Frequently Asked Questions about Personality Testing for Hiring and Promotion Decisions

1.  Who Should Be Asked to Complete Personality Tests?

We recommend that the personality assessment be used for all applicants or candidates for jobs within your company where performance has a significant impact on the company's success. This includes individual contributors, entry-level supervisory and managerial positions, and development, sales, and customer service positions. Remember, the more objective information you have about the strengths and liabilities that people bring to the job, the better your training, coaching and mentoring will be.

The decision about which positions to use objective information from personality tests should be based on the impact that people in those positions can have on your company's performance and success. Ask yourself who interacts most often and most directly with your customers? Who is responsible for the morale and performance of other employees? Where are you looking for individuals with potential who can be developed and trained to be key managers in the future? That's who you should be testing and developing.

Specifically, we recommend our Management Potential Assessment for entry-level supervisory or management positions, and particularly when you are considering promotions for incumbent hourly employees.

We recommend our Performance Profile Assessment for executive, senior management, and individual contributor positions where the impact of a wrong hiring or promotion decision will have a greater effect on the company's productivity.​

2.  Is It Legal to Use Personality Tests?

Yes, it is legal in the United States to use validated employment tests that are job-relevant. We provide that assurance (and data to back it up) that our Management Potential Assessment and Performance Profile Assessments are validated.  They are written entirely in terms of work-related attitudes and situations.  Job relevance, as applied to employment tests, means that there must be a demonstrable link between what the test measures and what the job requires. Federal and state laws, as well as professional standards among test developers, require that tests be job-related.

The questions that the candidate answers on our personality tests are all written from the point of view of on-the-job activities and attitudes.

3.  How Can I Know Whether a Candidate Is Faking Their Answers to Look Good?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked because of the reasonable assumption that people will try to look good on a questionnaire that is being used to decide whether or not they will be offered a job or promotion.

Most people, during a hiring or promotion selection process, do indeed try to "put their best foot forward" and provide answers (whether to an interviewer or a questionnaire) that "look good," but there are large differences among people in how much or to what degree they actually do so. It turns out that there is considerable scientific evidence on this question.

We have built Reality Check Technology into our general personality questionnaires. The results that you see are scientifically adjusted, if necessary, to indicate person's actual underlying attitudes and work-related personality strengths and concerns.

4.  When Should Personality Tests Be Used in a Hiring or Selection Process?

That ultimately depends on each company's information and process needs, but there are three important points to keep in mind:

  • First, at whatever point in the process you administer a personality test, it must be administered to all candidates who reach that point;
  • Second, personality testing should be used only after basic job skills/knowledge have been established;
  • Third, the results of personality tests should always be used in addition to all other sources of job-relevant information you have about a candidate.

Do you have other questions?  Call our toll-free number (800) 886-4356 so that we can help you!