The Cult of Personality Assessments

Personality test
Someone give that woman a special test.

Call To Brilliant Minds

Here’s a question: How did we function before we had a rubric for everything?

I say this because corporate America seems to be enamored with personality assessments. Periodically, another one pops up, devised by yet another Ph.D., and I find this interesting. This article aims to open up a dialogue on this subject. The architects of these assessments tout that they can predict a person’s future job performance from these assessments.

Is that true? What do you think?

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I’m a sucker for fun things that teach us about ourselves and others, so I took the bait; I availed myself of several fun personality assessments a few years ago.

I came out to be ‘The Persuader’ behavior style on the’ DISC’ brand of assessment.

The Enneagram brand of the assessment showed me to be what they call ‘The Mover & Shaker’ tri-type.

Game Night

I’ve always found the subject of personality testing interesting  —  in a parlor game sort of way.

So when I first started writing this article, my opinion was that these tests (combined with three dollars) would get you a cup of coffee. In other words, my knee-jerk opinion was that employers who administer personality tests  —  and the ‘architects’ who develop them  — were all on a massive ego trip.

I planned to write this article to show how it all comes down to subjective opinions , and we all know the old joke about opinions. I was geared up to insert a few quips about how these tests were used to manipulate people. I also planned to satirize how the persons administering and interpreting the tests must think they’re Grand Pooh-Bahs of another dimension.

But as I went back to add the links as citations (and thereby re-reading the summaries of my so-called personality designations), I began chuckling. I realized that these tests and their developers may have my number, so I, at this point, raise my hand and say, “Mea culpa.”

My humblest apologies to any Ph.D.’s out there that I almost offended. Okay, Grannie knows when to say ‘uncle.’ These tests may have a bit of accurate data on which to justify our pre-judging and bias.

I Beg Your Forgiveness

You have to forgive me. I’m ‘old school’— a dinosaur. I successfully hired people the archaic way for decades.

    • I talked with applicants over several interviews.
    • I checked their references.
    • I trusted my judgment.
    • Over time, I learned from my mistakes.

But hey, I’m not one to stand in the way of progress. (I’m a Mover & Shaker, remember?)

These Days

These days, we all have more things to do and a lot more irons in the fire than we did a decade ago. So if there’s a way to make the old-fashioned way more efficient, why not? I’m all for progress.

So, here’s the call to action. Weigh in here if you would.

  1. Do you have experience with personality testing?
  2. What do you think of the whole concept? And why?
  3. Have you found such testing to be a favorable or unfavorable experience?

You’ll probably need a minute, so here’s a musical interlude while you formulate your answers and start typing.

YouTube player


Cause you got personality
Walk, with personality
Talk, with personality
Smile, with personality
Charm, with personality
Love, with personality
And, plus, you’ve got
A great big heart


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