Do job application personality tests really work?
The Wall Street Journalreports (subscription required) that Websites have sprung up devoted to coaching all those would-be CVS Best Buy-salespeople on how answer questions to achieve a "green' score that will lead to a job offer. Since the tests can generally be taken online at home, there's essentially nothing to stop people from cheating. So if you're a sociopathic maniac looking for a job, why not hire your prom queen friend to answer the questions so you can get hired?
The company that makes the tests insists that cheating isn't a big problem, but even if it is, I think the tests themselves present a bigger problem. Someone posted a test that Borders has used on their blog. Here are some sample statements, and applicants are asked to respond with strongly disagree/strongly agree/disagree/strongly disagree:
- You have confidence in yourself
- You have always had good behavior in school or work
- You don't work too hard because it doesn't pay off anyway
- You are somewhat of a thrill-seeker
The companies that administer these tests claim that they cut down on employee turnover. . . whatever.