More and more companies today are using matching software and personality testing to help identify “good fit” candidates.
A few things you should know about this process:
The science of the personality is still relatively new. Behavioral sciences are pretty well-founded, but the neurology behind those behaviors is still… well, let’s just say, asking moral questions to people strapped into fMRI machines is a VERY exciting place to be right now.
Organizational cultures often change when leaders change. (Except in sclerotic organizations that resist change so well that they die before they change. Like GM. But I digress.)
There is an organizational culture, and there are also team cultures that are driven by team managers. In larger, geographically dispersed organizations, these two cultures are often related but separate.
There is a lot of crap out there passing itself off as the way to determine best-fit candidates. Some companies use whatever surveys are built into their ATS’s, and don’t really think about what the responses mean.
In my experience, managers say they want fit, but what they really want is loyalty, initiative, reliability, and respectfulness.
So, unless you’re applying to work at the Gallup organization or another testing company that really gets this stuff, there is room to negotiate the results of a personality test… should you want to.
If you get the feedback, never argue. Getting feedback is a gift: remember, feedback is an integral part of the Quality Event. If you’re lucky enough to be given feedback in an interview process, a Clarifying Event is being dropped in your lap. Say “Thank you!”
Think about the feedback and in the moment, ask a question. Don’t ask, “Can I ask you a question,” but ask a real question, like, “Wow, this is certainly useful information… Please help me understand, as an employee, how you would envision me using this to do my job better…?” Keep in mind that if you are not sincere when you ask this question, you will sound bitter and sarcastic. That would be bad.
If you don’t get the feedback and are simply told, “Thanks, but no thanks,” don’t let the door close. Earn an invitation to learn why you are being rejected. This is a classic sales technique, and you should try it, by saying something along the lines of, “Hi, listen, you just tested me, which means you’ve got some insight into who I am. I need to know what you found out… It may not help me get a job with you, but it will definitely help me, and that’s worth something to me. Please.” I think you’ll be surprised that most people want to help you. And if you pay attention, you may just re-open the door…
None. You’ve been working your tail off. Go out and enjoy a movie.