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Old 04-01-08, 10:09 AM   #1
RunBandoRun
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Personality tests as condition of employment?

I am an officer on the board of my homeowner's association. We are in the process of seeking a new property manager.

One of the other board members is requesting that qualified applicants complete the Myers-Briggs Personality test in order to be considered for hire. I think it is invasive of privacy to require this sort of thing and I have said as much. The rest of the board has yet to weigh in, so I have no idea what the other three people think.

Have you ever had to complete this test as a condition of employment? (I have, which is what my objection is based on). What is your opinion on requiring such tests of job applicants?
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Old 04-01-08, 10:19 AM   #2
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People seem to care less and less about privacy. Incredible and scary.
Keep us updated.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:27 AM   #3
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How is that an invasion of privacy?
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Old 04-01-08, 10:30 AM   #4
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I'm not sure a test is necessary, but personality is probably the #1 thing I'd look for in hiring new applicants. 2nd would be a basic ability to perform the skills required for the job.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:33 AM   #5
GoVegan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftones
How is that an invasion of privacy?
Are you kidding? It's a slippery slope. One second you're letting a potential employer know what's going on inside your head and the next thing you know they're hooking electrodes up to your genitals and showing you pictures of oiled-up, shirtless men cavorting on the beach.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftones
How is that an invasion of privacy?
I agree.

If she feels uncomfortable taking the test - she can rescind her candidacy for the job.

If a good personality is what you are looking for - there is no reason why you could not ask them to take a test.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:36 AM   #7
Deftones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoVegan
Are you kidding? It's a slippery slope. One second you're letting a potential employer know what's going on inside your head and the next thing you know they're hooking electrodes up to your genitals and showing you pictures of oiled-up, shirtless men cavorting on the beach.
No, I'm not kidding. I think it's perfectly acceptable in a multitude of positions. In this case, not so much. But I have no problem if they want to use personality tests for hiring say police officers to weed out some bad seeds.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:39 AM   #8
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I am not really sure these tests categorize everyone accurately

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

So, I would only use it as a small piece of the final decision, but I see where it *MIGHT* be helpful and I also see where it might screw you out of a good candidate if you give it too much emphasis.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoVegan
the next thing you know they're hooking electrodes up to your genitals and showing you pictures of oiled-up, shirtless men cavorting on the beach.
That was actually the first thing in my job interview. Fuck you, Linens 'n Things!
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Old 04-01-08, 10:44 AM   #10
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I think it's a reprehensible invasion of privacy in most cases. But it also seems as if that ship has long past.

Today's working class is fucked when it comes to employee rights, and there's hardly such thing as going too far when it comes to how a company can screw you legally.

Just another part of the US government that has fuctionally died over the past half-generation, along with all the regulatory agencies. I don't know why the libertarians aren't happier.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:51 AM   #11
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The Meyers-Briggs test doesn't weed out bad apples. It's not going to show whether someone is likely to steal or lie, for example. It just shows whether you are

introverted or extroverted
an intuitive thinker or someone who deals more with the senses
someone who values thinking and logic or someone who values feelings
someone who likes order and plans or someone who likes to wing it

I think it's a huge invasion of privacy, and really insulting to think that someone can't step out of their comfort zone and do a job well.

Last edited by tasha99; 04-01-08 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:57 AM   #12
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I've never had to take the Meyers-Briggs for a job, but the woman who is now my wife gave me the test on our 2nd date

Why bother with smalltalk about interests and goals when you can go right to the standarized test ?
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Old 04-01-08, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPA-ESQ.
If a good personality is what you are looking for - there is no reason why you could not ask them to take a test.
Myers Briggs isn't really going to tell you if someone has a "good" personality. It will tell you the type of personality they have. Introverted/Extraverted. Sensation/Intuition. Thinking/Feeling. Judging/Perception.

Obviously some personalities fit certain jobs better than others. And certain personalities work together better than others.

It can also be helpful to know someone's personality type to better understand why they do things the way they do. Someone who appears to be snobish, might actually just be introverted.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasha99
The Meyers-Briggs test doesn't weed out bad apples. It's not going to show whether someone is likely to steal or lie, for example. It just shows whether you are

introverted or extroverted
an intuitive thinker or someone who deals more with the senses
someone who values thinking and logic or someone who values feelings
someone who likes order and plans or someone who likes to wing it

I think it's a huge invasion of privacy, and really insulting to think that someone can't step out of their comfort zone and do a job well.
So an introverted cop, that is emotional and likes to wing it? Yeah, it won't weed out the bad apple. x 398475
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Old 04-01-08, 11:06 AM   #15
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Years ago I met this guy who told me he was trying to become a police officer and they'd just given him a personality test, which he'd "failed." I asked him for some sample questions and one of them was "Have you ever had the urge to set someone on fire?" I really wish I could have seen that guy's test to see which answers he got "wrong."

I really don't see what's so wrong with administering personality or intelligence tests to potential employees. Admittedly, I'd be irritated if I missed out on getting a job due to the results of one of those tests, but I probably wouldn't set fire to their building or anything.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoVegan
One second you're letting a potential employer know what's going on inside your head and the next thing you know they're hooking electrodes up to your genitals and showing you pictures of oiled-up, shirtless men cavorting on the beach.
Is there a place to sign up? PM me.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:19 AM   #17
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You should get some sense of a person's personality from the interview process. How is having them take a test that contains no private information (I've done it several time, ENTP in case anyone cares ) an invasion of privacy? I've done simple tests like that for a few retail positions I've held (would you steal if you could, would you report a manager who you suspected of stealing, have you ever stolen anything...lot of stealing) and I didn't mind it at all.

My father gives the Myers-Briggs as part of his marriage counseling program. My wife and I have the most conflicts but also the most benefits, and every one of those things has come up at some point in our marriage. I personally think they are great and would happily take one if required for a job.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draven
My father gives the Myers-Briggs as part of his marriage counseling program.
That is a great idea. More couples should do that. It would really give you an idea of how the other person processes things.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:24 AM   #19
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How else are you going to figure out which sink the applicant will use when brushing their teeth??
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Old 04-01-08, 11:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Deftones
So an introverted cop, that is emotional and likes to wing it? Yeah, it won't weed out the bad apple. x 398475
I think the point that Tasha was trying to make was that just because someone is labeled in a certain personality group doesn't mean they aren't capable of exhibiting the characteristics of another group when they need to.

Someone who is labeled introverted is very capable of performing extraverted tasks when it is required of them. It just may require more energy and focus than someone who is naturally extraverted. Likewise, an extraverted person can keep their mouth shut when they need to, but they have to work harder at it then an introverted person.

When you start judging people by these labels, you really don't always get an accurate picture of what they are capable of.

I don't neccessarily think it is an invasion of privacy. It can be a great tool in team building and the like. I just don't think someone should be excluded for consideration based soley on that.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:39 AM   #21
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The M-B is an example of something that is more popular than it is good. It takes some classic 'personality types' and tries to fit them in a nice box. It really won't tell you that much, and it doesn't even have great validity as an assessment. Jobs that use it pretty much have no idea what it is used for, and incorrectly apply the 'types' to the environment.

If someone were to go, "Oh, we are all extroverted....etc" and he isn't, does that mean it'd be a bad fit? Not necessarily, because think of what happens when there are too many chiefs and not enough Indians? There are reasons why the good consultants are paid large sums of money, and it isn't to administer a M-B.

As for the thread.... , I'd be more concerned if it was a more invasive assessment like an MMPI-2, MCMI, Rorschach, etc.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:46 AM   #22
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Having taken this test many times I find it hard to believe that anyone would take it seriously as input for a job application. As for an invasion of privacy, I am not sure where the invasion is. Being labeled by this test is about as invasive as telling someone what astrological sign you are.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:47 AM   #23
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all you have to do is know how to answer the questions the right way, no big deal
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Old 04-01-08, 11:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
all you have to do is know how to answer the questions the right way, no big deal
WRONG ANSWER!!

You lose, thanks for playing.
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Old 04-01-08, 11:59 AM   #25
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I make any candidates fill out "Grundle Polls" as a condition of employment.
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