On another note, not related to any employment tests, the life coach, executive coach, and creativity coach fields attract numerous people and a diversified arena of training and certification environments. They're not licensed analysts or counselors, but coaches are of a wide variety, including script doctor coaches for manuscripts and screen plays, life coaches, executive coaches, and more in the wide variety of business, sports, and health environments.
You're often hired (or married) to some company or person when you pose the
least financial risk to your employer or spouse and also the least emotional
risk in a relationship where you're not being paid for your work, companionship,
or time. You also may be included into a family as family when not posing a
great emotional and/or financial risk to the others, the exception being when
you're adopted as a child or infant. Is how you're treated or included mostly
That's what makes getting a job a lot like auditioning for a relationship or
a prospective marriage or other partnership/long-term relationship. The outcome
is when you pose the least financial risk and the least emotional and physical
risks to the person who hires, marries, or partners with you.
When employers consider your personality test results, they are looking for
your ability to connect with others and communicate clearly. Being misunderstood
in communication is one of the main reasons for conflict in the workplace.
That’s why personality assessments are given by corporations—to see how you
connect with others and to measure whether you pose the least financial risk to
your potential employer. Certain types of job descriptions don’t want a
creative, artistic, bubbly personality in jobs that require adaptability to
routine, accuracy, and speed. Other job descriptions want creativity within a
set of company rules coupled with the ability to persuade, sell, motivate,
inspire, train co-workers, and attract customers while focusing on amplifying
the company’s image, purpose, and growth goals.
Connecting with co-workers and managers is the secondary reason you’re hired
or promoted. The hidden primary reason you’re hired or promoted is a financial
one. You pose the least financial risk, whether it be in insurance,
accommodation, or simply on your potential based on credentials, experience, and
certification. When a personality test is “confidential” and is sealed in your
permanent records, it may be treated as a medical record (that is, open only to
an insurance company). Or a personality test is passed around human resources
and discussed with your employer. It depends upon the specific assessment. A
test of honesty/ integrity/loyalty would be brought to the attention of your
A test of personality preference might arouse interest if your personality
choices and behavior had no relation to the specific duties of the job. For
example, if you’re an artistic personality in search of free creativity reign in
computer game design, and the job description calls for transcribing medical
records from digital or tape recordings into text, why would you be hired before
a person who prefers a more conventional job?
Employers who do get to see your personality test results are looking for a
history of behavior desirable in workplace settings. Above all you need to connect to management and co-workers. Your personality test results and behavior in
real time are a corridor, a route, and are looked upon as a passageway or
gallery through which the image and reputation of your place of employment or
corporation passes. Personality testing acts as a conveyor belt: You’re passed
along when you merge, when you don’t stand out. And at the same time you must
stand out in such a way that it increases company production, lessens risk, and
increases revenue. A personality test is a connection, link, nexus, anchor, and
bridge be- tween you and any potential a corporation offers if you use behavior
to connect customers with the company.
You’re the point at which strangers and the corporation connects. That’s why
behavior is a tool to be spliced by coaches, human resources managers, and
talent. Personality assessments turn behavior into commitments of values. What
behavior do employers want to see on a personality survey? They want to see your
personality and workplace behavior described as you would review a good
restaurant: brisk, accurate service, appropriate good taste, and sociability.
You must connect with the employer, but it must be done in a warm, friendly
manner. Simple modesty goes a long way. If the answers fall in place as to preferences,
you are ready to start team-building skills. But are you executive
mate- rial? You are if you fit the description of a good restaurant from the
previous paragraph. After all, your behavior is a mirror representing a
refection of your company’s image, potential for growth, and reputation.
Why Corporations Administer Tests, and Who Offers Them
In the last 30 years, the use of personality assessments and a wide variety
of psychological tests has dramatically increased in the corporate environment.
Building better teams, training executives to improve leadership skills, and
test- ing job applicants for honesty and loyalty, while screening out
potentially disruptive individuals, are some reasons for giving personality
assessments. Job applicants in medium-sized to large corporations in the past
were tested in job-related skills performance such as mechanical ability, typing
speed, accuracy, and yet at the same time the test publishers insisted that
personality questionnaires are not to be used for hiring or termination.
20 Questions and Answers
1. Why do corporations administer personality tests? Personality tests are
given for three reasons. First, they’re given so the corporation hires the
employee who poses the least financial risk to the corporation. A second reason
is to find ways to improve decision-making skills under reduced time pressure
among executives and to improve team-building strategies. A third reason is to
help cut down measurable increasing violence in the workplace by better
Employers are afraid of hiring liars, bullies, and loose cannons who can’t
connect with other workers, fit into the group, make good decisions under pres-
sure, or work well with teams. Whereas corporations are expected by law to hire
and accommodate people with disabilities if they can do the required job tasks,
employers don’t want disruptive, violent people in the workplace. The trouble is
corporate testing can’t screen out the potentially violent business partners.
Do you see your job as a school days type classroom?
A sore point is whether to hire a troubled worker who put on the charm at
work but could turn violent under pressure in the future. The key word is could.
Corporations want to cut risk and increase assurance with employees. Employees
want to feel safe with fellow co-workers. Employers need a flawless system with
time-tested rules to screen and train workers at all levels. Test designers have
a mission: to build into tests alarms that recognize “lies” on the answer
sheets. The exordial and sometimes hidden reasons for giving certain types of
personality profiling, integrity, and anger assessments is that some corporate
questionnaires with built-in “lie” alarms may help screen out potentially
disruptive, angry, dishonest, or violent employees without the test-taker
1. Corporations may want to withdraw attention to screening out bullies
that assault and focus on testing for self-insight and honesty. Employers care
how workers solve conflicts. Increased insurance premiums can occur when a
worker harasses or intimidates other workers and that worker’s action causes
harm. Workplace violence is on the upswing. According to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistic’s 2005 census, one out of five deaths in the workplace was
caused by assaults or self-inflicted injuries in California. Eighty-seven people
in California died in 2005 from violent acts in the workplace, up significantly
from 52 in 2004, according to a census of fatal workplace injuries from the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Can corporate personality questionnaires help prevent some types of workplace
violence? Corporations administer personality assessments indirectly to help
prevent injuries on the job due to anger-management problems. The ultimate goal
of the assessment is to find out how employees can avoid conflict and
miscommunication by seeking self-insight from the testing. At the same time a
test should help save time and increase production levels, revenues, and
employee turnover, including downtime due to employee conflicts. Human resources
personnel, coaches, psychologists, and instructional designers call corporate
personality tests “assessments.” Tests of honesty or integrity usually are
referred to as “personality surveys.”
These types of assessments also can be labeled questionnaires, indicators,
classifiers, sorters, or profilers. All of them have several goals in common: to
provide self-insight, explore values, and reveal habits of how people take in
information, process data, and make decisions.
2. Who offers corporate assessments? Large companies, institutions, schools,
the military, and the government as well as large retailers and temporary
services often give corporate assessments, ranging from job skills and abilities
assessments to personality questionnaires.
3. What kind of corporate tests are given? Personality assessments and profiles,
decision-making tests, tests of cognitive intelligence or critical thinking,
and creativity tests usually are given. Some personality surveys include tests
of integrity/honesty and may include questionnaires to screen out angry,
potentially disruptive job applicants from the corporate workplace. Other
tests may be related to leadership and team-building skills, such as avoiding
blind spots by overlooking important details before making decisions that might
derail an executive early on in the individual’s career. Physical endurance
exams are given for some jobs, general health exams for others, and exams for
drugs for still other jobs. Some personality assessments also include
questionnaires to select career or job-related interest niche areas, such as a
preference for creative or artistic work, routine work, clerical work, academic
work, or realistic work.
4. To whom are the tests given? Managers? Job applicants? Tests are given to
job applicants and managers. Executives take personality tests to develop and
improve specific blind spots in their leadership skills or decision-making
habits. Most personality tests in corporate settings are used for team-building,
and the tests may be given by coaches, instructional designers, or members of
the HR department. In retail settings, tests of honesty may be scored by
computers but given by retail managers or human resources department supervisors
5. Why do corporations place so much emphasis on tests? Employers test all
levels of workers to see how they deal with conflicts, solve problems, perform
specific job skills, and obtain results or answers that increase production and
pose the least financial risk to the company. An exception is the cost of
accommodation for people with disabilities. Personality assessments provide
self-insight into revealing behavior such as impatience. Business leaders need
reliable systems to validate concepts. Results must be tangible, measurable, and
easy to follow. To maintain marketability, executives require a system of
proactive steps. Employers are looking for confidence, en- durance, and
resilience in workers.
6. What should you look for in a test? Make sure you know what your rights
are and that questions on a test relate specifically to the type of work or job
description you’ll be doing and are not about your personal life outside the
workplace. Look for questions that help guide you to the best-fit job niche or
the best way to make decisions under stress. Most personality questionnaire
responses are looking for normal responses, what is polite in a corporate
setting. Empathy is important. Put yourself in the other person’s place and
respond in a way that demonstrates how you’d like to be treated in a work
setting. Look for clarity and expert, relatively flawless validation in a test.
The questions should be specific and not vague or ambiguous. Simple answers that
are clear to understand are best. Be honest, and don’t try to trick the test,
because most tests have built-in lie detectors that sound the alarm. In a
general personality test, your goal is to match your personality with the
character traits and “vision” of the corporation’s present leaders for your
specific job duties and for the firm’s growth plans. Companies have two types of
character traits: traditional or forward-looking. They are either
change-oriented or rely on imitating successful, larger corporations where rules
have worked well in the past and are still working. They will look for people
who fit into their philosophy.
7. What’s the difference between personality, creativity, job-interest
category, and abilities tests? A personality assessment is a questionnaire that
lets you choose what character trait feels most comfortable or best fits your
actions, interests, and responses. It’s an assessment of self-insight. A
creativity test lets you apply your imagination to solve real problems that get
results. A job-interest category is a questionnaire of your specific interests
in job descriptions and duties. An abilities test shows you how well you perform
in critical thinking, reading comprehension, cognitive intelligence, job skills,
or any other specific ability, such as clerical aptitude.
8. How do personality tests differ from abilities tests? Personality
assessments have no right or wrong answers. They are designed to give you
self-insight into what your preferences are. Do you make decisions quickly or
take a lot of time to make sure you don’t overlook important details? Abilities
tests measure reasoning, comprehension, or job skills. Personality
questionnaires are about insight, values, and integrity. They also may include
hobby-type interests. The purpose is to find out what you really enjoy doing
with your time. Personality assessments measure how you take in information, use
the information, and make decisions. Abilities tests are about performance in
specific skills. Some abilities tests measure critical thinking and/ or abstract
reasoning, mechanical, numerical, or spatial abilities. Other abilities tests
measure reading comprehension skills.
9. What do abilities and personality tests measure? Abilities tests measure
skills, reasoning, or aptitude. Personality assessments measure values,
self-insight, and career or hobby interests. Integrity questionnaires measure
honesty or loyalty. Job-task inventories measure career-related preferences.
Other tests measure anger management, behavior, or decision-making.
Why Corporations Administer Tests, and Who Offers Them
10. How are abilities measured? Abilities are measured by tests of
achievement, advanced placement, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, clerical
reasoning, specific subject performance, job-related skills performance, reading
comprehension, verbal ability, analogies, or other verbal, mathematical,
spatial, or mechanical tests that measure performance and skills, usually
related to the job or to critical thinking and reasoning. There may also be
tests for leadership skills and abilities, or for decision- making abilities
where what is measured is a peer-evaluated agreement on what constitutes a
“good” decision or “good” leadership skills in that particular corporation.
Other leadership abilities tests may be generalized and apply to any type of
business. Leadership abilities include being outgoing and having
easy-to-understand speaking ability. Peers also need to describe you as being
somewhat charismatic or enthusiastic about a subject while speaking or writing.
Leadership ability also depends upon motivating people to follow your facts and
reasoning backed up by motivational enthusiasm.
11. Where are the results applied in an employment situation? Test results are
filed in an employee’s permanent record in a corporation’s human resources
department or in a special file set aside for test results.
12. How can you prepare to take corporate personality tests? Make sure your
biorhythms are relaxed and not under stress. Get rest, be alert, and eat
balanced meals. Take the practice tests in this book and learn what the employer
expects of you on the job and what is expected of you on the test. Know what
your legal rights are regarding answering personal questions. Are the questions
related to job performance, behavior, specialized skills, or personality and
general interest preferences? Various federal and state lows protect the rights
and the privacy of all prospective employees. Before administering personality
tests, employers determine the legal limits of their testing. Generally, the
tests cannot discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, or national
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits inquiring into mental
illness, so the tests measure personality, not psychological abnormalities.
Understand how to take the test, and be honest. Know enough about your- self so
that you have self-insight. Look over sample tests for foresight, insight, and
hindsight. Learn what pitfalls to avoid by reading about the test and finding
out whether your personality matches closely with that of the leaders in your
corporation in regard to their goals for the company. If you’re forward-looking
and the company is traditional, is there a job for you with that company that
allows you to be change-oriented? Or will your job be routine for many decades?
The best way to prepare for a personality assessment is to find out through
research whether your personality matches the character traits of the
corporation’s leaders and supervisors in your department.
13. Who scores the tests? Personality questionnaires may be self-scored, scored
by computers, or sent away for scoring to the test publisher’s psychometrics
division. Or they may be scored by the human resources department of your
corporation. Some tests are scored by instructional designers, by outsourced
coaches, or by organizational, industrial, and social psychologists hired by the
company as consult- ants or clients.
14. What do the scores mean or how are they applied? Scores on personality
questionnaires usually are represented by alphabetical letters or words that
symbolize your dominant personality style. There are no right or wrong answers,
only self-insight gained by understanding how the assessments are interpreted.
Look for detailed rather than generalized interpretations. Explanations may be
given instead of numerical scores.
The point is not to see how high your score is, but what personality traits
dominate the way you prefer to observe, process information, and make decisions.
Personality assessments measure what you choose to reveal that are the most
comfortable paths for you to take in dealing with choices. An example is whether
you prefer to plan ahead or be surprised. These letters or words that describe
your dominant personality preferences simply tell you what ways of responding
you favor. You answer the questions by selecting what feels most comfortable,
most like the “real” you.
15. How do the scores influence whether you’ll be hired or promoted? You’re
not supposed to be hired or promoted from a personality test, as it has no
bearing on your job skills or performance. It’s about self-insight on what
responses feel most healthy and pose the least wear and tear on your body and
mind in the long run. The purpose of a personality test also is to screen out
dishonest, disruptive potential employees from a pool of job applicants.
Personality tests also let you match your preferences and goals with the
preferences and goals of the leaders of your corporation. Any personality can do
most any type of job, but outgoing people may be energized, engaged, and remain
in a joyous mood longer in a job that requires constant talking with people face
to face, whereas reflective people who enjoy working alone may become stressed,
impatient, and tired by constant daily face- to-face contact with people who
need information quickly.
The personality assessment is designed to find out what type of activity
frustrates you the most—working alone or working face-to-face with people.
There’s another factor: time flexibility in work versus rigid, company-set time
requirements. A personality assessment helps match what feels healthy to you
with the actual tasks of your job on a long-term daily basis. Personality tests
influence you because they are about self-insight, behavior, and choice. Your
test responses may change from day to day unless you really know yourself and
what feels comfortable for you. It’s all about self-insight, foresight, and
hindsight, and about finding your own pitfalls to avoid.
Your scores will influence your job only if your employer wants the same
personality style as himself/herself. Legally, you’re not supposed to be hired
or fired by the results of a personality test that has no relation to job skills
and no wrong answers. However, tests of honesty, certain values, or anger are
often used to screen out angry, potentially disruptive job applicants or
disturbed people. How well do you connect with your co-workers? What do they
think of you? All these considerations can be compared by looking at differences
on personality tests between you, your employers, and your co-workers.
Your employer really wants to screen out people who are troubled and/or
problematic from his or her corporation, along with bullies and people filled
with rage directed at co-workers and those with problems and habits that
distract from their ability to do the job well and on time. Personality tests
may be given to help prevent violence in the workplace. You’re hired when you
can connect with the group and fit in with the rest of the workers, in addition
to posing the least financial risk to the employer.
16. What do personality tests measure? Personality assessments measure
choice, preference, values, behavior, decisions, attitudes, integrity, and
general or job-related interests.
17. What good are decision-making tests? They help you avoid blind spots due
to overlooked details. Reduced time pressure with increased information affects
decision-making ability. The problem is that the time allowed to make
decisions at work is rapidly decreasing as the amount of information coming in
to corporations is increasing. Training in making good and quicker decisions is
provided to find middle ground. How do you decide under increasing pressure? You
learn to prioritize and multitask in improved ways.
18. Why do test results vary for day to day? Answers given under stress may
vary at different times, moods, and attitudes. That’s why your score on
personality tests will change unless you really know yourself (self-insight
19. Who decides how good your decisions are? Peers, coaches, and employers
decide whether your decisions are good based on whether all important details
were considered under the pressure and stress of reduced time. If important
information or values were overlooked and decisions made too hastily, it can
be an indication of future poor decision-making. Coaches and consultants, human
relations managers, instructional designers, or organizational psychologists may
be hired as consultants to train managers in team-building and decision-making
as well as administer personality profiling tests to discern leadership skills
followed up by training in decision-making and leadership.
20. For what main reasons are you hired or promoted? When you pose the least
financial risk to and connect with your employer, your co-workers, and your
division manager’s growth vision and present image of the company. You’ll be
hired if your job skills meet the requirements of the job, and your personality
traits make comfortable matches with the character traits of the corporation’s
leaders. You’re also hired if your age and health aren’t factors with co-workers
Looking for some answers? The new trend is the bio-inventory. It blurs
boundaries between personality profiling and cognitive abilities testing. It’s a
variation on personality profiling currently used to evaluate learning
strategies across institutions.
Originally, the bio-inventory assessed teaching and learning in biology.
After “being implemented” in the corporate world, the bio-inventory currently
is used to assess the effectiveness of many different types of tutorials as
learning tools. Corporate assessments can be designed to test almost anything
that can be measured and validated. The bio-inventory and other applications
from academia are increasingly being adapted and used in corporate testing. The
last instrument an employer wants is a test that hasn’t been validated and re-
viewed as reliable.
Assessments such as the bio-inventory, job simulation, and culture-free tests
appeal to corporate leaders because such tests rely on systems that have gone
through many implementations and iterations. The test adaptation process
resembles technical documentation publishing. The following sample bio-inventory
test is not only a test of knowledge but also is a tutorial. The words on the
test can be about personality traits or about a specific subject or combine both
fields. The terminology can have a built-in personality classifier.
Those with enough interest in the subject will take the time to look up word
meanings in a glossary provided with the test of the terminology. Any subject
matter can be included in a hybrid tutorial that could combine learning tools
with personality assessments or with knowledge of specific job-related
terminology, as in my medical terminology assessment and tutorial, which appears
in Appendix H. Various bio-inventory tests, which also are tutorials, contain
fields that go through revisions prior to being published for corporate use. New
applications are constantly being found for tests.
Assessments that have been measured, validated, and reviewed in
classrooms are adapted for corporate use for a good reason. These tests appeal
to executives because the assessments went through many editions within the
system and are very reliable. They appeal to managers who “go by the book.” To
make a test more useful, it can be designed as a learning tutorial.
Why learn only about a subject or its terminology when you also can learn
about your personality, interests, or choice of a career at the same time? It’s
all about benchmarking—relying on tradition, what worked in the past, and
imitating successful giants. If it works, it doesn’t need to be fixed. That’s
why assessments that historically fit into systems appeal to corporate leaders.
They work. Tests successfully used in schools can be adapted for corporations.
Even benchmarking needs a new take, a fresh new angle for learning to extend its
usefulness. That’s why one of the newest trends in corporate testing is using
the bio- inventory test that doubles as a learning tutorial.
These new trends even put a learning curve and a fresh spin on traditional
testing. Bio-inventory tutorials have two uses in the corporate world: imparting
job-related knowledge and self- insight at the same time. So now you have to
research how testing employees is related to dealing with conflicts. Then the
questions is whether the corporation shapes peoples lives, how much, and do
individual differences shape numerous corporate teams?