Personality Testing During the Hiring Process
Personality testing is not a new topic. What is new is the ongoing shift in mindset that has diluted the value of personality testing during the hiring process and only finds a value in using personality testing after the candidate has joined the organization. This will be challenged by first providing a brief history on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and reviewing the years of dedicated research that went into the development of the test. Second, it will reveal the correlations of the test results to job requirements through specific examples. Third, it will discuss why applicant honesty and company policy makes personality testing necessary. Fourth, it will identify and support how many organizations successfully use the MBTI for applications other than pre-employment. Finally, organizations utilizing personality testing, specifically the MBTI, as a part the hiring process will identify the strongest and most compatible candidate for the required organizational needs. Many organizations are following the notion that personality tests have no relevance to job performance and should not be used as a tool to support the hiring process; however, it can be used appropriately for leadership identification, self-awareness and team building (Robbins & Judge, 2008). The testing of personalities was at its peak in the early nineteen fifties with MBTI leading the way (Overholt, 2004). Banks initially used the MBTI as a pre-screening tool in nineteen forty six. Not one or two banks, but the entire industry was committed to utilizing the MBTI. This concept of capturing personality was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Cook Briggs. They performed rigorous studies of some earlier work by a Swiss psychiatrist by the name of Carl Jung. The first assessment was a couple of simple questionnaires that would gauge people by their personality type. There are sixteen possible types that are configured out of four specific categories. The dedication of the Myers-Briggs team was unsurpassed. Even after her mother passed away, Myers spent her life advancing this body of work. (Rubis et al., 2005) For those who may not be familiar with the structure of the test, here are the parameters. There are one hundred questions that are situational based. The participant is to choose the answer that best describes the general actions or feelings they usually have when in that situation (Robbins & Judge, 2008). The questions are built around general concepts of personality, and by answering the questions it helps to reveal the participant’s personality type (Pepper, Kolesnikov-Jessop, & Herman, 2005). There is no right or wrong when answering. The questions are open to interpretation, because every question is presented on logical opposition (Bentley, 2007). The participant simply determines which one fits them the best. Some examples of the questions a participant would be asked are as follows: "Would you rather be considered a practical person or an ingenious person?", and: "Does following a schedule appeal to you or cramp you?" (Ross, n.p.) Once the participant finishes the test, the answers are consolidated into one of the sixteen personality types. Anyone that takes the test will fit into one of the sixteen personality types that the MBTI generates (Rutzick, 2007, June). To understand how the MBTI can be beneficial in the hiring process, a further definition of the different personality types is necessary. Robbins & Judge (2008) state the following: Individuals are classified as extroverted or introverted (E or I), sensing or intuitive (S or N), thinking or feeling (Tor F), judging or perceptive (J or P). These terms are defined as follows: Extroverted verses introverted. Extroverted individuals are outgoing and assertive. Introverts are quiet and shy. Sensing verses Intuitive. Sensing types are practical and prefer routine and order. Intuitives rely on...
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