powers that be can figure that one out. .....

close