Personality Tests Don’t Work

I saw a blogger recently list a few resources that claimed they could get rid of interviews in the future.  Upon reading this article, it came down to new personality measurement tools and trait measuring tools.

Let me be brief:  They don’t work.  Even the Myers-Briggs organization, that has made a lot of money selling their personality tests to businesses to screen candidates for certain types of jobs, says that the tests are not entirely accurate and the results can even change drastically over a short period of time.

Let me be extreme:  Even if one decides to replace their entire staff of human beings with robots, they will encounter ghosts in the machine.

Let me explain:  Its been shown time and time again that personality and trait measurers don’t work.  People’s minds are too complex and the medical/psychological communities dont know enough to accurately gauge our minds to that extent with a test.  Sure, they say they do, but on the other hand, doctors use to think they could cure any ailment with leeches.  I have spoken to a number of executives that at one point, had a candidate that the personality and trait measuring tools said wouldn’t work well with a job, but the exec liked the candidate so much they went against the advice of the tool and hired them….and the candidate turned out to be their best hire ever.

So when I see people listing new tools that extol the virtues of personality tests and trait measuring, I think why not include ESP and psychics in the list?  NOTHING will replace the job interview.  You have to meet a person and spend time with them to see what comes out in the process that you couldn’t possibly predict in any other way.

Maybe they just take tests well.  Maybe they have great phone personalities and are great sales people on the phone but can’t talk to a human being confidently to their face.  Maybe they are the most brilliant computer programmer but pick their nose a lot.  Maybe upon questioning them in person, you find they are flat out lying and they wouldn’t have cracked if they weren’t sitting in your office.  Maybe they are great at everything but they make your skin crawl for no good reason, but you still don’t want to work with them.  NOTHING will ever replace doing the work, meeting someone and getting to know them in person.



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