The personality test measures 33 of the candidate’s underlying attributes. The analysis result gives you an insight into the candidate’s basic personal attributes and character traits, but does not reveal why the candidate has this personality nor how it specifically comes to light in different work situations. But this could be crucial as to whether the candidate is ultimately successful. So you need to use the feedback to truly understand the underlying causes of a candidate’s behaviour.
Based on the analysis result, you may have some hypotheses about how the candidate will act in certain situations, but you need to use the feedback to test whether your hypotheses hold true or not. And then you need to understand the underlying motivating factors that drive the candidate to a particular behaviour. A personality trait can result in very different behaviours.
How to ask good questions
Understanding what the behaviour is shaped by can help give you a perception of what it takes for a person to function in relation to work tasks, colleagues, boss, customers, etc. And it can also prove that the person will never be able to function in your workplace.
You probably don’t have time to map the underlying mechanisms of all 33 attributes from the analysis for all the candidates. So you need to have analysed in advance which attributes are absolutely crucial for the specific position.
As an example, imagine a recruitment scenario where you’re looking for the last ideal candidate for your dream team. The team is creative, competent and will really push boundaries, but desperately needs someone to keep all their great ideas in order and to create a common structure.
This last piece of the puzzle is what will make a good team great and therefore needs to be someone with an unsurpassed sense of order.
In the candidate field, there are two candidates who excel at having both the right competencies and a high score in the orderliness parameter, which covers the tendency to put things in order and to maintain order.
It sounds really good on paper, but before you just hire one of them, it’s important you find out what drives Candidate A and Candidate B to create order and structure. And you can clarify this via questions such as:
- I can see that you score high on orderliness, why is order important to you?
Candidate A: I can’t function without order, I just have to get things in order before I start working, and I can’t handle if e.g. my desk is messy.
Candidate B: I just love creating structure in the unstructured, finding patterns and logical contexts so I can organise things in a way that makes them easier to deal with.
- Is it important that things are in order for you to have a good day?
Candidate A: Yes! I don’t like sloppiness. Things have to be under control, I think everyone prefers it that way.
Candidate B: No, it doesn’t determine whether my day is good or not, my day is actually best if I can spend it putting things in order, so if it’s already been done, my day might not be as good.
- As you like order and structure, how do you feel when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t that bothered about order and structure?
Candidate A: Well, I don’t understand them, I don’t understand how they can work in all that mess, and if I have to be completely honest, I get a bit annoyed by them.
Candidate B: I feel really good when I’m allowed to put things into structure without having to compete with others for that job. And in my experience, others appreciate it when I create a structure that they may not prioritise themselves, but which they can still see the benefits in.
Feedback with that focus will make it clear that candidate A and B have vastly different motives for putting things in order and keeping order.
Candidate A creates structure and order because they cannot cope with disorder. The person gets annoyed with their surroundings if things are not in order.
Candidate B creates structure and order because they love to bring structure and optimise. The person thrives in chaos and enjoys being allowed to put things into a structure.
The slightly caricatured description in the above example should of course illustrate that Candidate A would soon burn out with rage and irritation if they were hired, while Candidate B would enjoy taking on the structuring role and would work really well in the team. The point is that despite the fact that they both score highly in sense of order, they would act very differently in the specific job. And that difference is what your sharp questions during the feedback will help uncover.