Aptitude Tests Blog
The Four Personality Types
by Aptitude Tests on 10 Dec 2013 permalink
It is possible to rate a person's temperament across four quadrants, namely sanguine (sparky), choleric (rocky), melancholic (arty) and phlegmatic (cool). How can you make sense of that information?
In conflict resolution those 4 genres would be called synergistic, win/lose, yield/lose and lose/leave.
In performance appraisal there would be dominant/warm, dominant/hostile, submissive/hostile and submissive/warm.
In work interaction they would be collaborative, competing, accommodating and avoiding.
In decision making there would be integration, power, suppression and denial.
In style they would be expressive, driver, analytical and amicable.
In emotions they would be inducement of others, dominance, compliance and steadiness.
In orientation they would be adapting/dealing, controlling/taking, supporting/giving and conserving/holding.
Sanguines would be people-oriented salespeople, experts in public relations displaying lots of charisma.
Cholerics are strong goal oriented natural leaders who thrive on managing people.
Melancholics are creative, analytical folks striving for perfection with aesthetic traits.
Phlegmatics are cool, detailed, patient individuals who tend to limit themselves. They can perform statistical, microscopic work that would drive others crazy.
Needless to say that in any situation you need a mix of those temperament types so that when people come together they are complete - not lacking anything.
You could also rate those four types along the lines of stable/unstable and introvert/extrovert. In this case the sanguine becomes sociable, outgoing, talkative, responsive, easy going, lively and carefree. The choleric becomes touchy, restless, aggressive, excitable, changeable, impulsive and optimistic. The melancholic becomes moody, anxious, rigid, sober, pessimistic, reserved, unsociable and quiet. Finally the phlegmatic stands for passive, careful, thoughtful, peaceful, controlled, reliable, even-tempered and calm.
If you now rate the four types in terms of strengths/weaknesses we have the sanguine weaknesses as exaggerating, egocentric, unproductive, emotionally unstable and undisciplined. But the sanguine strengths are outgoing, enthusiastic, compassionate, talkative, warm and friendly, responsive.
The choleric weaknesses are cold/unemotional, self-sufficient, impetuous, domineering, unforgiving, sarcastic, angry and cruel. The choleric strengths are strong-willed, independent, visionary, practical, productive, decisive, born-leader.
The melancholic weaknesses are theoretical, touchy, revengeful, persecution-prone, self-centred, moody, unsociable, negative and critical. The melancholic strengths are aesthetic, analytical, gifted, self-disciplined, industrious, self-sacrificing.
The phlegmatic weaknesses are unemotional, procrastinator, selfish, stingy, self-protective, indecisive, fearful, worrier. The phlegmatic strengths are calm/quiet, easy-going, dependable, objective, diplomatic, efficient/organised, practical and humorous.
I am sure by now you have desperately tried to see which category you fit in. There is a test you can take online to find out your temperament but unlike aptitude tests there are no right or wrong answers. Furthermore selecting people on the basis of a personality type is tantamount to prejudice just like selecting on the basis of sex, age or race.
The bad taste of flunking an aptitude test
by Aptitude Tests on 03 Dec 2013 permalink
Are you ashamed your true self-worth did not shine forth during a recent assessment? Do you feel queasy that you've been cheated by some trick questions? Never, pick yourself up and try again!
A test is a rude and crude way for someone who doesn't know you to find out if you are employable material. But you know what? All the other candidates had to pass the same test too!
It is not a reflection of your intelligence or your qualities such as endurance, loving kindness or mental health even though some enterprising psychologists would have devised tests claiming to measure just that.
Tests are an imperfect yardstick at best. People use them because they are lazy - not willing to take the time to appraise you as a uniquely gifted individual. When there are 200 applicants for just one position, how else would you go about it?
Be as it may, as a candidate, you only have two choices: apply or not apply. The wisdom being that if you concentrate your fire on the roles you have some real chance of getting, you will be more motivated and come across as a valid pretender - not someone who is just trying their luck.
The good news about aptitude test is that with a bit of practise you can really improve your scores dramatically. In fact some tests are really about being able to understand the question. A good grasp of the language is a strong asset. It may have been used to screen out migrant workers from a non-English background. You also have to consider how dangerous it can be in the workplace if someone doesn't understand the instructions given. Again, with the internet and electronic media you can check the news, watch a movie or sitcom, read a novel - until you are up to speed. If you do not speak English at home, you are at a disadvantage.
Logic and reasoning are also some close favourites for recruiters. The last thing you want, is having to micro-manage your staff. If people can demonstrate they can make sensible decisions on the shop-floor, in line with company policy, they will be rewarded for their sense of leadership. Putting someone on the payroll is a vote of confidence - they are not buying a new robot.
So if you want to invest a little bit in your future, we recommend you avail yourself of some of the tests we have at aptitude-test.info
Aptitude tests are here to stay - get over it!
by Aptitude Tests on 26 Nov 2013 permalink
How do you objectively compare applicants under the same standard? How do you screen out the cheats and the liars from the rest of the pack? How do you check if the skills claimed are current or long forgotten? To answer these questions and more recruiters are now turning to aptitude tests in droves.
An applicant might look very presentable at the interview but perform poorly under stress. There are times where it is not possible or convenient to check references.
How do you compare diplomas from different universities locally and overseas?
So are aptitude tests the answer? Yes and no. Tests can be used to corroborate your opinion about an applicant. Ultimately taking up employment has risks for both parties. Tests should not be used to discriminate on social or cultural background. Senior workers may fail tests that rely too much on memory when in the workplace the required information is readily available. A perfect parrot never makes a good employee. An applicant who passes test with flying colours might in fact be utterly bored in the job because there is nothing new to discover...
It is an art to craft a test which hones in a given topic from different angles to avoid guessing and misunderstanding.
The Myers-Briggs personality tests are cloaked in controversy as people are of two minds as to what it is they are actually measuring. Only 50% of people retested within 9 months will return the same results!
Ultimately if you blindly rely on the results of personality tests during the recruitment process it puts your leadership qualities into question. If you cannot trust your judgment in selecting people who will work under your authority what do they have left to look up to?
Aptitude tests will bring together four types of folks. People who want to practice as they re-enter the job market, candidates sponsored by an employer to undergo a series of tests prior to being called for an interview, recruiters who use online aptitude tests as a benchmark to screen applicants down to a shortlist and finally experts in a given field who give out some of their knowledge by writing a test.
There is an issue whether or not you should allow someone to sit again for the same test. To avoid this some tests providers change the order of questions at random or pick a subset of questions from a larger pool. In that case when we compare the scores of several candidates we are not comparing people who were given the same experience.
So at the end of the day aptitudes tests are neither good or bad - it's how you use or misuse them that makes them one or the other. In a world where everything revolves around Key Performance Indicators and Return On Investment the lure of aptitudes tests gives you the appearance that you have done due diligence. What about sitting down with somebody over a cup of coffee and getting to know that person?
Are aptitude tests inept?
by Aptitude Tests on 19 Nov 2013 permalink
I have been a professional in my field for 20 years yet I have flunked several tests with recruitment agencies. So either I am not a professional or the tests are wrong.
I know what I can do and my resume is there to prove my track record - so I would claim that the tests are wrong. They set the bar so high that all they can demonstrate is how someone in their twenties can cram their head with useless information that will be obsolete in two years time because technology would have moved on from where it is today.
So why do recruiters use stupid tests in the first place? Two reasons: lack of trust and discrimination.
People fudge their job application to get an advantage. Recruiters can't believe anything and everything their read in resumes. Integrity is gone out the window. They could use a lie detector during the interview or they can connect across databases of candidates to check if two versions of your resume contradict each other.
Today any claim you make in a job application has to be proven or demonstrated. Recruiters have so much choice they are not going to take any chances. To minimise their risk of hiring the wrong person they always like to award the position to someone who is already in the workforce employed by a competitor rather than someone who needs a job because there is a family to support.
Senior workers are being discriminated against. There is this fad of the forever young and attractive person spread throughout advertising and the media. The only time you will see actors or models clearly well over their fifties is when they try to sell you a pension fund or a retirement home... Get real. Maybe the reason the country is going to the dogs is that we have forgone the collective wisdom of our elders. Try to tell that to an employer who is 15 years younger than you. Age discrimination has at its roots in the rebellion of the current generation. Because things change so fast people believe the lie that experience counts for nothing. Yes technology moves on at a breath taking pace but certain things in life also remain the same. It takes maturity to know which is which.
Job fulfilment is at an all time low because workers feel constrained in a straight jacket - unable to release their true potential because there are not being trusted. An unspoken corporate culture promotes best practice but it's all public relations spin applied within. Those who succeed in business are those who break the rules and don't fit into any mould. Bill Gates would never be hired by today's Microsoft because he didn't finish his course at Harvard College.
Fair candidates screening process
by Aptitude Tests on 12 Nov 2013 permalink
When push comes to shove, how do you know which candidates to call for an interview and which ones to politely dismiss?
What is your time worth? Some employers have given up altogether on actively recruiting and have passed on the task to greedy employment agencies.
Did you know the internet provides useful tools to make your choice more impartial? Knowledge appraisal is what it's all about. If your inbox has been flooded with 50, 100, 200 applicants for the one position you just advertised - how do you know who is telling the truth about their background and abilities?
Despite popular belief you do not have to be a specialist in every field of expertise to produce a meaningful test of knowledge and abilities. All is required is some decent course material which can be turned around into a set of multiple or free text questions. If you are concerned that people answering questions randomly might get away with an average score - it is not so. The same question can be presented couched in two different ways. Chances of guessing your way through the test are much lower.
What about the accreditation racket? You and only you are the judge of who is fit to work on your team. Why should you pay extra in recognition of qualifications you do not really need? Are people's mindsets being affected by what government think you should do or not do in your private enterprise? What you are really after is your procedures manual turned around into an aptitude test. Therefore you can screen people on really the issues that are important to you as an employer - not what some academic or some government boffin thinks.
Aptitude tests are despised by people who perceive them as another unfair selection criteria. Others assume their usefulness is degraded if taken online - just google away the answers you need! For the first issue you can provide a sample test to minimize the effect of surprise and give time for people to adjust to the software. Secondly tests have a time limit. If people are able to check an answer online - why not? Wouldn't you like people working for you to be pro-active? But if it means getting their qualifications while being paid on company time to do something else - of course not.
What if people cheat and get a professional to do the test online on their behalf? Simple - get them to do the test again when they arrive for the interview. Questions are presented in random order. They won't have time to memorise everything.
RECENT ARTICLESThe bad taste of flunking an aptitude test
Aptitude tests are here to stay - get over it!
Are aptitude tests inept?
Fair candidates screening process
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The mental gymnastic of aptitude tests
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