Personality at Selection Interview

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Assignment – Personality

Personality can be defined as those relatively stable enduring aspects of an individual that distinguish him/her from other people and at the same time form a basis for our predictions concerning his/her future behaviour. (Wright et al cited in Rollinson 2005) This definition represents the view that it is possible to identify an individuals stable and unchanging personality and characteristics, and that if the characteristics are identified they can be used to predict the persons future behaviour.

Organisations differ greatly in their cultures and acceptable behaviours which means that some individuals naturally fit in better than others. (Rollinson 2005:85) Job roles themselves also differ in terms of the suitability of an individual’s personality in being successful in that job role. Therefore in determining the importance of personality at selection interview we need to determine what both the role and the organisation require. (Rollinson 2005:85)

In the work environment the “fit” of a person has to be right in terms of skills and experience as well as values and needs. (Holbeche: 2002). Person-organisation fit refers to the extent to which individuals and organisations share similar characteristics (personalities) or meet each others needs. The assessment of personality is carried out to determine desirable or un-desirable traits of candidates to assess their suitability for a role and/or organisation (Arthur:2005) Getting this right can lead to job satisfaction and organisational commitment. (Kristoff:2000) When an employer is recruiting the psychological contract has some importance. The psychological contract implies a series of mutual expectations and satisfaction needs arising from the P-O relationship (Mullins:2010) P-O fit is likely to be more important than P-J fit in satisfying the psychological contract (Morley:2007) in that employees will be required to adapt to changes in tasks and gain new skills. It is argued that greater emphasis should be placed on the P-O fit as opposed to the more traditional method of P-J fit because firstly individuals will hold several roles within an organisation therefore their P-O is more important than the possibly less flexible P-J fit, they will hold the organisations values and culture closer and will have longer service therefore lowering recruitment costs. (Ree and Earles 1992) Secondly the changing nature of work requires individuals to be better at teamwork and more flexible. I believe that when recruiting graduates P-O fit is more important as opposed to P-J fit. Graduates are recruited to provide organisations with a potential pool of future managers and enhance succession possibilities. (Morley:2007) Graduates have little experience in the work environment so are less able to translate their skills, qualifications and experience into the working world. If an employer has a clear understanding of their organisations culture, personalities of other employees and can accurately determine the personalities and beliefs of the graduate they can base their decision on the graduates enthusiasm, motivation and eagerness to work rather than skills, qualifications and experience.

In a study by Wheeler et al (cited in Rollinson 2005) it was found that job satisfaction could be increased by increasing P-O fit, that is recruiting employees with similar values to the organisation. However, Wheeler also found that even though an ill-fitting individual resulted in job dissatisfaction, they would not leave the organisation unless suitable alternative work presented itself. This could lead to them being de-motivated, having poor performance and impact on relationships with colleagues. This shows the importance of getting personality right at selection interview.

Person-job (P-J) fit refers to the correlation between the individual’s skills, qualifications and experience with the requirements of a job. (Edwards:1991) and is a traditional method...
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