8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2013 2:42 PM by Cabe Atwell

    Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?

    Cabe Atwell


      Yin Yang of our personalities. (via Cat's Creations - body and face paint)


      Have you taken a personality test for a job?


      A friend of mine was hired by a company about 8 months ago. Since then, he has become a vital part of the team. He can do so much more than anyone else in the company. He even makes parts for them in his home machine shop after hours.


      As of last week, it has come to the attention of the higher-ups that he never took a personality test. For some reason, the top manager ("Super Boss") demands all employees to take one. (Side note: the manager also has cameras everywhere, including his own home. He sits and watches the video feeds all day apparently.)


      My friend is considering an out-right refusal to take the test. Although technical merit is a good way to show usefulness to the company, the Super Boss may still demand the test.


      Do you think that it is necessary or even ethical to ask an employee to take a personality test? After 8 months of excellent service, would it be an insult to now require the test?




      The personality test is more of an assessment. There are no right or wrong answers. The evaluation comes under the guise of making sure the employee will fit the corporate culture.


      Some "catch-22" personality test questions:

      "Have you ever been mad at work, even for personal reasons?"

      "Have you ever taken anything from the office, even a pen or paperclip?"

      "Have you ever felt tired at the work place?"




        • Re: Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?

          Hi Cabe,


          I have taken a number of personality tests for various reasons, but nothing at the level you indicate here.

          Usually these types of tests are done as part of a team building exercise to help people working together better understand the personality of the others they are working with.  Most are innocuous and sometimes informative.


          However, the type of test you show here appears to be of a different nature.  Some people are total control freaks and sometimes abuse the information.

          I would use this type of test to see if they are really read and also ask to see the results in relation to the group.  One quick way to put management on the defensive is to ask to see the process they use and how it fits into the management decision space.  If management cannot explain or will not explain, then you know you are working at a temporary job and you should begin planning your next move.


          My personnal ethics would consider this action too much for a good management team or a company to ask of an employee.  I would find a new job quickly.

          Good managers have the observation skills to assess their employees.  If they have to use a test, they should not be managers.


          Just my opinion.


          • Re: Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?

            Never taken a test like that, everybody knows without any tests that I am grumpy and grim But if I were forced to, I would either leave the company or give made up answers so that upper-ups have something to think about if they ever actually read the test results. The guy like you described should have no problem finding another job at another company where he is treated right.

            • Re: Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?

              Most big companies do tests to make sure that not only the fit the culture - but also the team the work with. There are so many different test types - and different ways to classify them. Some companies even do the test every one or two years.


              I would not worry about a test. It sounds like your friend loves his job - so just do the test and continue as before.


              The boss might be a moron - and morons react on impulses anyway.

              • Re: Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?

                If it were me and I had such concerns, I would ask to see one of these "higher-ups" make an appointment or whatever, and discuss these concerns with them.

                I don`t think he should do anything reactionary, nor do I think he should just go along with.

                it`s important that he be heard and presents his case, otherwise nothing will ever change.

                • Re: Super Boss demands a personality test. Insult or a good idea?
                  John Beetem

                  I think your friend needs to take the "Dilbert compatibility test".  I can't find a link to this, so I'm paraphrasing from memory.


                  1.  Select 100 Dilbert strips at random.

                  2.  For each strip, indicate whether it reflects your company or not.




                  0-25: Company needs to develop a sense of humor.

                  25-50: Company has a heathy mixture of reasonableness and nonsense.

                  50-75: Company is starting to get into trouble, and needs to improve its culture or it's going to be history.

                  75-100: Company is beyond repair -- get your resume in order and start looking elsewhere.