Are personality test becoming the norm when applying for tech jobs?

matt333matt333 Bay AreaMember Posts: 271 ■■■■□□□□□□
i just finished a pretty long personality test and I'm wondering at what stage does is the personality test score > then the technical skills? i feel a little over qualified for the position, i definitely have the skills required, but I never know how companies view personality test is it just a check box? crazy[] not crazy[].. team player etc. or would they hire someone with less technical skills but had I better personality score
that being said i do think i know what they are looking for.. but one never truly knowsicon_confused.gif:
Studying: Automating Everything, network API's, Python etc.. 


  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,525 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I haven't had to take very many personality tests, so I can't say they are the norm. My feeling is that HR departments use these as a simple way of eliminating candidates that are not a good fit for the company, so passing means you move on, but failing means you won't be considered for the position. But regardless of whether or not a company administers a formal personality test, the interview will test your personality. If during the interview you come across as someone who isn't a good fit for the team or company, for example, you will have failed and won't be considered. Personally, I try to answer the the questions truthfully. If HR really decides to not consider my application due to my honest answers on a personality test, it is probably for the best. However, I don't think I've ever been rejected due to my responses on such a test. icon_cool.gif

    One time during an interview for a sysadmin position at a credit union, the hiring manager actually brought up one of my responses to the personality test I had taken. The test had a question like, "is bending rules okay?", and I had responded "maybe" (I guess anything other than "definitely no" was a red flag). When the hiring manager brought up my response, I asked him if his credit union offered CDs, and obviously they did, so I proceeded to explain how CDs were invented to get around a financial regulation, and offering CDs was essentially bending a rule (I have a BS in economics, so I know some of the history of banking and finance). I guess that could have been why I didn't get an offer, but I wasn't interested anyway after I found out they were still using Novell. :D
    MCSA 2003, LFCS, LFCE (expired), VCP6-DCV
  • netsysllcnetsysllc Senior Member Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have seen them more often. My employer is not currently requiring them but might soon. Every current employee has taken one. It is interesting to see everybody's results and gives you a good idea how to communicate with them or what type of work style is better for them.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Senior Member Member Posts: 4,024
    Yeah, I know a few employers who like to give out DISC tests to have an idea of where to put folks.

    For example, I am a high D personality in DISC terms. If you put me in charge of or having to work really closely with a high C person... it's not going to end well, I will make the high C cry and eventually quit.

    As a manager, it would be valuable to me to know my teams personality types, as it would tell me the most effective way to communicate with and coach a person. Again, as a high D, if I went at the high C in my normal manner, it wouldn't help, but if I'm aware of someones personality type, I can tone down my D-ness and communicate with them on a level that they will understand, and hopefully, appreciate.

    And finally, would it be used in placement? Possibly. Again, if you have to work with others, you need to know if someone is going to fit in. Tossing a bunch of conflicting personality types together just means you get to eternally go through the hiring process, as your turn over will be atrocious.

    I don't see personality tests as a bad thing as long as they're used in the vein of 'he who has the most information wins' as opposed to an absolute determination of worthiness.
  • RouteThisWayRouteThisWay Senior Member Member Posts: 514
    My company does an intelligence test. It is 100 questions and you have 20 minutes to do it. The score is based on how you approach the test more-so than how many questions you complete. You are scored only on the ones you answer. It is supposed to tell you how you would approach problem solving in the work place, etc. Interviews for most employees consist of A) job knowledge and the biggest fact is B) Cultural Fit.

    Cultural fit is huge. My company is not a tech company (regional distributor) but they hire only people who fit our Core Values and fit in the culture that has been built in the office. No victims, people who accept responsibility, communication, etc etc etc. It has worked wonders- out of 125 people not a single one is someone I dread seeing. They are pretty quick to identify if they made a hiring mistake and let those people go. And if you fit culturally but don't really fit in the position- they will find something else for you to do that they think you can excel in.

    Upper management has to undergo a thorough testing process involving IQ test, personality test, and a psychological evaluation by a contracted corporate psychologist. Pretty rigorous from what I hear.
    "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with venture." ~ Vaclav Havel
  • paul78paul78 Senior Member Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I like the idea of personality tests. Its a good way to do a culture check on candidates. There is no right or wrong way to take this type of test. And its best to be honest - so you can also get the best from it. And to answer your other question, yes, there are sometimes reasons to hire someone with a better personality fit but less technical skills. Especially if the goal is to build the experience up from the ground up of the new hire.
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