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What’s the Good Trait? – Part II
Article » KPO/BPO/Operations
Posted by : thedesk   Mar 11 2005
Assessing your career suitability through assessment tests
Over the ages, in the shifting planes of human interests, social behavior, subject skills, intelligence quotients and personalities, the only constant there has been is the need felt to evaluate patterns and causes of human abilities, aptitudes, personalities, behavioural quotients and their specific suitability to work, relationships and life, in general. As we contended in our first article on assessment tests, these tests have over a period given us the tools to ballpark our temperaments, personalities so that we know how we look in the mirror. As the illustration in the first article portrayed (see illustration), personality tests show up what you actually are likely to be good at. The image in the illustration is not an unrelated feature of many of our lives. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not trying to say that you may not be good at your work. You certainly are very good, considering the training you would have received at the good school/institute you went to. The important point and perhaps the only critical point, as some experts suggest is whether we ‘like what we do’. Try converting it into ‘doing what you like’. As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “If you don’t get what you like, you will be forced to like what you get.”

Personality tests help us to identify our strengths and weaknesses better. Two personality tests can never give you exact differentiating numbers between two people but it will be interesting to note from these tests how two people, however similar they may apparently seem, react to stimuli in so many different ways. It’s amazing!

In this edition, let us check out the tests that assess motivation, professional suitability and career compatibility. It goes without saying that professional compatibility is essential to both the employer and the employee. Often we are blinded by intangibles such as salaries, brands, responsibilities, attractive roles etc. What we don’t assess is whether we and the job we desire are in consonance. The day they do complement each other well, it is certain that success and satisfaction will benefit both the individual as well the employee.

MAPP (Motivational Appraisal for Personal Potential): MAPP is based on an individual’s motivation towards given areas of work. It measures motivational rating for 72 worker trait codes and assesses a person’s learning/ management/ preferred communication styles. It has been continuously expanded and refined for more than 40 years. The assessment consists of 71 triads of three statements. The test takes approx. 25 mins.

To take the test, you need to go to (you only get partial results if you don’t pay)

There are other tests for determining your professional personality: - The OD-Online Profiler provides personal, workgroup, and organizational surveys and assessments primarily over the internet. They claim to provide diagnostic tools and feedback reports through a customized environment specifically tailored for specific organizational needs.
At an individual level, it describes your personality on five scales of work, sociability, tact, stress and interest:
a) Industrious / Easygoing
b) Private /Outgoing
c) Critical / agreeable
d) Resilient / reactive
e) Practical / inquisitive - They have online personality tests that enable an individual to assess how a potential employer would most likely assess him as, in an interview. It is an interesting study with intelligently framed questions. The numbers of questions are few (10) but the analysis helps reach an interesting assessment. It may of course differ from person to person, but you may find it useful before an interview and before you fine-tune your CV. It claims, “Employers use personality profiling as part of their recruitment process. You may not agree with everything in the report but that is not the key issue. It is more important that you know what a potential employer may be reading about you at your next interview, based on the answers you give. Although technical ability is very important in your line of work you will increasingly find employers also looking to the ‘soft’ skills or people skills. This is why you will come across personality “tests” more often.”

Career Tests
Another category of tests is career tests, also called vocational tests, which try to discover careers that best match your interests. Some online tests are:
1. The Princeton Review Career Quiz: The quiz is based on the Birkman Method which will give you a general description of your interests, skills, and preferred style as well as a list of careers that all of this points to. It also helps you figure out the right kind of education that will suit your strengths and abilities.

2. Assessment Test for Business Careers
James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, directors of MBA career development programs at the Harvard Business School, who have been administering career tests to students at Harvard Business School students argue that careers should be based on a person’s deep interests and not on aptitudes, job-market forces or even on initial career choice we have made, as a person’s deep interests remain highly stable from early childhood on. Here is a very interesting article on their thinking as well as a short form of the test that they administer, the Business Career Interest Inventory (BCII) which lists down the essential elements that make up work in business and an assessment instrument that measures people’s inclinations towards those activities.

Pinch of salt
Taking tests can only lead you so far, sometimes you need to test out whether a career suits you and then make that leap. In this article Ms. Ibarra, a professor at INSEAD, who has studied examples of successful career changers believes that career changers need to try on a few new fields before they commit to anything, and this can be done using a variety of methods – reading, talking with friends or acquaintances, classes, volunteering, freelancing etc. Read her views on:

Do let us know how and whether these tests helped you. Most of the tests that are available are ones for which you need to pay. We have attempted to bring you tests that are online and free (though there are a few of them here whose advanced tests/reports are in exchange for a fee).

Happy Career Hunting!!