Thursday, December 14, 2006

Personality/Job Assessment Tests

Career counselors use assessments to help individuals figure out their occupational goals/preferences. The big rule that all counselors are compelled to follow is not to allow the assessment results make any determination, but it is the client's interpretation of those results that actually contains the most pertinent information. The reason why this is somewhat of an ethical obligation is that in the rules of validity, most occupational assessments are not rocket science accurate.
That said, there is a disturbing trend among employers to rely on similar assessments to pick out candidates for jobs. I write disturbing, because I adhere to the quote by Kafka that "nothing that is human can be calculated." It is not unusual for these assessments to be the first step in the process of applying for jobs. I hadn't had exposure to any one of these job tests until the other day. The scary thing about these assessments is although there are items that are designed to uncover deception, it would not be too difficult to lie if one is generally familiar in how they work. What is more, with assessments and aptitude tests, the process of getting the right job or getting into the right school has become so impersonal.

In my case, I had a recruiter "coach" me on the proper way to respond to these items, so even if I hadn't had the slightest idea on the general mechanics, I had someone to guide my dubious responses. Ultimately, my integrity held out, and there were some items that I just could not press to the level of deceit that I knew was expected of me to score well. Where I might resolve that this particular job just was not for me anyway, I am quite convinced that I would have done very well at it had I had the chance.
"Oh brave new world..."

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