Personality Testing FAQ’s

Personality Testing in Recruitment & Selection

FAQ’s for Assessment Participants:Hogan Assessments

  • What will my assessments be used for? Hogan products are used for several reasons, including: pre-hire selection, assessing safety related behavior, identifying high potential employees, and developing leaders.
  • How does personality assessment work? By analyzing your unique combination of values, normal personality characteristics, and derailers, we can gain an understanding of what motivates you to succeed, how you work and how well you work with others, and what is most likely to get in your way.
  • What should I expect? You will be taking one, or a combination of our four core assessments: the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI), or Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI).
  • How long is this going to take? The HPI, HDS, and MVPI assessments consist of brief statements using True/False or Agree/Disagree responses, and on average take 15-20 minutes to complete. The HBRI has 24 problems, and typically takes about 35 minutes to complete. You can stop the assessment process at any time; your answers are automatically saved, and you can log back in to complete the assessments.
  • Is there a way to prepare for the assessments? No. The questions in Hogan’s personality and values assessments are designed to help us understand how you relate to yourself and others. As such, there are no right or wrong answers or good or bad results, so just be honest.
  • Where do I start? Your system administrator will send you a unique user ID and password, as well as a link to log into the Hogan online assessment platform.
  • I am an individual who wants to take your assessments. How do I get started? Please contact us and we can guide you or refer you to our talented network of independent consultants.
  • Is there a way to see my results? Whether or not you see your assessment results is up to your system administrator or project coordinator.

FAQ’s for Employers:

  • How does personality assessment work? By analyzing a combination of personality and core values, we gain an understanding of (1) whether someone can you do a particular job, (2) whether you will like doing the job, and (3) what will get in your way.
  • My company used personality assessments before. What makes Hogan different? Hogan products were developed with strict attention to proven psychological theory, are continuously tested to ensure validity, and have consistently received outstanding reviews from third party sources. Check out Why Hogan, or download the Hogan Assessment Evaluation Guide to learn more about what separates us from the competition.
  • Can people fake it? The short answer is no.
  • I want to use your assessments at my company. How do I get started? Please contact us and we would are more than happy to discuss your needs and recommend the correct assessment! We sell a variety of custom and off-the-shelf reports fueled by the raw data we collect using Hogan assessments, and we want to make sure that you find the best solution for your business needs. Click here to learn more about Hogan products and assessments.
  • How much do your reports cost? Each of our customers faces a unique set of challenges, the solutions to which go beyond the capabilities of a one-size-fits-all assessment solution. Because our approach is specific to each client based on selection or development needs, our pricing varies. To learn more, please contact us.
  • Do I have to be certified to use your assessments and reports?  Yes all users of Hogan assessment must complete Basic Certification to purchase reports.  Those using the HPI, MVPI, or HBRI are also required to have Level B qualification. Level B qualification. Level B requires: (1) a degree in psychology, human relations, counseling, or a closely related field; (2) advanced training from an accredited college or university in the interpretation of psychological tests and measurement; or (3) membership to a professional association or certification by an agency that requires training in the ethical and competent use of psychological assessments. Level C qualification is required to purchase HDS materials. Level C requires a license to practice psychology independently or completion of our certification workshop. Find out more about our Hogan certification workshops.
  • Why do I need to be certified? We require you to be certified because we want you to succeed. By ensuring the proper training, we (1) empower you with a more complete understanding and ability to interpret the inherently complex data that our assessments provide and (2) guarantee our products are used ethically and legally.

Do I have to get certified more than once, like if I use a new report or move companies? No, once you have successfully completed the certification process, you are authorized to use our tools forever. Advanced certification training and refresher webinars are available for continuous learning. Contact us for more information.

General FAQ’s:

Why is personality testing important to recruitment? Effective recruiters use personality assessment to enhance their decision-making about the potential of applicants. No recruiter wants to spend time on a low potential applicant. The more information available, the more efficient and accurate a recruiter can be with referrals. For example, screening candidates with the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) in a retail company reduced turnover by 50%, improved productivity in an insurance company by 48%, decreased lost time accidents among hospital workers by 20%, and increased financial sales in a bank by $308,000.00 per year per sales representative. A major telecommunications company used the HPI to hire technical support personnel. Using an HPI-based profile of high performers, persons who fit the profile were two times more likely to receive high ratings for customer focus, and over two times more likely to receive high ratings for overall performance; conversely, 38% of incumbents who did not meet the profile soon left the company.

Wouldn’t cognitive testing be enough? Cognitive test scores tell us how quickly a person can learn. They tell us nothing about a person’s integrity, creativity, punctuality, interpersonal style or ability to provide customer service, handle pressure, or work as part of a team. Two large, peer reviewed, meta-analytic studies of leadership report a correlation of .27 between intelligence and leadership, and a correlation of .48 between personality and leadership. In a famous review of over 85 years of selection research, Schmidt and Hunter show that adding a measure of conscientiousness to a measure of cognitive ability improves validity by 18%; adding a measure of integrity improves validity by 27%; conversely, adding a measure of cognitive ability to a measure of conscientiousness yields very little increase in validity.

How does personality determine job performance? Personality predicts how a person will work—diligently, intelligently, cheerfully, and cooperatively. Personality affects the style or manner in which a person approaches his/her work; to the degree that a person must work with others—clients or fellow employees—this style matters greatly. Angry, moody, unhappy, stress prone employees contaminate the work place and ruin staff morale.

What would be the effects of not using personality testing? The alternatives to using a personality test to screen job applicants—job interviews, background checks, resumes—yield random results. One might as well evaluate applicants using a coin flip. For example, a large logistics company hired 2200 employees using a recruiter and 2200 employees using the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI). Those employees who were not screened were two times more likely to be fired for improper conduct, four times more likely to be fired for fighting, five times more likely to be fired for insubordination, and ten times more likely to be fired for theft.

Why is personality testing coming under such criticism? About 30 years ago in the U.S., lawyers challenged the use of cognitive ability tests for personnel selection because certain minority groups receive systematically lower scores. Employers began using personality measures for selection because they are race and gender neutral. Hundreds of test publishers brought poor quality tests to the market—there are no barriers to entry and clients are rarely able to evaluate the psychometric qualities of tests—creating a commodity market stocked with products that don’t predict job performance.

What are the key criticisms of personality testing? There are two key criticisms of personality testing: (1) The tests don’t predict job performance; and (2) The tests are easily faked.

Is any of this criticism deserved? Because there are so many bad tests on the market, the criticism that the tests don’t predict job performance is partially true—there are thousands of publishers selling tests that are technically incompetent, which means they don’t predict job performance. There are only three or four technically competent tests on the market; these tests predict job performance quite well.

Is cheating or faking good impressions a problem? Joyce Hogan, Robert Hogan, and Paul Barrett published an important empirical paper that shows definitively that faking during the job application process is irrelevant for the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI). The abstract is presented below: “Real job applicants completed a Five-Factor Model personality measure as part of the job application process. They were rejected; six months later they (n = 5, 266) re-applied for the same job and completed the same personality measure. Results indicated that 5.2% or less improved their scores on any scale on the second occasion; moreover, scale scores were as likely to change in the negative direction as the positive. Only three applicants changed scores on all five scales beyond a 95% confidence threshold….For the small number of applicants whose scores changed beyond the standard error of measurement, the changes were systematic and predictable using measures of social skill, social desirability, and integrity. Results suggest that faking on personality measures is not a significant problem in real world selection settings.”

How does Hogan’s product deal with this problem? Hogan Assessment Systems has dealt with the problem by analyzing it carefully, using a very large sample of real job applicants, and showing quite clearly that faking is not an issue for the HPI.

What is the best way to choose a test? Test construction and validation is a technical process. The best way to choose a test with the appropriate psychometric qualities is to ask an expert in personnel selection—usually a person with an advanced degree in I/O psychology—for advice.  Contact us for more information!

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