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How are personality tests used to screen job applicants?

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yacel0762 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM via web

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How are personality tests used to screen job applicants?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:32 PM (Answer #1)

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Job Candidate Personality testing must meet the following criteria to be implemented legally and responsibly

  • Validity and reliability
  • Previously tested 
  • Must give the same results despite of the variables of diversity in the population. (Must not show bias)
  • Is specific to the work environment

Tests such as the MBTI (Myers-Brigg Type Indicator) are used to determine the personality traits of the potential employee in order to match the candidate to a) either the current open position or, b) to another position which may better match the applicant. These traits include perceptive abilities, introversion or extroversion, critical thinking skills, sensing versus intuition.

Other tests are used for purposes of skills and aptitudes, such as the "Customer Service Assessment test" where the abilities of potential representatives are tested, included along with interviews and resumes, to determine whether they have the appropriate skills to deal with irate and disappointed customers. 

Hence, testing is used prior to employing applicants so that those who appear to be inadequate for the position can be screened out and more effective selections can be made. As with everything, the test alone will not provide a full profile of the candidate, for which interviewing, credentials, and observations are necessary as part of a complete evaluation process. 

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