How to get Psychometric tests to help you?

Recently, I was interviewing people and it was averaging 3 Skype calls and 2 in person meetings every day. Quite crazy it was! Soon I drifted in a mode, where one would look at macro behaviors to conclude people’s personality but I can confidently say that it is dangerous! It is humanly impossible to make consistent conclusions in such a high pressure circumstance and your company runs the risk of limited understanding and personal biases of one person.

I immediately looked for psychometric solutions to save us from this menace and also provide scientific ways to understand people’s personality. Soon, an award-winning and well-known solution provider got in touch and their sales guy did a brilliant job of convincing me why they are best suited to us. Soon I got a demo account and as a natural step forward, I wanted to validate accuracy of results.

I attempted the test myself, the “Situation Judgment Test” score was quite impressive, so I din’t bother much but “Personality Test” result was not that straight forward. Since it was me, I could drive logical conclusions, which made the challenge of validating the accuracy of results even bigger.

  • Can the score be taken at its face value to make hiring decisions?
  • If not, how to drive logical conclusions for new people?

While I immediately got a senior colleague to take the test for the help but the confusion persisted; we had to still apply mind to make logical conclusions. What do you do in such a case?

And then I decided to take the test again, to check the degree of variation in my scores itself. The outcome is really interesting and helped me a lot in driving better conclusions for new hires. Here is what I found

Big-5 Model for Personality Assessment

E = Extraversion
C = Conscientiousness
ES = Emotional Stability
O = Openness
A = Agreeableness

Both the test show how I’m low on Extraversion (i.e. reclusive, shy, silent, introvert etc.) in both the cases. It actually depends on what kind of group I’m in but on a broad level I found it okay. I was also okay with three more trait scores such as ES, O and A in the first result but conscientiousness score improved in the second result. Below is the comparative analysis and conclusions that could be driven

  1. Top (O) and Bottom (E) traits came out constant sharply (although actual rating has some deviation). I concluded that the algorithm to compute both O & E score has some stability.
  2. Two Traits (ES and A) jumped one level each. Deviation in A is not high although it jumped a level being a boundary case. Therefore, approach to compute A’s score still seems fine.
  3. Deviation in ES score is significant. It definitely needs attention due to significant deviation.
  4. Conscientiousness is the only trait which jumped two levels with high deviation in score. This particular trait I feel is not properly computed and needs attention; for now I’m ignoring this trait for all the candidates being tested.

Having tested these tests over multiple hires and potential recruits, I absolutely understand that statistical models are not fool proof but they do provide some indicative personality traits. It is highly suggested that the tests be used for some time over a bigger sample of people to either understand their accuracy patterns or reject the solution for it to be any useful. Otherwise, it is highly likely that despite the availability of such scientific solutions, we will end up making incorrect conclusions.

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