[IPAC-List] Personality Assessments

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Wed Sep 11 15:53:14 EDT 2013

While it should not be construed as being the same thing as a
personality assessment, some form of situational judgment test may
really be what you are seeking, since the expressed concerns would seem
to be what certain candidates would do (or not do) in identifiable
situations (e.g., lousy people skills).

While we often think of them as being principally multiple-choice
instruments, in truth, many of the questions that are often asked in
structured interviews ARE essentially opportunities to examine
situational judgment, whether they are inquiries into "What would you do
if...?", or reflections on "What did you do when...?".

Personally, I think it rather inappropriate to assess for the purposes
of screening out specific individuals. If the scoring criteria and
template developed for what you feel are crucial competencies for the
position in question provide guidance to examiners/interviewers for what
constitutes instances of both the presence AND absence of a given
competency, you should be okay, though, and you end up with candidates
that are truly cut out for that sort of position and set of
responsibilities. If you have well thought-out criteria for what is
important about the position, and a candidate does better than you
thought they would, they may be more capable than some thought they'd

Keep in mind that sometimes people can surprise you and rise to the
occasion. Keep in mind, as well, that folks can sometimes have an
under-informed sense of the position they apply for, and when faced with
an authentic representation of what sorts of choices and situations it
entails, and not just the pay differential, they may feel more at ease
with not having been selected. I don't say this to scare people away
from jobs. Rather, they deserve to be happy in them, and if they are a
poor match for what the job truly demands, best to learn that without
having to put oneself and others through hell.

Mark Hammer

>>> Dennis Doverspike <dennisdoverspike at gmail.com> 2013/09/11 3:31 PM


I would second the points made by Fred. Which is not to say that a
personality assessment cannot provide valuable information. However,
given the scenario provided, I would agree with the points made by

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM, Fred Rafilson <fred at iosolutions.org>

Hi Barry,

While you may certainly gain some insight from a personality
assessment, I think the validity of your decision based on its use would
be limited at best. My strong preference would be a well-developed
structured oral interview and/or assessment center designed to include
exactly those types of situations that are of interest and importance in
the agency you are working with. Obviously, designing appropriate rating
criteria will be critical.

My two cents!


Fred M. Rafilson, Ph.D. ~ Chief Executive Officer
888.784.1290 ( tel:888.784.1290 ) ~ fax: 708.410.1558 (
tel:708.410.1558 )

The Public Safety Selection SpecialistsT
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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org
[mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Barry Casey
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:50 AM
To: ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Personality Assessments


In a previous professional life, I worked in personnel assessment with
a Civil Service Board in Alabama. I have been contacted by another Fire
District in our area about helping them with a promotional examination.
However, they have concerns that some of the candidates that they
believe will do well, would not be a good fit due to the personalities
of the potential promotional candidates. Essentially, they are concerned
that the individuals' ego would prevent them from being an effective
company officer.

Are any of you aware of any assessments that may help to identify those
personality traits that may problematic for the District.

Any advice is welcomed.


Barry P. Casey
Executive Assistant to the Chief
Cahaba Valley Fire and EMR District
145 Narrows Dr
Birmingham AL 35242
205-991-6664 ( tel:205-991-6664 )
IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

Dennis Doverspike, PhD., ABPP
Licensed Psychologist, #3539 (OHIO)
Independent Consultant
Professor of Psychology, University of Akron
dennisdoverspike at gmail.com

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