[IPAC-List] A question of personality

Brull, Harry Harry.Brull at pdininthhouse.com
Fri Nov 20 17:50:51 EST 2009


I'm interested in any advice in a sticky situation:

Recently I conducted a police lieutenant promotional process for a department of approximately 100 sworn personnel. One of the components was an omnibus personality inventory which I "scored". (It happened to be a PDI proprietary instrument, but the situation would have been no different with, for example, the California Personality Inventory (CPI) or equivalent.)

Two of the candidates produced invalid profiles (as evidenced by a good impression and response distortion scale). I asked them to re-take the instrument and was able to interpret the results (although one resulting profile was marginally valid and I probably was overly generous in interpreting the results)

Afterwards, even though his total results placed him well out of the running for promotion, one of the candidates complained that he was unfairly treated. Others wondered publically why I didn't just "fail" him for this portion of the process.

Two Civil Service hearings later, I am feeling somewhat frustrated trying to explain personality testing, faking, etc. to people who either don't understand or don't want to understand.

So here's my questions:
* Do self-report measures such as personality profiles have a place in Civil service procedures which must produce a rank-ordered list of scores?
* Are there instruments which overcome the hurdle of faking (my internal experts tell me "no")
* What should one do with a candidate profile that is uninterpretable?

I've been asked to recommend substitute procedures. So far I've suggested oral interview, role-plays, and the Promotability index (a procedure where multiple raters place candidates of numerical "rungs" of a ladder - candidate score is the arithmetic average of assigned ratings).

Any ideas out there?

Harry Brull
Harry Brull | Senior Vice-President
PDI Ninth House
Global Leadership Solutions

1.612.337.8233 office
1.612.414.8998 mobile
1.612.337.3695 fax
Harry.Brull at pdininthhouse.com <mailto:First.Last at pdininthhouse.com>

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Minneapolis, MN 55402


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