personality assessmentPeople often refer to personality profiling as “personality” or “psychometric tests”. These words tend to be in the common vernacular and people are familiar with them. “Test” is not an accurate description when related to personality profiling – this is not a test.

PeopleMaps encourages the use of the word “assessment” when describing the purpose of a profile. This is a pioneering situation as so many profile providers, mainly those who do both psychometric and personality profiling, use “tests” interchangeably.

Testing is the appropriate language when there is a right or wrong answer, as with psychometric tests on problem solving, numeracy, literacy etc but not on people!

Personality profiling is an assessment of a person’s personality based on the answers given by them to questions posed.

Since it is self assessment there is no testing taking place. How can a person fail when assessing self? When the person completing the questionnaire provides the answers, the result should be an accurate profile of their personality reflecting behaviours they are familiar with.

That being the case, it’s not designed so that people agree with everything. They should agree about 80% of their profile. Even people who share personality characteristics will agree and disagree about different aspects, usually ones they deem less flattering!

There can be no right or wrong personality profile, though each will have a preferred work environment. Employers will benefit tremendously by providing an environment that suits the candidate’s personality. This is where profiling and even more importantly benchmarking, can play a huge role.The organisation that is good at this will improve retention, increase productivity and create a competitive advantage.

Someone employed due to their skills and experience,with no reference to their personality type could be put in the wrong environment and will not survive. The person and the organisation will both lose out because the person will leave or be fired.

Fear and failure

The very word “psychometrics” strikes fear in the heart of some people because of previous experience of completing psychometric tests dealing with numeracy literacy etc., and this can cause them to be wary of anything with the label psychometric attached.

The same holds true about the word “test”. There are very few people when they hear this word do not freeze up or at least have a slight worrying hesitation. It brings a whole baggage of it’s own. Even those people who could pass exams with flying colours still worry when this word appears because deep within the psyche nobody wants to fail. Until we have answered and received results on any tests taken, there will be apprehension, which is a perfectly normal response.

There should be no fear in completing a personality questionnaire, however faced with any sort of questionnaire some people might hesitate because of prior negative experiences.

People are generally fascinated by self and providing the questionnaire is presented to them in a non threatening manner, this should be a very positive experience.

The results of personality questionnaires can only come from the answers given. There isn’t any other information gathered. Where there is disagreement about statements this is a healthy outcome as it provides room for further discussion.

Personality profiling is a tool to be used in conjunction with other tools. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, compared an understanding of personality, to using a compass. He said that he would not for anything be without that compass.

Further Reading

You may also enjoy reading about how we made a Personality Test  that is easy to use.