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Posted by: Janeir on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 04:53 PM

Interviewing for a job in the current job market often requires a jobseeker to participate in several steps throughout the selection process: drug screenings, background checks, work-related screenings such as typing and math tests, and even compatibility/personality assessments. Many employers use various types of assessments depending of the type of position for which a person is applying; for example one employer with which I applied required both a test similar to an IQ test and a personality assessment.

As a jobseeker, I have taken many different types of compatibility assessments for jobs in which I was interested – some that I felt were reasonable for the position and some that seemed to have no relation to the position at all, some that I felt confident about when I finished and some that made me question whether I was really as prepared for the job as I thought.

Most of the compatibility assessments have asked questions that made me take a closer look at myself: do I like this or that better? What would I do in a particular situation? How would I rate myself in this category? All of them attempt to give the employer the best idea of what kind of employee a jobseeker will be and if that person will be a good fit for the position and the company.

Recently I participated in the Success Insights Communication Style report with JaneCo’s Sensible Solutions. This report is used to discover a jobseeker’s communication and behavioral style. The assessment was simple to take – I was asked to rank myself based on a series of descriptive word phrases, which I had to rate from ‘most like me’ to ‘least like me.’ Each set of phrases had varying subject matter such as ‘happy, contented,’ ‘organized,’ or ‘impatient,’ and I was asked to rank each set as quickly as possible without lingering too long on one answer: ‘go with your first instinct, and don’t overthink the answer.’ For me, this was the hardest part; some of the options ranked about even for me, so deciding which one to rank more or less like me was a challenge. How would my results come out if I ranked one answer over the other? Would that change the way the assessment viewed my behavioral style? What if the assessment results were completely different from the way I view myself? I received the results of my assessment very quickly after completing and submitting the questionnaire. The results of the report are explained in a 22-page document, which tells me what the system thinks my behavioral style will be as an employee. The explanation of the results is very thorough. It provides an extremely accurate characterization of my responses and explains to the employer how to communicate with and manage me, as the person who completed the assessment. Each section of the report speaks to different aspects of the employee/employer relationship: value to the organization, how to communicate including dos and don’ts, ideal working environment for the employee, natural and adapted style of dealing with different aspects of the work environment, how to motivate the employee, how to manage the employee, and even how to improve the working relationship. The goal of these results seems to be that the employer and employee should meet and discuss how to make the working relationship most effective and productive for both parties. After reading through my results, which were pretty straight forward, I had to agree with most of the responses. How I view myself and how this assessment viewed me were in sync in many aspects; however, I also felt as though a small number did not match with my view of my behavioral style, so I did question myself: did I view myself in the wrong light in certain areas, or did my difficulty in answering some of the questions on the questionnaire alter the way the assessment viewed my behaviors? Was the assessment right about me, and did I need to take a harder look at myself? My answer to these questions was in the explanation of the assessment results: “Is this report 100% true? Yes, no and maybe.” The person who takes the assessment can disagree with any statements that they believe do not apply. It is more of a starting point for discussion about a person’s behavioral style that can be used as a training tool for both employee and employer. As for my assessment, I would rate it as a 9 out of 10 (with 10 being very accurate) in accuracy. Sure there are responses that I feel were inaccurate, but these are also items that I believe could become accurate statements about my behavioral style if I let them. Using this assessment can make me a better employee and manager, by showing me where my strengths lie and also where I have opportunities for improvement. 

Note: JaneCo's Sensible Solutions helps with every aspect of career management, from helping with career direction, resume writing, job search strategies, interviewing skills, and more. We even help with professional development after job acquisition.

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