You apply for a new job, your résumé is polished and sent off. After hours of sweating, you receive a call back and set up an interview.
But wait, don’t forget the personality test! (WHAT?!)
Heart pounding, you begin the questions.
“Base your answers on instinct,” it instructs.
“INSTINCT,” your brain recites. “What’s that again?”
The effectiveness of these tests are undeniable, but like many tests they also cause anxiety.
These tests frighten recent college graduates for a number of reasons.
Exams are for college. Guess again! Consider this your entrance exam for the workplace.
What do you mean there isn’t a correct answer? This feels a lot like choosing the “E, answer is not listed” option on tests. As students, we are trained to have responses that are either right or wrong, with little subjectivity. We crave specific answers to specific questions.
“Answer based on instinct.” Millennials are a generation of over-thinkers. College students are pushed to dissect our answers and search for a deeper meaning. This makes these exams much more difficult than they are intended to be. Nothing is as simple as it appears. Instinct aside; we check, double check, and re-analyze from other angles before answering. A simple question could take us ten minutes to answer when it only required one minute.
None of the Above. In many cases, the answers provided might not match your instinctual response. Perhaps two answers were equally appealing, perhaps none were quite accurate. Unfortunately, these types of tests are not equipped with a short-answer explanation section.
A Hybrid Generation. Categorization is stressful for so many reasons. The Millennial generation are taught to view themselves as “different”. We feel more inclined to fit into multiple categories than the standard, reaching across the spectrum in many cases. Even our job titles can be contradictory in many cases. For example, I call myself a creative strategist, a hybrid of sorts. In most cases, the words “creative” and “strategy” do not mesh well. However, I have a creative mind crossed with an inclination to strategically plan.
Open your mind. This is crucial. Although these tests might frighten you, try to keep an open mind. If you keep an open mind and answer to the best of your ability, you are more likely to have representative results. Also: read up on your results, you might be pleasantly surprised. (I know I was!)