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Personality Tests > The Big 5 Aspects of Personality

It is important to be aware that the personality tests used in the recruitment and selection process are the intellectual property of the companies that produce them. As a result, they may use different terminology to describe the aspects of personality that they set out to measure. This usually for reasons of copyright and to differentiate themselves in a market in which there are a large number of products that do more or less the same thing in more or less the same way. To avoid any bias and to steer clear of any copyright issues, we will use the definitions placed in the public domain by the noted psychologist Dr. John A. Johnson of Pennsylvania State University. The personality traits used in the 5 factor model are Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness to experience. It is important to ignore the positive or negative associations that these words have in everyday language. For example, Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for achieving and maintaining popularity. Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or totally objective decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers. Remember, none of the five traits is in themselves positive or negative, they are simply characteristics that individuals exhibit to a greater or lesser extent.

Each of these 5 personality traits describes, relative to other people, the frequency or intensity of a person's feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. Everyone possesses all 5 of these traits to a greater or lesser degree. For example, two individuals could be described as agreeable (agreeable people value getting along with others). But there could be significant variation in the degree to which they are both agreeable. In other words, all 5 personality traits exist on a continuum (see diagram) rather than as attributes that a person does or does not have. Extraversion Extraversion is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extraverts enjoy being with people, are full of energy, and often experience positive emotions. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented,
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individuals who are likely to say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk, assert themselves, and draw attention to themselves. Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extraverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and disengaged from the social world. Their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert simply needs less stimulation than an extravert and prefers to be alone. The independence and reserve of the introvert is sometimes mistaken as unfriendliness or arrogance. In reality, an introvert who scores high on the agreeableness dimension will not seek others out but will be quite pleasant when approached. Agreeableness Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern with cooperation and social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are therefore considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others'. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy. Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others' well-being, and therefore are unlikely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others' motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative. Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for attaining and maintaining popularity. Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or absolute objective decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers. Conscientiousness Conscientiousness concerns the way in which we control, regulate, and direct our impulses. Impulses are not inherently bad; occasionally time constraints require a snap decision, and acting on our first impulse can be an effective response. Also, in times of play rather than work, acting spontaneously and impulsively can be fun. Impulsive individuals can be seen by others as colorful, fun-to-be-with, and zany. Nonetheless, acting on impulse can lead to trouble in a number of ways. Some impulses are antisocial. Uncontrolled antisocial acts not only harm other members of society, but also can result in retribution toward the perpetrator of such impulsive acts. Another problem with impulsive acts is that they often produce immediate rewards but undesirable, long-term consequences. Examples include excessive socializing that leads to being fired from one's job, hurling an insult that causes the breakup of an important relationship, or using pleasure-inducing drugs that eventually destroy one's health. Impulsive behavior, even when not seriously destructive, diminishes a person's effectiveness in significant ways. Acting impulsively disallows contemplating alternative courses of action, some of which would have been wiser than the impulsive choice. Impulsivity also sidetracks people during projects that require organized sequences of steps or stages. Accomplishments of an impulsive person are therefore small, scattered, and inconsistent. A hallmark of intelligence, what potentially separates human beings from earlier life forms, is the ability to think about future consequences before acting on an impulse. Intelligent activity involves contemplation of
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long-range goals, organizing and planning routes to these goals, and persisting toward one's goals in the face of short-lived impulses to the contrary. The idea that intelligence involves impulse control is nicely captured by the term prudence, an alternative label for the Conscientiousness domain. Prudent means both wise and cautious. Persons who score high on the Conscientiousness scale are, in fact, perceived by others as intelligent. The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable. On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics. Furthermore, extremely conscientious individuals might be regarded as stuffy and boring. Unconscientious people may be criticized for their unreliability, lack of ambition, and failure to stay within the lines, but they will experience many short-lived pleasures and they will never be called stuffy. Neuroticism Freud originally used the term neurosis to describe a condition marked by mental distress, emotional suffering, and an inability to cope effectively with the normal demands of life. He suggested that everyone shows some signs of neurosis, but that we differ in our degree of suffering and our specific symptoms of distress. Today neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative feelings. Those who score high on Neuroticism may experience primarily one specific negative feeling such as anxiety, anger, or depression, but are likely to experience several of these emotions. People high in neuroticism are emotionally reactive. They respond emotionally to events that would not affect most people, and their reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time, which means they are often in a bad mood. These problems in emotional regulation can diminish a neurotic's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress. At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in neuroticism are less easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, emotionally stable, and free from persistent negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings does not mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings; frequency of positive emotions is a component of the Extraversion domain. Openness to experience. Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. Intellectuals typically score high on Openness to Experience; consequently, this factor has also been called Culture or Intellect. Nonetheless, Intellect is probably best regarded as one aspect of openness to experience. Scores on Openness to Experience are only modestly related to years of education and scores on standard intelligent tests. Another characteristic of the open cognitive style is a facility for thinking in symbols and abstractions far removed from concrete experience. Depending on the individual's specific intellectual abilities, this symbolic cognition may take the form of mathematical, logical, or geometric thinking, artistic and metaphorical use of language, music composition or performance, or one of the many visual or performing arts. People with low scores on openness to experience tend to have narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward,
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and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to change. Openness is often presented as healthier or more mature by psychologists, who are often themselves open to experience. However, open and closed styles of thinking are useful in different environments. The intellectual style of the open person may serve a professor well, but research has shown that closed thinking is related to superior job performance in police work, sales, and a number of service occupations. Subordinate Personality Traits or Facets Each of the big 5 personality traits is made up of 6 facets or sub traits. These can be assessed independently of the trait that they belong to. Personality Trait Extraversion Facets Friendliness Gregariousness Assertiveness Activity Level Excitement-Seeking Cheerfulness Trust Morality Altruism Cooperation Modesty Sympathy Self-Efficacy Orderliness Dutifulness Achievement-Striving Self-Discipline Cautiousness Anxiety Anger Depression Self-Consciousness Immoderation Vulnerability Imagination Artistic Interests Emotionality Adventurousness
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Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

Neuroticism

Openness to experience

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Intellect Liberalism Extraversion Facets

Friendliness. Friendly people genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others. They make friends quickly and it is easy for them to form close, intimate relationships. Low scorers on Friendliness are not necessarily cold and hostile, but they do not reach out to others and are perceived as distant and reserved. Gregariousness. Gregarious people find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding. They enjoy the excitement of crowds. Low scorers tend to feel overwhelmed by, and therefore actively avoid, large crowds. They do not necessarily dislike being with people sometimes, but their need for privacy and time to themselves is much greater than for individuals who score high on this scale. Assertiveness. High scorers Assertiveness like to speak out, take charge, and direct the activities of others. They tend to be leaders in groups. Low scorers tend not to talk much and let others control the activities of groups. Activity Level. Active individuals lead fast-paced, busy lives. They move about quickly, energetically, and vigorously, and they are involved in many activities. People who score low on this scale follow a slower and more leisurely, relaxed pace. Excitement-Seeking. High scorers on this scale are easily bored without high levels of stimulation. They love bright lights and hustle and bustle. They are likely to take risks and seek thrills. Low scorers are overwhelmed by noise and commotion and are adverse to thrill-seeking. Cheerfulness. This scale measures positive mood and feelings, not negative emotions (which are a part of the Neuroticism domain). Persons who score high on this scale typically experience a range of positive feelings, including happiness, enthusiasm, optimism, and joy. Low scorers are not as prone to such energetic, high spirits.

Agreeableness Facets

Trust. A person with high trust assumes that most people are fair, honest, and have good intentions. Persons low in trust may see others as selfish, devious, and potentially dangerous. Morality. High scorers on this scale see no need for pretence or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank, and sincere. Low scorers believe that a certain amount of deception in social relationships is necessary. People find it relatively easy to relate to the straightforward high-scorers on this scale. They generally find it more difficult to relate to the lowscorers on this scale. It should be made clear that low scorers are not unprincipled or immoral; they are simply more guarded and less willing to openly reveal the whole truth. Altruism. Altruistic people find helping other people genuinely rewarding. Consequently, they are generally willing to assist those who are in need. Altruistic people find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfilment rather than self-sacrifice. Low scorers on this scale do not particularly like helping those in need. Requests for help feel like an imposition rather than an opportunity for selffulfilment.

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Cooperation. Individuals who score high on this scale dislike confrontations. They are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny their own needs in order to get along with others. Those who score low on this scale are more likely to intimidate others to get their way. Modesty. High scorers on this scale do not like to claim that they are better than other people. In some cases this attitude may derive from low self-confidence or self-esteem. Nonetheless, some people with high self-esteem find immodesty unseemly. Those who are willing to describe themselves as superior tend to be seen as disagreeably arrogant by other people. Sympathy. People who score high on this scale are tender-hearted and compassionate. They feel the pain of others vicariously and are easily moved to pity. Low scorers are not affected strongly by human suffering. They pride themselves on making objective judgments based on reason. They are more concerned with truth and impartial justice than with mercy.

Conscientiousness Facets

Self-Efficacy. Self-Efficacy describes confidence in one's ability to accomplish things. High scorers believe they have the intelligence (common sense), drive, and self-control necessary for achieving success. Low scorers do not feel effective, and may have a sense that they are not in control of their lives. Orderliness. Persons with high scores on orderliness are well-organized. They like to live according to routines and schedules. They keep lists and make plans. Low scorers tend to be disorganized and scattered. Dutifulness. This scale reflects the strength of a person's sense of duty and obligation. Those who score high on this scale have a strong sense of moral obligation. Low scorers find contracts, rules, and regulations overly confining. They are likely to be seen as unreliable or even irresponsible. Achievement-Striving. Individuals who score high on this scale strive hard to achieve excellence. Their drive to be recognized as successful keeps them on track toward their lofty goals. They often have a strong sense of direction in life, but extremely high scores may be too single-minded and obsessed with their work. Low scorers are content to get by with a minimal amount of work, and might be seen by others as lazy. Self-Discipline. Self-discipline-what many people call will-power-refers to the ability to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they are completed. People who possess high self-discipline are able to overcome reluctance to begin tasks and stay on track despite distractions. Those with low self-discipline procrastinate and show poor follow-through, often failing to complete tasks-even tasks they want very much to complete. Cautiousness. Cautiousness describes the disposition to think through possibilities before acting. High scorers on the Cautiousness scale take their time when making decisions. Low scorers often say or do first thing that comes to mind without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives.

Neuroticism Facets

Anxiety. The "fight-or-flight" system of the brain of anxious individuals is too easily and too often engaged. Therefore, people who are high in anxiety often feel like something dangerous is about to happen. They may be afraid of specific situations or be just generally fearful. They feel tense, jittery, and nervous. Persons low in Anxiety are generally calm and fearless.
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Anger. Persons who score high in Anger feel enraged when things do not go their way. They are sensitive about being treated fairly and feel resentful and bitter when they feel they are being cheated. This scale measures the tendency to feel angry; whether or not the person expresses annoyance and hostility depends on the individual's level on Agreeableness. Low scorers do not get angry often or easily. Depression. This scale measures the tendency to feel sad, dejected, and discouraged. High scorers lack energy and have difficult initiating activities. Low scorers tend to be free from these depressive feelings. Self-Consciousness. Self-conscious individuals are sensitive about what others think of them. Their concern about rejection and ridicule cause them to feel shy and uncomfortable abound others. They are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Their fears that others will criticize or make fun of them are exaggerated and unrealistic, but their awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy. Low scorers, in contrast, do not suffer from the mistaken impression that everyone is watching and judging them. They do not feel nervous in social situations. Immoderation. Immoderate individuals feel strong cravings and urges that they have difficulty resisting. They tend to be oriented toward short-term pleasures and rewards rather than long- term consequences. Low scorers do not experience strong, irresistible cravings and consequently do not find themselves tempted to overindulge. Vulnerability. High scorers on Vulnerability experience panic, confusion, and helplessness when under pressure or stress. Low scorers feel more poised, confident, and clear-thinking when stressed.

Openness Facets

imagination. To imaginative individuals, the real world is often too plain and ordinary. High scorers on this scale use fantasy as a way of creating a richer, more interesting world. Low scorers are on this scale are more oriented to facts than fantasy. Artistic Interests. High scorers on this scale love beauty, both in art and in nature. They become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. They are not necessarily artistically trained or talented, although many will be. The defining features of this scale are interest in, and appreciation of natural and artificial beauty. Low scorers lack aesthetic sensitivity and interest in the arts. Emotionality. Persons high on Emotionality have good access to and awareness of their own feelings. Low scorers are less aware of their feelings and tend not to express their emotions openly. Adventurousness. High scorers on adventurousness are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. They find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different. Low scorers tend to feel uncomfortable with change and prefer familiar routines. Intellect. Intellect and artistic interests are the two most important, central aspects of openness to experience. High scorers on Intellect love to play with ideas. They are open-minded to new and unusual ideas, and like to debate intellectual issues. They enjoy riddles, puzzles, and brain teasers. Low scorers on Intellect prefer dealing with people or things rather than ideas. They regard intellectual exercises as a waste of time. Intellect should not be equated with intelligence. Intellect is an intellectual style, not an intellectual ability, although high scorers on Intellect score slightly higher than low-Intellect individuals on standardized intelligence tests.

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Liberalism. Psychological liberalism refers to a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values. In its most extreme form, psychological liberalism can even represent outright hostility toward rules, sympathy for law-breakers, and love of ambiguity, chaos, and disorder. Psychological conservatives prefer the security and stability brought by conformity to tradition. Psychological liberalism and conservatism are not identical to political affiliation, but certainly incline individuals toward certain political parties.

It is possible, although unusual, to score high in one or more facets of a personality trait and low in other facets of the same trait. For example, you could score highly in Imagination, Artistic Interests, Emotionality and Adventurousness, but score low in Intellect and Liberalism. To answer this question, we need to take a brief history lesson and to describe the work of Gordon Allport, Raymond Cattell, Hans Eysenck, Paul Costa & Robert McCrae. This is worthwhile because many of the tests and much of the terminology developed in the last century by these psychologists is still in widespread use today and forms the basis of current personality theory and consequently of personality tests. Gordon Allport (18971967) Allport was one of the first psychologists to focus on the study of the personality. He rejected both the psychoanalytic approach , which he thought often went too deep, and a behavioral approach, which he thought often did not go deep enough. He emphasized the uniqueness of each individual, and the importance of the present context, as opposed to past history, for understanding the personality. He identified thousands of personality traits and grouped these into three categories:

Cardinal Traits - a cardinal trait dominates the personality across time and situations. A cardinal trait is the most important component of your personality e.g. Ambition, Self-sacrifice, etc. Very few people develop a cardinal trait and if they do, it tends to be late in life. Central Traits - five to ten traits that are stable across time and situations. These are the building blocks of personality. For example: friendliness, meanness, happiness, etc. Most personality theories focus on describing or explaining central traits. Secondary Traits - these characteristics are only evident in some situations and are of less importance to personality theorists. They are aspects of the personality that arent quite so obvious or so consistent. Allport was also one of the first researchers to draw a distinction between Motive and Drive. He suggested that a drive formed as a reaction to a motive may outgrow the motive as a reason. The drive then is autonomous and distinct from the motive. For example, the drive associated with making money to buy goods and services often becomes an end in itself.

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Raymond Cattell (1905-1998) Cattell took the thousands of traits described by Allport and condensed them down to 16 primary traits using the statistical method of factor analysis. The 16 PF (Personality Factors) test which resulted from this work is still in use today. He was an early proponent of using factor analytical methods instead of what he called "verbal theorizing" to explore the basic dimensions of personality, motivation, and cognitive abilities. One of the most important results of Cattell's application of factor analysis was his discovery of 16 factors underlying human personality. He called these factors "source traits" because he believed they provide the underlying source for the surface behaviors we think of as personality. This theory of personality factors and the instrument used to measure them are known respectively as the 16 personality factor model and the 16PF Questionnaire.

Hans Eysenck (1916-1997) Eysenck proposed that only two factors were necessary to explain individual differences in personality. He argued that Cattell's model contained too many factors which were similar to each other, and that a simple two factor model could encompass the 16 traits proposed by Cattell. This model had the following dimensions:
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Eysenck argued that these traits were associated with innate biological differences. For example, extraverts need more stimulation than introverts do because they have lower resting levels of nervous system arousal than introverts. Eysenck developed a third factor, psychoticism, which dealt with a predisposition to be psychotic (not grounded in reality) or sociopathic (psychologically unattached).

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The result was the so-called PEN personality model. P scale: Psychoticism -------------------------------------- High Impulse Control Aggressive, cold, egocentric, [Nonagressive, warm, concerned for others impersonal, impulsive, antisocial, personally involved, considerate, social, unemphathetic, creative, tough-minded empathetic, uncreative, persuadable] E scale: Extraversion -------------------------------------- Introversion Sociable, lively, active, assertive, [Hermetic, taciturn, passive, unassertive, sensation-seeking, carefree, stoical, reserved, dependent, dominant, surgent, venturesome even-tempered, risk-averse] N scale: Neuroticism --------------------------------------- Emotional Stability Anxious, depressed, guilt-feelings, unconcerned, happy, without regret, low self-esteem, tense, irrational, high self-esteem, relaxed, rational, shy, moody, emotional confident, content, controlled. Paul Costa (1942-) & Robert McCrae (1949-) In the final decades of the twentieth century an increasing number of psychologists came to the conclusion that
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the three factor model was too simple and that 16 factors were too many. In 1990 Paul Costa and Robert McCrae presented their Five Factor Theory and introduced the associated NEO Personality Inventory.

This Costa & McCrae model has received significant support from other research and is now widely accepted among psychologists. There is some minor disagreement regarding the exact definition and naming of these 5 factors but this is largely an academic debate. These 5 aspects of personality are referred to as the 5-factors or sometimes just the Big 5. Until now we have not really made any attempt to clearly define any of the personality traits. However, now that we have the 5 factor model we can proceed to look at these in detail. It is quite possible to come up with slightly different definitions of the big 5 traits and to attach more importance to some of the facets than to others. This is an area that lends itself to endless debate and keeps many academic psychologists in work. As well as providing lively academic argument, it also enables companies in the personality testing field to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. For example, you may come across personality tests like the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire or the Occupational Personality Inventory which measures 32 personality traits. These tests do not measure the big 5 personality traits plus others. They are simply measuring facets or sub-traits of the big 5 and according them more or less emphasis, depending on the particular viewpoint of the test designer. An example personality profile is shown below.

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It is important to remember that low, average, and high scores on a personality trait questionnaire are neither intrinsically good nor bad. A particular level on any trait will probably be neutral or irrelevant for most activities, helpful for accomplishing some things, and detrimental for accomplishing others. As with any personality inventory, scores and descriptions can only approximate your actual personality. Whilst all of this may be true, in the real world your test results will have a significant influence on your chances of being employed. Your personality profile is no use to employers unless they have some way of knowing how your profile compares to the requirements of performing well in a particular role. Before the results can be used to select suitable candidates for a particular job, results of similar questionnaires must be produced in the population as a whole and also for those people already working successfully in the relevant job. For example, there are some jobs which have become synonymous with extrovert personalities. Sales is one example, it is difficult to imagine a successful sales person who is not naturally extroverted. The qualities

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associated with this personality trait; friendliness, gregariousness, assertiveness, cheerfulness, and a high activity level are all qualities associated with successful sales people. For employers to look for these qualities when recruiting sales people makes sense and is exactly what you would expect. However, for almost all jobs, not just sales, employers prefer extroverts over introverts. The reasons for this are twofold; 1) Even people in highly technical jobs work in teams for much of the time, they need to get on with people and get them to cooperate to get the job done. 2) Most employers take a long term view of the people they employ. The person employed today to input figures into spreadsheets could be working as a supervisor or manager in a couple of years time and it is better if they appear to have some of the attributes that will be needed in the future. Testing for Honesty, Integrity, Stress and Anger In addition to the Big 5, there are other personality traits that are of particular interest to employers. People applying for jobs in retail, banking, or the security services industries are often asked to take an integrity test which claims to predict if they will lie, cheat, or steal on the job. These personality tests are administered by an estimated 6,000 US organizations and taken by as many as 5 million people each year. These tests may be either self-contained or the questions may form part of a general personality questionnaire.

Stress is often defined as anger turned inwards and is implicated in a long list of medical conditions from migraines to heart attacks. It is also a precursor to workplace rage which along with road rage and air rage is rapidly increasing. Employee illness and violence are very expensive from an employers point of view and questions aimed at screening out stressed or angry candidates are finding their way into personality questionnaires. Personality Questionnaires and Diversity The modern workforce is made up of people from a diverse array of ethnic and cultural groups, including many persons for whom English is not the primary language. Some of these individuals may experience difficulty on standardized tests due to cultural differences or lack of mastery of the English language. Depending on the nature of the job for which they are applying, this could mean that their test scores will not accurately predict their true job potential. Testing People with Disabilities These situations must be handled with professionalism and sensitivity. Properly handled, this can be accomplished without compromising the integrity of the assessment process. Accommodation may involve
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ensuring physical accessibility to the test site, modifying test equipment or tests, or providing other forms of assistance. Giving extra time for certain kinds of tests to test takers with dyslexia or other learning disabilities and administering a braille version of a test for the blind may be examples of reasonable accommodation. Aptitude and ability tests are designed to assess your logical reasoning or thinking capabilities. They consist of a number of multiple choice questions and are strictly timed.

You may be asked to answer the questions either on paper or online. The advantages of online testing include immediate availability of results and the test can be taken at an employment agency or even at home. This makes online testing particularly suitable for initial screening as it is very cost-effective.

Aptitude and ability tests can be classified as speed tests or power tests. In speed tests the questions are relatively straightforward and the test is concerned with how many questions you can answer correctly in the allotted time. These tests tend to be used in selection at the administrative and clerical level. A power test on the other hand will present a smaller number of more complex questions and tend to be used more at the graduate, professional or managerial level. There are at least 5000 aptitude and ability tests on the market and every year new tests are devised and added to the already huge number of tests available. Every company that produces tests needs to differentiate their own test from those of other companies. This has produced a bewildering range of test names and acronyms. However, all of the tests you are likely to come across can be clasified into six basic types:

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Verbal Ability Tests These include questions which test your ability to spell words correctly, use correct grammar, understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions. These tests are widely used since most jobs require you either to understand and make decisions based on verbal or written information or to pass this type of information to others. In practice, the more straightforward types of question (spelling, grammar and instructions) tend to be more applicable to administrative roles and the reasoning and deduction type of questions to management roles. Numeric Ability Tests These include questions on basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. This type of test is used to determine your basic numeracy. These tests are directly applicable to many administrative and clerical jobs but can also appear as a component of graduate and managerial tests. In more complex data interpretation and numerical critical reasoning questions, blocks of information are provided that require manipulation and interpretation. Sometimes these questions are designed to approximate the type of reasoning required in the workplace. Abstract Reasoning Tests These tests are based on diagrams and measure your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution. Abstract reasoning tests are thought to give the best indication of your general intelligence and are very widely used. These tests are of particular value when selecting people for technical jobs which involve working with abstract ideas or concepts. However, as they also provide the best measure of your general intellectual ability, you will usually find some questions of this type whichever particular tests you are given. Spatial Reasoning Tests These tests measure your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or to visualize three-dimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures. Spatial ability is required in production, technical and design jobs where plans and drawings are used, for example; engineering, architecture, surveying and design. It is also important in some branches of science where the ability to envisage the interactions of 3 dimensional components is essential. Spatial ability questions often involve the visual assembly and the disassembly of objects that have been rotated or which are viewed from different angles or objects that have different markings on their surfaces. Mechanical Reasoning Tests
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These tests are designed to assess your knowledge of physical and mechanical principles. For example, pulleys, levers, simple electrical circuits etc. Questions are in the form of a question and a diagram and you will need to determine which mechanical principle is being illustrated. No specialist knowledge is required to answer these questions, only an understanding of the principles. Mechanical reasoning tests are used to select for a wide range of apprentice and engineering occupations. Data Checking Tests These tests present you with number of tables of information which must be checked against each other. This type of test is used to measure how quickly and accurately errors can be detected in data. It is used to select candidates for clerical and data input jobs, particularly where accuracy is important, for example, accounting and banking. In these tests you will usually be given two columns of data to check for consistency and you will be asked to mark up any differences. In all of the above tests the questions will be presented in multiple-choice format and have definite right and wrong answers. You will usually find that there are more questions than you can complete in the time allowed and the aim is simply to give as many correct answers as you can.

Ideally, your score will then be compared with the results of a control group which has taken the tests in the past. This control group could consist of other graduates, current job holders or a sample of the population as a whole. Your reasoning skills can then be assessed in relation to this control group and judgments made about your ability. More commonly, your scores will be compared to the other candidates who took the test at the same time. Whilst this does not represent 'best practice', due to the small size of the sample, it is often what happens in real life. Aptitude and ability tests are designed to assess your logical reasoning or thinking performance. They consist of multiple choice questions and are administered under exam conditions. They are strictly timed and a typical test might allow 30 minutes for 30 or so questions. Your test result will be compared to that of a control group so that judgments can be made about your abilities.

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You may be asked to answer the questions either on paper or online. The advantages of online testing include immediate availability of results and the fact that the test can be taken at employment agency premises or even at home. This makes online testing particularly suitable for initial screening as it is obviously very costeffective.

Aptitude and ability tests can be classified as speed tests or power tests. In speed tests the questions are relatively straightforward and the test is concerned with how many questions you can answer correctly in the allotted time. Speed tests tend to be used in selection at the administrative and clerical level. A power test on the other hand will present a smaller number of more complex questions. Power tests tend to be used more at the professional or managerial level.

There are at least 5000 aptitude and ability tests on the market. Some of them contain only one type of question (for example, verbal ability, numeric reasoning ability etc) while others are made up of different types of question. First Things First The first thing to do is to determine which type of questions you are going to be asked. Don't waste time practicing questions that won't appear in the actual test. Types of question can be classified as follows: Verbal Ability - Includes spelling, grammar, ability to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions. These questions appear in most general aptitude tests because employers usually want to know how well you can communicate. Numeric Ability - Includes basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. In management level tests you will often be presented with charts and graphs that need to be interpreted. These questions appear in most general aptitude tests because employers usually want some indication of your ability to use numbers even
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if this is not a major part of the job. Abstract Reasoning - Measures your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution. Because abstract reasoning ability is believed to be the best indicator of fluid intelligence and your ability to learn new things quickly these questions appear in most general aptitude tests. Spatial Ability - Measures your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or to visualize threedimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures. These questions not usually found in general aptitude tests unless the job specifically requires good spatial skills. Mechanical Reasoning - Designed to assess your knowledge of physical and mechanical principles. Mechanical reasoning questions are used to select for a wide range of jobs including the military (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), police forces, fire services, as well as many craft, technical and engineering occupations. Fault Diagnosis - These tests are used to select technical personnel who need to be able to find and repair faults in electronic and mechanical systems. As modern equipment of all types becomes more dependent on electronic control systems (and arguably more complex) the ability to approach problems logically in order to find the cause of the fault is increasingly important. Data Checking - Measure how quickly and accurately errors can be detected in data and are used to select candidates for clerical and data input jobs. Work Sample Involves a sample of the work that you will be expected do. These types of test can be very broad ranging. They may involve exercises using a word processor or spreadsheet if the job is administrative or they may include giving a presentation or in-tray exercises if the job is management or supervisory level. Don't Waste Time Spend your preparation time wisely. Most people find themselves with only one or two weeks to prepare for aptitude tests - don't worry, this is enough time provided that you are systematic. 1. You must find out what type of questions you are going to face even if this means asking. 2. Use the information on this website to get an idea of the different types of questions. 3. Download and look at a sample paper for each type of question you are expecting to face. 4. Go through one paper of each type and see how you get on. 5. Decide on a practice strategy. 6. Practice one paper a day right up until the actual test. If in Doubt - Ask! If you are unsure what types of question to expect then ask the human resources people at the organization you are applying to. This will not count against you in any way and they should be only too happy to tell you. You have a right to prepare yourself for any tests you are asked to sit. Don't Make Assumptions Try not make any assumptions. For example, many people assume that they won't have any problems with verbal ability questions because they once got an 'A' in English. They may have a point if they got the 'A' a few months ago, but what if it was ten years ago? It is very easy to ignore the effects of not reading as much as you
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used to, and of letting your spell-checker take care of correcting your written English. The same thing applies to numerical ability. Most people who have been out of education for more than a few years will have forgotten how to multiply fractions and calculate volumes. While it is easy to dismiss these as 'first grade' or elementary maths, most people simply don't do these things on a day-to-day basis. So, don't assume anything - it's better to know for sure. Deciding on a Practice Strategy You should make your own decision about which types of question to practice. You could either concentrate on your weakest area or you could try to elevate your score across all areas. Whichever strategy you choose - keep practicing. Because of the way that aptitude tests are marked, even small improvements to your raw score will have a big influence on your chances of getting the job. There are at least 5000 aptitude tests on the market at the moment. The types of question you can expect will depend on which aptitudes and abilities that are needed in the job you are applying for. Aptitude and ability tests are classified as maximum performance tests because they test what you can achieve when you are making maximum effort. There are two different styles of maximum performance test; speed tests and power tests.

In a speed test the scope of the questions is limited and the methods you need to use to answer them is clear. Taken individually, the questions appear relatively straightforward. Speed test are concerned with how many questions you can answer correctly in the allotted time. For example:

139 + 235 A) 372 B) 374 C) 376 D) 437

A power test on the other hand will present a smaller number of more complex questions. The methods you need to use to answer these questions are not obvious, and working out how to answer the question is the difficult part. Once you have determined this, arriving at the correct answer is usually relatively straightforward. For example: Below are the sales figures for 3 different types of network server over 3 months.

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Server ZXC43 ZXC53 ZXC63

January Units Value 32 480 45 585 12 240

February Units Value 40 600 45 585 14 280

March Units Value 48 720 45 585 18 340

In which month was the sales value highest? A) January B) February What is the unit cost of server type ZXC53? A) 12 B) 13

C) March C) 14

Speed tests contain more items than power tests although they have the same approximate time limit. Speed tests tend to be used in selection at the administrative and clerical level. Power tests tend to be used more at the graduate, professional or managerial level. Although, this is not always the case, as speed tests do give an accurate indication of performance in power tests. In other words, if you do well in speed tests then you will also do well in power tests. These speed and power definitions apply only to maximum performance tests like aptitude and ability tests and not to personality tests. These tests usually involve grammar, verbal analogies and following detailed written instructions. They can also include spelling, sentence completion and comprehension. Because they depend on understanding the precise meaning of words, idioms and the structure of the language they discriminate very heavily towards native speakers of the language in which the test has been developed. If you speak English as a second language, even if this is at a high standard, you will be significantly disadvantaged. You will usually find questions on all of the following:

Spelling Grammar Sentence Completion Analogies Word Groups Instructions Critical Reasoning Verbal Deductions

These tests are widely used since most jobs require you either to understand and make decisions based on verbal or written information or to pass this type of information to others. In practice, the more straightforward types of question (spelling, grammar and instructions) tend to be more applicable to administrative roles and the reasoning and deduction type of questions to management roles. Spelling Questions Questions where you have to identify incorrectly spelt words are common in all levels of verbal ability tests.
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The test designer needs to choose words which are fairly common and in regular usage but which are often spelt incorrectly. There would be little point in using obscure words which only a small percentage of candidates could be expected to know. This means that you will almost certainly have heard of the word and know its meaning. This requirement to use words which are in everyday use but which are commonly miss-spelt means that the test designer has a relatively restricted list of words to choose from. Example Questions 1. Which of the following words are incorrectly spelt? A) separate B) ordnance C) obviously D) sucess E) none of these

2. Choose the pair of words that best completes the sentence The -------- of the timetable caused some ---------A) rivision B) revision C) revission D) revition C) D) inconvenience inconvenience 3. The following list of 20 words contains 10 that are incorrectly spelt. Write the letter that corresponds to each incorrectly spelt word in the answer box A. occurence B. dissipate C. weird D. accommodate E. embarassment F. ecstacy G. repetition H. batallion I. dispair J. irritable K. accidently L. liaison M. memento N. millenium O. yield P. existance Q. independent R. insistant S. excede T. privilege A)inconvenienceB)inconvenience Answers 1. D 2. B A 3. A E F H I K N P R S
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In most cases the longer that you have been out of the education system the more your spelling will have deteriorated. Most people now use word processors with inbuilt spell-checking software and it is very easy to forget how words are spelt as we dont physically write them down and often rely on the software to correct them for us. Many people find it quite embarrassing when they realize how much their spelling has deteriorated this is one area where remedial action is straightforward and is guaranteed to produce positive results. Missing Word Questions These questions are designed to measure your vocabulary, specifically your understanding of precise word meanings. You will usually be offered a choice of four or five words, any of which could complete the sentence. These questions are relatively straightforward but because more than one of the options will complete the sentence satisfactorily you must read it carefully and choose the best word. Example Questions 4. Which of these words completes the sentence in the way that makes most sense? A spirit-level should be used to ensure that the surface is ----------A) straight B) flat C) horizontal D) parallel 5. Which of these words completes the sentence in the way that makes most sense? He avoided --------- because he was -----------A) redundency B) indispensable C) redundancy

E) aligned

D) indispensible

6. Which of these words completes the sentence in the way that makes most sense? The plan must be --------- to make the project -----------A) feasible B) revised C) rivised Answers 4. C 5. C B 6. B A Related Word Questions To answer these word relationship questions you need to understanding of precise meaning of the words in the question and establish what exactly the relationship is between them. You should then look at the answer options and decide which one is the most appropriate. These questions test your reasoning ability as well as your vocabulary. Example Questions

D) feasable

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7. Which of these is the missing word? kick, -----------, walk A) throw B) toes 8. Which of these is the missing word? key, -----------, walk A) lock B) stand 9. Which of these is the missing word? water, -----------, over A) ice B) drive

C) shin

D) feet

E) hand

C) board

D) fob

E) stone

C) wet

D) flow

E) fall

Answers 7. D Feet are used for both kicking and walking. 8. C Board forms the words keyboard and boardwalk 9. E Fall forms ' waterfall and fall over There will usually be more than one possible answer, so it is important to read the question carefully and pick the best option. Synonym and Antonym Questions These are words which have either the same or opposite meanings. Once again, these word meaning questions test your vocabulary you need to know the precise meaning of the words given in order to select the appropriate synonym (same meaning) or antonym (opposite meaning). Example Questions 10. Which of two of these words are opposite in meaning? A) lose B) winner C) victor D) loser E) vanquish

11. Which of these words is the odd one out? A) swindle B) harass C) provoke D) annoy E) pester

12. Which of these words is the odd one out? A) verify B) authenticate C) confirm D) ask E) substantiate

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Answers 10. B D are exact opposites. 11. A The others are synonyms 12. D The others are synonyms Word Pair Questions Firstly, you need to establish the relationship between the X is to Y words before you can arrive at the answer. Some people find it helpful to mentally express the relationship before they look at the answer options. This can short circuit the process of considering and rejecting each option because you know in advance exactly what you are looking for. Example Questions 13. Dog is to canine as wolf is to --------A) vulpine B) ursine C) piscine D) bovine E) lupine

14. Sadness is to happiness as defeat is to --------A) joy B) victory C) tears D) victor E) none of these

15. Paper is to timber as --------- is to hide A) tree B) seek C) ox D) animal E) leather

Answers 13. E lupine means relating to the characteristics of wolves 14. B The word pairs are opposites 15. E Paper is made from timber, leather is made from hide Comprehension Questions These questions consist of a short passage and some related questions. They will often be about a topic which is unfamiliar to you, but this is an advantage rather than a disadvantage because you need to answer the questions based only on the information that you are given not using any knowledge that you already have. Most people find that the best way to tackle these verbal comprehension questions is to scan the text fairly quickly to get the general idea and then to attempt each question in turn, referring back to the appropriate part of the text. Example Question 16. Read the following short passage and say whether or not the statements are true. There are seven species of deer living wild in Britain. The Red Deer and the Roe Deer are native species. Fallow Deer were introduced by the Romans and, since the seventeenth century, have been joined by three other non-native species: Sika, Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer which have escaped from parks. In addition, a herd
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of Reindeer was established in Scotland in 1952. Most of the Red Deer in Britain are found in Scotland, but there are significant wild populations in south-west and north-west England, East Anglia and the north Midlands. Red deer can interbreed with the introduced Japanese Sika deer and in some areas, hybrids are common. 16a. All of the Red Deer in Britain are found in Scotland. A) true B) false C) can't say

16b. Red Deer can interbreed with Fallow Deer. A) true B) false C) can't say

16c. The Fallow Deer is not native to Britain. A) true B) false C) can't say

16d. There are no Reindeer in England. A) true Answers 16a. B 16b. C* 16c. A 16d. C *Note that you must answer these verbal comprehension questions using only the information supplied. Red Deer cannot interbreed with Fallow Deer but, because this is not stated in the text, you must answer cant say even if you know that the statement is technically false. Reasoning Questions These questions are not concerned with measuring your facility with English. They are designed to test your ability to take a series of facts expressed in words and to understand and manipulate the information to solve a specific problem. Verbal reasoning questions are usually restricted to graduate and management level tests. Example Question 17. Working together, Tom, Dick and Harry need 9 hours to paint a 400 meter long fence. Working alone, Tom could complete the task in 18 hours. Dick can not work as fast and needs 36 hours to paint the fence by himself. If Tom and Dick take the day off, how long will it take Harry to paint the fence by himself? A)9 B) 12 C) 18 D)36 B) false C) can't say

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Answer 17. D In 9 hours Tom would have painted half of the fence and Dick would have painted one quarter of it. This leaves one quarter to be painted by Harry who must therefore work at the same speed as Dick. Summary Verbal ability tests can be divided into tests of simple verbal ability, for example; spelling, grammar, synonyms and antonyms etc. These tests usually consist of 30 to 40 questions which need to be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. They are speed tests in that they dont require very much reasoning ability. You either know the answer or you dont. Verbal reasoning tests, on the other hand, are designed to measure your problem solving abilities. These questions may take the form of comprehension exercises, which are straightforward (as long as you remember to read the relevant part of the text carefully) or more complex statements where the best tactic is to make notes about what you can deduce from each part of the text. These tests usually consist of 10 to 15 questions which need to be completed in 20 to 30 minutes and are designed to test your reasoning ability rather than your facility with the language. Verbal critical reasoning questions assess your ability to use words in a logical way. The questions measure your understanding of vocabulary, class membership and the relationships between words. Some questions measure your ability to perceive and understand concepts and ideas expressed verbally. While these questions are designed to measure reasoning ability rather than educational achievement, it is generally recognized that verbal reasoning test scores are influenced by educational and cultural background. The principle behind personality questionnaires is that it is possible to quantify your intrinsic personality characteristics by asking you about your feelings, thoughts and behavior. You will be presented with statements describing various ways of feeling or acting and asked to answer each one on a 2 point, 5 point or 7 point scale. For example; 1. I enjoy public speaking? A) True B) False

2. I have clear personal goals? A) strongly disagree B) disagree C) neutral D) agree E) strongly agree

3. I am good at dealing with difficult people? A) very strongly disagree F)strongly agree B) strongly disagrees G) very strongly agree C) disagree D) neutral E) agree

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The number of questions you are expected to answer varies from about 50 to 200, depending on the duration of the test. At first glance, these tests may seem to be both simplistic in their approach and unrealistic in their aims. After all, how can something as complex as your personality be measured and quantified in so little time and with so few questions. In addition, it is easy to see that some of the questions are imprecise and could be answered honestly in different ways depending on your particular interpretation of them on the day. For example, take question 3 above 'I am good at dealing with difficult people? Your answer to this question depends on your interpretation of two things. Firstly 'good', does this mean good compared to other people in your office, good compared to the general public or good compared to some other group? Secondly 'difficult people', does this mean people who are abusive and violent, people who are withdrawn, people who are selfish or what? The important point to remember is that even the best of the personality questionnaires used in selection are far from perfect. They are seriously constrained because the number of questions is limited by the time available the personality questionnaire is usually only one of a battery of aptitude tests, interviews and possibly assessment centre exercises that make up the selection process. However, even if we accept that these tests do have some shortcomings, we still need to know what they are trying to measure and why. What are Personality Types and Traits? Psychologists define personality as: The particular pattern of behavior and thinking that prevails across time and contexts, and differentiates one person from another. The goal of psychologists is to understand the causes of individual differences in behavior. In order to do this one must firstly identify personality characteristics (often called personality traits), and then determine the variables that produce and control them. A personality trait is assumed to be some enduring characteristic that is relatively constant as opposed to the present temperament of that person which is not necessarily a stable characteristic. Consequently, trait theories are specifically focused on explaining the more permanent personality characteristics that differentiate one individual from another. For example, things like being; dependable, trustworthy, friendly, cheerful, etc. One of the first trait theories was developed in ancient Greece by the physician Galen who suggested that our personality was a reflection of the four humors (fluids) that were important in the human body.

Personality Type Choleric Melancholic Phlegmatic Sanguine


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Person is bad tempered, irritable gloomy, pessimistic sluggish, non-excitable cheerful, passionate

Associated Humor Yellow Bile Black Bile Phlegm Blood


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If one of these humors dominated the others then the personality type associated with that humor would be observed. The kind of strict categorization suggested by theories like Galens suggests that there very different types of personalities. More recently, personality theories have leaned more towards the idea that we all have similar personality traits or characteristics, but the extent to which we possess that trait differs. For example, we often classify people as tall or short, but we dont really think that people must be either one or the other. We understand that height is a trait the some of us have more of than others, but we all have it to some extent. If we accept the existence of common personality traits that we all have to varying extents, then the next stage is to agree on how to define them. Psychologists have used a technique known as factor analysis to identify groups of items, which are strongly inter-correlated (these groups of items are known as factors), and believe that these factors provide operational definitions of personality traits. These traits are validated by correlations between scores on these factors and observed behavior. For example, a factor emphasizing extraversion* would be correlated with outgoing behavior. *Extraversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self". Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. Politics, teaching, sales, managing and brokering are fields that favor extraversion. An extraverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They tend to be energized when around other people, and they are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves. Although many people view being introverted or extraverted as a question with only two possible answers, most contemporary trait theories (e.g. the Big Five) measure levels of extraversion-introversion as part of a single, continuous dimension of personality, with some scores near one end, and others near the half-way mar The companies that produce personality tests and the human resources staff who use them invariably refer to these tests as personality questionnaires rather than tests. This is done to avoid giving the impression that there are right and wrong answers and that the test can be either passed or failed. Obviously, no one type of personality is necessarily better or worse than any other. However, remember that you are being given this test for a reason, the employer is plainly looking for something otherwise they would not be wasting time and money on the testing process.

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It is worth taking a few steps back and looking at the selection process objectively. What is the recruiting organization trying to achieve? In simple terms, having received tens or hundreds of applications for a job, they are faced with the considerable task of rejecting all but one of them. Most applicants are rejected on the basis of their resume, but this will usually leave about 10 or so who need to be rejected for other reasons. Looking at the recruitment process like this makes a lot of people uncomfortable the idea of lots of losers and only one winner makes the whole thing seem brutally competitive. And of course it is. A medium sized organization may need to fill several job vacancies every week and this means that lots of applicants need to be screened and nearly all of them rejected, without the whole process costing too much in terms of cash and manpower. In the context of selection, personality questionnaires are just another hurdle that you need to get over to get the job. Lack of Good Advice It is interesting to see how little real advice there is, either in books or on the web, about how to approach the personality questionnaires used in selection. For example, most of the job sites on the internet have several pages of advice for job-seekers on how to prepare their resume or how to answer tough interview questions. However, when it comes to preparing yourself for a personality test, the advice is usually limited to just be yourself. This is a very inconsistent position to take. After all, if youre going to spend considerable time and effort preparing your resume and preparing for the interview, then why not prepare yourself for the personality questionnaire?

To understand where this just be yourself advice comes from it is necessary to look at where these job sites get their content from. The advice that these sites do give is usually little more than a reworking of material that can be found on their competitors web sites or in any one of dozens of books on these topics. Much of it is written by professional copywriters who may not have much interest in the recruitment and selection industry. This shouldnt be surprising, job sites make their money by putting numbers of candidates forward, not by successfully getting individual candidates jobs. They are not experts in the workings of the selection process, but they do feel as though they should have some advice on their web sites to bring in traffic and to add some credibility. Another reason for the just be yourself advice is because the test suppliers have been very successful in getting across the message that these tests are so sophisticated that you cannot influence your result without being caught. This is a case of sales talk becoming accepted wisdom because it is being repeated again and again by every company that produces tests. This is after all a very competitive industry and every company selling these tests must push the message that their test is 100% reliable if they are going to stay in business. Approaches to the Personality Questionnaire There are three approaches that you can take to the personality test. You can either be totally honest and make no attempt to influence the outcome, you can try to determine what characteristics you think the employer is looking for and try to fake the test accordingly or you can learn enough about how these tests work so that you
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can be honest whilst ensuring that you dont blow your chances because one aspect of your personality comes over as too extreme or inappropriate.

The idea of making any attempt to influence your personality profile may be difficult for some people to accept. Many people within HR and the companies that sell the tests would agree. They see personality profiling as an academic exercise which you should submit to without question. Its up to you to decide which option to take. You can either; turn up and just be yourself, take the tests and hope for the best or you can invest a little time and effort to understand how these tests work, and what you need to do to make sure that youre not unfairly rejected. Before you make your decision, you need to understand what it is that the tests try to measure, how they measure it and how the employer uses this information. The topic is further complicated in that there is very little consensus outside of the personality test industry about how accurate some of these tests really are, compared to aptitude tests or the tests used in assessment centers. This is one area where you really do have to make your own decision. When psychologists first began to write and think about intelligence, they focused on cognitive aspects such as memory and problem-solving for the simple reason that they are easy to measure. However, there were researchers who recognized early on that the non-cognitive aspects were also important. As early as the 1940s psychologists were referring to "non-intellective" as well as "intellective" elements of intelligence, by which they meant personal and social factors. Furthermore, they proposed that these non-intellective abilities are essential for predicting someones ability to succeed at work and in life.

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These theories were given support by the Ohio State Leadership Studies (1940s) which found that leaders who are able to establish "mutual trust, respect, and a certain warmth and rapport" with members of their group will be more effective. In addition, the US Office of Strategic Services developed a process of assessment that included the evaluation of non-intellective abilities. This evolved into the "assessment center" which was first used in the private sector at AT&T in the mid 50s. Many of the personal attributes measured in assessment centers involve social and emotional factors such as initiative, sensitivity, and interpersonal skills. The assessment centerrepresents the most challenging and intimidating selection process you can face. You will be judged on how you perform against other candidates who all want the job as much as you do. Learn how to excel at the in-tray exercise, role play, presentations and group discussions. By the early 1980s the concept of "multiple intelligence" was firmly established among psychologists and it was becoming recognized that non-intellective intelligence were as important as the type of intelligence typically measured by IQ tests. The term emotional intelligence was first used by the psychologists Salovey and Mayer in 1990. They defined it as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor ones own and others feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide ones thinking and action". Salovey and Mayer began a research program to develop valid measures of emotional intelligence and to explore its significance. Underlying Salovey and Mayer's approach was the belief that there is a small number of specific skills all of which have to do with either accuracy or effectiveness. Accuracy at perceiving an understanding emotional state in the self and in others and effectiveness of regulating, controlling and using these emotions in order to achieve one's goals. They proposed that there are four fundamental aspects to emotional intelligence:

Recognizing emotions Understanding emotions Regulating emotions Using emotions

The whole idea of emotional intelligence as something worth serious study appealed to a growing group of researchers who were becoming concerned with how poorly traditional IQ tests predict an individuals future success. A number of scientific studies have rated IQ as accounting for between 4% and 25% of the variance in job performance, which is far lower than one might initially expect. Even if the 25% figure is accepted, this would mean that three quarters of the variability that we see in job performance is not the result of IQ and must be due to something else. An example of this research on the limits of IQ as a predictor is the Sommerville study, a 40 year investigation of 450 boys who grew up in Sommerville, Mass. The study found that IQ had little relation to how well they did at work or in the rest of their lives. What made the biggest difference were childhood abilities such as being able to control emotions and get along with other people.

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This idea of IQ as a threshold competence is one that has often been overlooked or down played by the business and popular media. The impression has sometimes been given that high emotional intelligence might somehow compensate for a low IQ. This has given the false impression that IQ matters doesn't matter very much. This ignores the fact that in certain jobs the ability to pass examinations is a pre-requisite and this may demand a high IQ. However, once you are established in that particular job, success is more likely to depend on your ability to persist in the face of difficulty and to get along well with colleagues and subordinates than it is to have an extra 10 points of IQ. So, what is the evidence that The work of Salovey and Mayer would almost certainly never have become known outside of academic psychology except for one key event. The year 1995 saw the publication of the best selling book Emotional Intelligence by Dr Daniel Goleman's followed three years later by Working with Emotional Intelligence by the same author. Both of these books were enormously influential and marked the beginning of emotional intelligence as something that was recognized by mainstream business theorists and writers.

Dr Goleman asserted that The criteria for success at work are changing. We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who past over and who promoted Golemans definition of emotional intelligence proposes four broad domains of EQ which consist of 19 competencies: Self-Awareness
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Emotional self-awareness: Reading one's own emotions and recognizing their impact Accurate self-assessment; knowing one's strengths and limits Self-confidence; a sound sense of one's self-worth and capabilities

Self-Management

Emotional self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control Transparency: Displaying honesty and integrity; trustworthiness Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities Optimism: Seeing the upside in events

Social Awareness

Empathy: Sensing others' emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking active interest in their concerns Organizational awareness: Reading the currents, decision networks, and politics at the organizational level Service: Recognizing and meeting follower, client, or customer needs

Relationship Management

Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating with a compelling vision Influence: Wielding a range of tactics for persuasion Developing others: Bolstering others' abilities through feedback and guidance Change catalyst: Initiating, managing, and leading in a new direction Conflict management: Resolving disagreements Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and team building

There is general agreement that the factors that Goleman and his colleagues have identified are indeed emerging as a key element of workplace success. This is because the way that most organizations work has changed in the last 20 years. There are now fewer levels of management than there were and management styles tend to be less autocratic. In addition, the move towards more knowledge based, team working and customer focused jobs means that individuals generally have more autonomy, even at fairly low levels within organizations. If we accept that IQ plays a limited role in accounting for why some people are more successful than others, what is the evidence that emotional and social factors are important? In other words, is there a business case emotional intelligence The following summarizes five studies that support the idea that emotional and social factors are important in job success. This information is an extract taken from a paper by: Cary Cherniss, Ph.D. - Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology - Rutgers University. The complete paper can be found at the web site of
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the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. www.eiconsortium.org Study 1 Experienced partners in a multinational consulting firm were assessed on the EI competencies plus three others. Partners who scored above the median on 9 or more of the 20 competencies delivered $1.2 million more profit from their accounts than did other partners a 139 percent incremental gain (Boyatzis, 1999). Study 2 An analysis of more than 300 top-level executives from fifteen global companies showed that six emotional competencies distinguished stars from the average: Influence, Team Leadership, Organizational Awareness, self-confidence, Achievement Drive, and Leadership (Spencer, L. M., Jr., 1997). Study 3 In jobs of medium complexity (sales clerks, mechanics), a top performer is 12 times more productive than those at the bottom and 85 percent more productive than an average performer. In the most complex jobs (insurance salespeople, account managers), a top performer is 127 percent more productive than an average performer (Hunter, Schmidt, & Judiesch, 1990). Competency research in over 200 companies and organizations worldwide suggests that about one-third of this difference is due to technical skill and cognitive ability while two-thirds is due to emotional competence (Goleman, 1998). (In top leadership positions, over four-fifths of the difference is due to emotional competence.) Study 4 At LOreal, sales agents selected on the basis of certain emotional competencies significantly outsold salespeople selected using the companys old selection procedure. On an annual basis, salespeople selected on the basis of emotional competence sold $91,370 more than other salespeople did, for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. Salespeople selected on the basis of emotional competence also had 63% less turnover during the first year than those selected in the typical way (Spencer & Spencer, 1993; Spencer, McClelland, & Kelner, 1997). Study 5 In a national insurance company, insurance sales agents who were weak in emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative, and empathy sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Those who were very strong in at least 5 of 8 key emotional competencies sold policies worth $114,000 (Hay/McBer Research and Innovation Group, 1997). Emotional intelligence is difficult to measure and some psychologists doubt that it can be assessed at all. However, many more believe that it can be measured but that there are obstacles to be overcome in doing so.

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The easiest way to measure EQ is through what are called self-report questionnaires, although these are probably the weakest way to do it. These questionnaires ask you to report on your abilities skills and behaviors. For example, how effective you are in recognizing emotions, understanding emotions etc. The flaw with this approach is that you may not accurately report your own skills and abilities. Most of us have a tendency to exaggerate our accomplishments and minimize our shortcomings. The result is that self report questionnaires often provide an inflated picture of our skills and abilities. Even if you were to be completely honest in your answers, you may lack the necessary insight to give accurate answers. One solution to the problem of self report questionnaires is the use of 360 degree tests. This involves questions about your behavior being answered by people who know you, for example, friends, co-workers, boss and subordinates. The advantages of this approach are that; other people are more likely to give an appraisal that is not inflated and they are also more likely to report accurately evaluate how skilful you are in social interaction. A third approach is to use performance tests to measure your EQ. These tests present you with practical problems and asked you to work out the correct answers. In other words, they ask you to actually demonstrate your EQ skills. These tests are not as vulnerable to the problems facing self-report and 360 degree tests but they are much more difficult and expensive to construct. If any individual or organization can convince the business world that they have developed and validated an emotional intelligence test, that can accurately and consistently measure EQ it will bring them considerable status and financial reward. There are various proprietary tests on the market at the moment but unfortunately they all share the same lack of rigorous scientific validation that is accepted for IQ tests. Before we can begin to make assessments of emotional intelligence, we need to know which personality traits specifically are involved. If we ignore the possible existence of business-related intelligence's separate from both intellect and emotion it seems reasonable to assume that psychologists ought to be able to identify and measure accurately the qualities that determine job success. These are generally agreed to be:

Self-awareness - Your ability to control and to understand your own feelings Resilience - Your ability to work under pressure and to cope with changing demands Motivation - How much energy and effort you're prepared to put in to achieve your goals Interpersonal Sensitivity - Your awareness of the needs and feelings of others and the ability to use it effectively in interactions and decision-making Influence - How well you are able to persuade others to agree with your point of view Decisiveness - The ability to arrive a decision when faced with ambiguous information
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Integrity - Your willingness to do what is right and to stick to a course of action

The question is, should organisations try to measure and improve emotional intelligence ? The use of psychological measurement has always been rather controversial, and the measurement of emotional intelligence is no different. This may be due to the view that emotions are unpredictable, irrational, and something to be suppressed in favor of logic and reason. Theories of emotional intelligence have helped to counter this view and offered the promise of a more balanced analysis of what it means to be intelligent about emotions. This has, in turn, expanded our understanding of the role that emotions play. The use of emotional intelligence assessment in organizations has also been controversial. The definition of emotional competencies and the subsequent focus on work performance and assessment has led some critics to label the whole process as a return to an outmoded mechanistic way to increase performance and efficacy at the expense of the well-being of individual employees. However, the core principles of emotional intelligence make clear that individuals are a complex combination of emotion and reason. Without a specific theory of emotional intelligence and the methods to assess it, employees may be limited vague criticism related to their "people skills". In order to improve on any emotional competence, people need to see quantifiable measurement of their baseline abilities and any improvement from it. In conclusion, reliable and valid measurement of specific emotional competencies, so long as it is provided in a positive way helps to provide employees with insight into their strengths and areas for development. Assessment Tools The following is a summary of the most widely used assessment tools. Assessment Tool EIQ (Dulewicz & Higgs) Description Developed in 1999 at Henley Management College in the UK. The Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire offers both self-report and 360 questionnaires, with the latter enabling an allround assessment of an individual's performance from peers, colleagues and managers. The MEIS is a test of ability rather than a selfreport measure. The test-taker performs a series of tasks that are designed to assess the persons ability to perceive, identify, understand, and work with emotion. There is very little for predictive validity in work situations. The only ability measure of EQ, the MSCEIT requires you to actually use your abilities in taking the test with questions where you look at faces, for example, and identify what emotions are present. It helps you understand the actual
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Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale

MSCEIT "Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test"

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intelligence behind emotions: Perceiving, using, understanding, and managing feelings. SEI, Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Test Focused on self-development, the SEI is the only test based on Six Seconds' EQ-in-action model: Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself. The test measures 8 fundamental skills in these three areas. Report comes with over 20 pages of interpretation and development suggestions. Organizational Vital Signs is an organizational climate assessment that gives a clear picture of how people are relating to each other and the workplace. Unlike the other tests, OVS is designed to assess a group or an organization to show the context in which individuals perform. The test measures six factors: Trust, Collaboration, Accountability, Leadership, Alignment, Adaptability. These factors statistically predict over 50% of productivity + customer service + retention. With a much broader perspective, the EQ Map helps people put emotional intelligence into a workplace context. The Map is self-scored, so you can do it completely on your own; it has questions along the lines of, "How well do you recognize emotions in people?" The 14 main scales include emotional awareness, emotional expression, resilience, outlook, trust, and personal power. It also has four outcome scales to show the benefit of increasing the first 14. The EQ Map includes an interpretation guide booklet. This self-report instrument was designed to assess those personal qualities that enabled some people to possess better "emotional well-being" than others. The EQ-I has been used to assess thousands of individuals, and its reliability and validity is well documented. Less is known about its predictive validity in work situations There are 3 versions of this test. All use the Daniel Goleman 4-quadrant model: Selfawareness, Other-awareness, Self-management, Relationship-management. All take about 7
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OVS, Organizational Vital Signs by Six Seconds

EQ Map by Essi Systems

EQ-i by Reuven BarOn

Emotional Intelligence Appraisal by Talent Smart

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minutes to complete, and all come with 6 months of e-learning and a valuable goal-tracking reminder system. ECI (Emotional Competence Inventory) by Hay The ECI is a 360 degree appraisal tool where McBer people who know the individual rate him or her on 20 competencies that are believed to be linked to emotional intelligence. If we accept that emotional intelligence can be measured, then the next question is can emotional intelligence be developed ? Another factor contributing to the popularity of emotional intelligence theories is the assumption that, unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can be developed. There has been some degree of skepticism on this point. For example, one eminent psychologist recently commented, "We know a great deal about the origins of personality traits. Traits from all five factors are strongly influenced by genes and are extraordinarily persistent in adulthood. This is likely to be unwelcome news to proponents of emotional intelligence, who have sometimes contrasted a supposed malleability of emotional intelligence with the relative fixity of traditional IQ". However despite this skepticism, there is some evidence that people can improve on emotional intelligence competencies. One study conducted at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University allowed students to assess their emotional intelligence competencies, in addition to cognitive ones, select the specific competencies they would target for development, and develop and implement an individualized learning plan to strengthen those competencies. Objective assessment of students at the beginning of the program, upon graduation and again years later on-thejob provided a unique opportunity to help address the issue of whether emotional intelligence competencies can be developed.

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As can be seen, the effects the results of this research have shown that emotional intelligence competencies can be significantly improved, and, moreover, these improvements are sustainable over time. Summary One the main points made by psychologists is that the abilities associated with emotional intelligence have been studied for many years. There is an impressive, and growing, body of research suggesting that these abilities are important for success in many areas of life and particularly strong evidence to suggest that they are an important predictor of effective performance at work. There is a considerable body of research suggesting that a persons ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion provides the basis for the kinds of social and emotional competencies that are important for success in almost any job. As the pace of change increases and the world of work makes ever greater demands on a persons cognitive, emotional, and physical resources, this particular set of abilities will become increasingly important

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