Does it Work: Personality Test Validity

In Three Things To Know BEFORE Choosing a Test for Hiring, we wrote about the importance of having test development information, a reliable personality test, and validity.  Today we’ll look closer at making sure you choose a valid test that predicts relevant job outcomes.

The usefulness of a personality test for hiring will depend on how well the test predicts job-relevant outcomes. The following steps may help to maximize the predictive ability of a test:

  • Choose an accurate test. There are several sources of evidence that can be used to support the accuracy or validity of a test. One of the most important in a hiring setting is criterion validity. Criterion validity describes the predictive power of a test. When using a test for selection, the test should be able to predict outcomes that are relevant for job performance.
  • Measure traits that are relevant to the job. Studies show that tests are better predictors of workplace behaviors when they only include those traits that are relevant to successful performance on the job (e.g., measure Extraversion for positions that require giving engaging and entertaining presentations). Don’t measure everything and hope for high scores on everything. High scores are not always better. For example, you may not need an extraverted computer programmer. In fact, this trait could be a problem for this position. Be sure you can justify why and how the traits are related to the job.

Don’t forget to check out the following related blogs:

  1. Three Things To Know BEFORE Choosing a Test for Hiring
  2. Who Built My Personality Test
  3. Can I Count on You: Test Reliability