Q. I didn't get a job that I interviewed for. The employer told me that I had "failed" the personality quiz. How is that possible? Does this mean that I have no personality?
A. "Fail" is a pretty strong word when it comes to taking a personality quiz. In fact, it is so strong that it makes me wonder about the professionalism of the potential employer that administered the personality quiz to you.
There is no pass/fail in a personality quiz; especially an employment personality quiz. There are simply factors that are important to the employer that either are, or are not, present in your personality.
To say that you "failed" the personality quiz is a misnomer. You simply did not have some personality traits that the employer deemed important for the particular job that you applied for.
Other than the fact that they insulted you, they probably did you a favor by giving you that personality quiz. By screening you out based upon a certain personality profile, they saved you from accepting a job that you would probably have ended up hating and leaving after a short while.
A personality quiz is an interesting animal. There are actually many different types. You've already encountered a pre-employment personality quiz, but that's not the only type out there.
Before we go off into the subject of a personality quiz, it's important that we agree upon the definition of the term personality. Let's keep it short:
Your personality consists of all the traits and behaviours that make you unique and that determine how you are likely to act in any given situation.
Given that this definition is true, then a personality quiz is designed to measure those traits and to quantify them into some meaningful profile that enables someone to predict how you will behave.
Is that really possible? Yes, in most instances it is possible to accurately how someone is LIKELY to behave under a given set of circumstances. The key word here is LIKELY. We've all seen or read about people who have exhibited extraordinary acts of heroism who were otherwise thought of as a most unlikely hero due to being timid, shy, young, or whatever.
It is not possible to totally predict anyone's behaviour no matter how sophisticated a test is or how educated the person who designed it was.
While the pre-employment personality quiz is designed to match candidates with job vacancies and predict the likelyhood of that candidate thriving in that particular business' culture, there are also other types of personality quiz that are used for other purposes.
Closely aligned to the pre-employment personality quiz is the promotion candidate personality quiz. A quiz of this type is designed to match the personality of an existing employee, who is being considered for promotion, to the type pf personality that is needed to survive in the position for which there is a vacancy.
A relationship personality quiz is designed to test the compatibility factors between two people. It measures those traits that have been determined to promote a long term relationship.
There is also a type pf personality quiz that measures a person's sanity. It is typically used by the legal system to determine if someone is "legally insane" and can be held accountable for their actions in a court of law.
And then there is the personality quiz that is designed for entertainment purposes only. These are typically found in magazines and are developed by writers for the sole purpose of amusing their readership if not for simply filling pages.
You shouldn't put too much weight on your scores for this type of personality quiz. The questions are rarely scientific and there is no sense getting your panties in a wad over something that has no real merit.
As far as the "scientific" personality quiz is concerned, none of them are 100% accurate and a skilled quiz taker, or a pathological lier, can skew a personality quiz to meed their own purposes. Like anything else that can't be seen, touched, or smelled, take these personality quiz results with a grain of salt.
Brian Fong run the popular quiz site
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