Recently I started looking for a new career as my career in the Navy is winding down and it is time for me to start the next chapter in my life. With this come interviews, playing phone-tag with recruiters, the apprehension of making sure you are staying in persistent contact with hiring managers without becoming a pest, and the occasional personality test.
Most of us are familiar with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and if you’re on social media you’ve no doubt come across any number of personality type photo arrays showing how if your MBTI is x then you most resemble fictional character y. You can also find different websites out there where you can take a test and compare your MBTI against historical figures. Some people’s personalities will experience some small changes based on things that go on in our life, or if we border on two different types. For example, I am an INTJ bordering on ENTJ, or as my wife puts it, I am an extroverted introvert.
Recently, I came across a new test, a Hartman-Kinsel test. The test involves a list of terms that you rank order from best to worst. According to Clear Direction Inc. a producer of personal and professional training “The Hartman-Kinsel Profile measures the patterns and clarity of thinking of the participant as well as the effects that stress has had on a person’s ability to think about different things, how clearly a person’s “Value Vision” is developed, what dimensions a person is most and least attentive to, and the different balances in a person’s thinking.”
Now being a bit of a Philomath I decided that I would look into this, see where I lie on their spectrum. But when I went searching for a free online test that I could use to gauge myself I was actually surprised to see a wealth of search results dedicated to answering personality tests the ‘right’ way to get a job. I find this more than a little disturbing. Not disturbing in that I thing some narcissistic sociopath is going to get a job as a kindergarten teacher, but rather that people would game a system made to see if their personality is actually right for the job that they are applying for.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that the job market is tight, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to get an edge on the competition. But what happens when you game the system and end up in a job that you are miserable in, or that you are ill-equipped to do. Or worse that you end up with a team based on a personality revealed by the screening, but that is completely incompatible with you as an individual, so much so that everyone’s performance suffers.
So, take my advice when it comes to personality screening. Just be yourself, you’ll find that life is much easier that way.