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Seven Things a Personality Test Won’t Tell You about Your Next Hire

The hiring process can be challenging. You think you're improving your chances of hiring the best person for the job by carefully reviewing resumes, planning interviews, conducting background checks, and incorporating a ​​personality test into your hiring practice. However, not all ​personality tests can really tell you who that person is. The good news: emotional intelligence assessments are valuable tools for subjectively measuring candidates' competencies. The bad news: if you're not using an emotional intelligence-based ​​personality test, you're not getting the full story of who your candidates are and what they're capable of doing for your business. It could be time to trade in your current personality assessment for a new model.

Consider auto sales. What makes a good salesperson? You're probably imagining someone outgoing and persistent with good interpersonal and communication skills. Instead of simply testing for behavior, what if you could test the why behind someone's actions? An emotional intelligence test does just that by measuring a person's biases and clarity in thinking, which result in decision-making and judgment. Examining how someone thinks—rather than examining any other trait—is the most revealing way to determine future actions, including sales performance. Roughly 80 percent of the competencies that correlate to workplace success are emotional intelligence-based, which is far greater than IQ or personality traits.

Here are seven things a personality test w​on't tell you about a candidate that an emotional intelligence test will.

  1. Clear judgment—Employee success comes down to an individual's ability to exercise clear and sound judgment, even in stressful job situations.

  2. Control of emotions—Because highly emotionally intelligent employees can recognize and manage their own emotions and impulses, these individuals can also communicate with others effectively, manage change well, and use humor to decrease anxiety in tense situations.

  3. Intuition about others' emotions—Individuals with high emotional intelligence can recognize emotions in other people, have the ability to demonstrate empathy, and can easily build rapport with others because of their skill of connecting on an emotional level.

  4. True sales or service acumen—Highly emotionally intelligent employees are gifted at educating and persuading in a sales situation or resolving customer complaints in a customer service role, but a personality test w​on't accurately give you these results. Personality test results are filled with bias because candidates can give false answers to give the impression that they have job-related competencies. Emotional intelligence tests cannot be falsified. Questions are not self-assessing. Instead, candidates evaluate independent items, resulting in unbiased and deductive results.

  5. Propensity to break the rules—Employees with low emotional intelligence are more likely to ignore the rules and processes of an organization, ignore the requests from management, and cause conflicts with other employees.

  6. Likelihood to steal—Employees with low emotional intelligence typically lack a sense of right from wrong. These individuals are more likely to violate company ethics and put their self-interest ahead of organizational values.

  7. Tendency to get injured on the job—Because low emotionally intelligent individuals lack morals, they may file false workplace injury claims or simply be more prone to getting injured while on the job because of their inability to exercise sound judgment.

Think about your ideal salesperson again. Wouldn't you like test results that provide accurate insight about essential competencies of a successful salesperson, not just whether a candidate rates as an extrovert or introvert? Remember, if you want to learn more about a candidate's potential performance, test their thinking, not their personality.


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