I Failed the Personality Test - How Can I Recover?
Published: Dec 09, 2010
By Peggy McKee, Career Confidential
Hiring managers often use personality tests such as DISC, Caliper, or Gallup to see if a potential employee "fits" in the organization. They may even have a benchmark of what a top performing employee looks like in order to compare and evaluate you. But what if you fail the test?
If you take a personality assessment and are told that you don't fit, is there anything you can do to get back in the game? There are a couple of things you can do. They might not work, but they're your best shot at saving your opportunity.
(1) Ask the hiring manager if he or she has ever hired anyone who didn't do well on the personality assessment, but turned out to be a winner anyway. What you're trying to do is to get him to remember a person who's very successful in the organization but didn't do well on the test, and then see you in that same category--possibly someone who could really contribute to the organization, despite failing the test. It's the exception to the rule.
(2) If you were a close fit according to the test, but not enough, ask the hiring manager to call your references. Your references will tip the scale the other way when they tell him why you were a great hire for them because of your work ethic, knowledge, skill sets, contacts, or whatever it is that makes you special. Offer to have your references call, or give their numbers to the hiring manager. Encourage him to speak to them, so that he can see why you're such a fantastic candidate and why he doesn't want to miss the chance to hire you, because you will add to his team, add to his organization, drive his profitability, and do whatever it takes to make the company successful.
If you are successful with these strategies, ask for the next step. Press hard: "Based on this evidence, can we move forward?" "Can I have your commitment that we can get to the next step?" Or even give him an out: "Would you consider hiring me on a probationary basis? If I'm not performing after 90 days, then you can fire me." They would anyway, naturally, but you're providing a necessary psychological freedom right then to make a positive decision to hire you. Of course, when you get into the organization, you'll need to run faster and jump higher than everyone else to prove yourself, but then you'll get to keep your job.
Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. Her website, Career Confidential is packed with job-landing tips and advice as well as the practical, powerful, innovative tools every job seeker needs to be successful.