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What tests and questionnaires are best for predicting job performance?

2/12/2018

Hand filling out test.

When evaluating candidates for a position, hiring managers and staffing agencies often turn to personality tests to help with the decision-making process. These tests allow recruiters to assess soft skills like intelligence, emotional maturity and integrity. 

To choose the best assessment tool for your company, make sure to consider these three factors:

Difficult to manipulate 
The Meyers-Briggs Indicator Type and other four quadrant tests are a darling of the HR industry, with the MBIT being administered more than 50 million times since it's creation according to HR Drive. However, 4-Q tests tend to be fairly transparent, allowing test-takers to choose the options they believe are most desirable for a specific job. Widespread use means that most people have taken one before and may have even been coached on how to answer in the best way possible. Many newly created tests have a "candidness" scale that rates how likely it is for an employee to lie when answering questions. Check with the testing organization ahead of time to see where they rank in terms of candidness before making any decisions.

Measures multiple skills 
A personality test is just slightly better at predicting job performance than evaluating past work experience alone, Harvard Business Review determined. The most effective way to measure future job success is a multi-measure tool that takes into account personality, cognitive ability and interests. These types of tests are highly reliable since they are reviewing traits like intelligence that remain relatively stable throughout a person's life. By viewing a candidate from multiple perspectives, you're able to get a better view of their whole.

Predicts future performance
Rather than personality "traits," some questionnaires focus on "states," reported Harvard Business Review. Personality states can constantly change based on an employee's job or happiness, whereas personality traits tend to be more stable over time. To get the most for your money, make sure to choose a test that will give you insight on a candidate's long-term job compatibility. Ask the publishing organization if test-takers tend to get the same results when they retake the test in the future? Has the assessment been researched for predicting long-term job compatibility? 

Never be afraid to ask questions of the publisher, and don't settle for a test unless you're sure it's the best fit for you and your company. 

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