WHAT DO PERSONALITY TESTS MEASURE?
Business world likes personality tests very much. Test applications that begin before job interviews are used in many steps of business life. If the person is suitable for the position or not, resistance to stress, compliance with working conditions and co-workers…
The use of tests, decisions made according to tests and the meaning given to tests increase the person’s anxiety also begin to increase. Person tested shows a resistance towards both the test and practitioner and grows away from natural answers.
In fact, personality tests do not measure who or what you are personally, but measure where you are when compared to others in so many fields like extroversion, inventiveness and social competence. So, let’s say test is applied to 100 people and it says that in terms of extraversion you are below or above in the average among these people; but, it does not tell anything about how much extraverted you are or this is good or bad. As well as this, there are personality inventories that gain more detailed data. However, these are the evaluation instruments which require to be evaluated one by one and privately, reasonably long and must be handled by professionally evaluating people.
One of the main concerns of people who are applied to personality tests is if they will be considered as ridiculous or abnormal by person who looks his/her test results, accordingly if it is advantage or not.
Tests applied by employers measure at which level people are within their normal ranges of measurements. For example, they may get information about whether your attention is short or longer within normal limits but they cannot say that you have attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity. In fact, any test cannot tell about it by itself. It is a decision only made by mental health specialist by evaluating scales and clinic observations together. The anxiety about the result of test sometimes causes misleading the test. Numbers show that one out of every seven figures try to mislead the test in order to show themselves better or worse. It is good to know that the tests evaluate by considering it.
However, people, who can mislead the test successfully, are successful in evaluating social hints and acting according to them and I cannot go on without mentioning that this is actually a desired skill for employers.
On the other hand, figures that are not as successful as they think, as the test itself reveals unfortunately eliminate themselves at the very beginning. On the other hand, we cannot claim that any test is 100% trustable and valid. Many factors like length of test, measuring many properties simultaneously, type of application affect the validity and credibility of results taken from the test. Therefore, tests are mostly applied as a pre-assessment before the face to face interviews which can provide more data, in purpose of finding the general distribution related to a crowded group and seeing the person’s situation in this distribution.
Therefore, the tests are considered as pre-assessment before one on one interview that will give more information.
Considering these points it is good remind that if you are to go for a job interview and test application is inevitable the best thing you can do is being yourself.
Tests, which present the sides that you might think they are special to you and the secret realities, have not yet been created.
If you cannot get the job with existing measurements maybe it keeps you from a business life that might make you unhappy.