Have you been asked to complete a battery of tests or questionnaires for a job, as part of a merger, or for internal development in your organization ? Don’t panic, or worse, get angry. When designed and administered correctly — objective yet personalized — psychometrics like a personality test can be an incredibly useful tool both for you and your work. Below is Sean Duffy’s personal experience taking hfi‘s personality questionnaire and receiving the professional feedback that follows.
Recently I was given the opportunity to take hfi’s suite of personality tests and performance assessment tests and received personal feedback from one of their professional business psychologists. I must admit that prior to actually sitting down to face this personality test I was somewhat apprehensive about it. A variety of perceptions and opinions, and many of them rather skeptical, seemed to crowd my thoughts.
I suppose these feelings that I brought with me to the personality test are likely to be shared with most people. Adults don’t often take assessments or tests, and certainly not those designed to measure their ability and potential. A common response might be that simply doing their job is measurement enough. On the other hand, people do not regularly receive opportunities to truly reveal the sum total of characteristics, talents, and abilities that make them who they are and uncover their potential for greater things.
hfi markets itself as an organization that creates wealth through people. hfi supports organizations with identifying and nurturing their talent management process. To that end, the hfi personality tests serve as the primary discovery tool to locate the best and brightest within any business and guide these companies toward making better career development decisions that serve both the business and their employees.
Well, at least that is what I knew of hfi and the products and services they provide. But I determined I would decide for myself while taking their personality test and listening to the feedback they provided based on my results.
I consider myself an intelligent and competitive person. And I understand that these tests are designed to determine the extent to which I possess the skills and personal make-up inherent to successful business leaders. So with this in mind, my initial approach with the first test was to give them what they wanted – if they wanted a goal-oriented, decision-making leader, that’s exactly how I would tailor my responses, regardless if my answers accurately reflected my opinions or experience. And again, it’s my assumption that many people might do the same. I mean, we all want to appear and be perceived as smart and highly-capable and in possession of great qualities and talents that perhaps have yet to be noticed, right? I do. And because of that, I began my personality test attempting to game my assessment.
Now sure, hfi does provide timed intelligence assessment tests, which are similar to IQ tests and designed to be as definitive as possible by testing analytic ability and intellect and reasoning. You can’t beat these tests with strategy. It was with the greyer, more ambiguous assessments that queried my motivational values and managerial style that I thought I could out-manoeuvre.
It took me no more than 15 minutes, however, to understand that this tactic wasn’t going to work. Even as I attempted to provide the answers I felt most characteristic to executive-level managers or Wealth Creators, the questions I encountered often contained no absolute correct response at all. Moreover, I soon realized that many questions were being posed again and again, each time slightly reworded or positioned from a new vantage. That’s when I really began to appreciate and admire what hfi was doing. If I couldn’t out-think the test, my only other option was to be honest and answer each question as truthfully as I could. And that’s the point.
As I moved through each test, I found the questions to be exacting, demanding, and often illuminating. Many of my own responses surprised me. And the further I moved away from the idea that I could somehow manipulate my responses to produce a better “score”, the more attentive I became to my own opinions and preferences, and the more I enjoyed responding. I finished the personality test feeling certain that whatever my results revealed, they’d be a very accurate measurement of the person and employee that I am. I couldn’t wait to hear the feedback.
Two days later, I received both a comprehensive analysis report and a telephone call from one of hfi’s consultants. Together, we examined how my responses to the personality test shaped their findings and I found our conversation to be a helpful pairing to the conclusions made in the report. The hfi consultant was kind and informative and explained how my skill sets and personal qualities might best be applied within an actual work environment. And I was correct – my results were a thoughtful and intimate reflection of who I really am.
The services hfi offers extend well beyond my assessment experience, but it’s easy to imagine the practicality and effectiveness of their products and services once applied to an entire team or workforce. The assessments themselves are a great tool to establish and maintain a successful organization development structure and hfi should be considered experts at helping companies get there.
Thank you Sean for this wonderful write-up!
To learn more about how our psychometrics – personality assessment, cognitive ability, motivational values – could benefit you or your business, contact us today!