Personality Profiling

The Personality Profiling System (PPS) questionnaire is a simple set of questions, (two hundred and twenty-five of them in fact) that attempts to discover what you are like as an individual. It is not a test or a device to catch you out, it’s a preference questionnaire that attempts to discover what you are like as an individual by discovering your likes, dislikes and how you see the world through your eyes. For the vast majority of the questions in the questionnaire there is only one answer, yours. So, what do these questions ask? Well, imagine you were having a conversation with a shop keeper and the shop keeper is simply asking you questions to discover what your likes and dislikes are so that he or she can serve you with what you want and expect to purchase. The questionnaire is doing no more than trying to discover what you are like as a person. If we can understand what you are like as a person then we will have a much better understanding about you what type of job role is the right one for you, or not. Also, the management needs to understand what your needs are to make the role fit you better. Let me give you an example; a candidate applied for a post with a large organization as a qualified management accountant and has met all the entry criteria, the candidate was offered and accepted the job. Profiling reviled that the candidate was very shy and somewhat introvert so placing the candidate in an open plan office was felt inappropriate and would leave the candidate feeling uncomfortable and exposed. So, the candidate was placed in a very small intimate group in a less exposed office. The same company employed another candidate in the role of account manager looking after existing clients. This candidate was very bold and outgoing and quite extroverted, so the open office environment was ideal with plenty to see and lots of people to talk to. The use of personality assessments give management that insight into how the candidate will react and behave in the role and this in turn will allow the candidate to flourish in an ideal environment.

There have been occasions where the skills that the candidate had were in such scarce supply and vital to the organization that based on the results of the personality profiling, the role and its environment were solely created and designed to meet the needs of the individual.

Not everyone who applies for a post will be successful as many will not have the skills or experience needed to fulfil the role requirements and this can be checked by using hard evidence such as qualification or experience. It is fair to say that not every candidate will fit the post or the team that needs them, they simply don’t have the personality traits needed for the role. Without personality profiling employers never know this in advance and the candidate will also not be aware of the problem before they accept the post. It is sadly several months and a lot of wasted time and resources on both sides before either the candidate or employer (or both) come to the conclusion that this job isn’t working, and the candidate leaves the post. Profiling can help to avoid this painful process for both parties.

Personality profiling has considerable benefits for the candidate, often the candidate doesn’t interview very well, this may be due to many things such as nerves of lack of interview experience and the personality profile saves the day by giving the recruiting manager another insight to the candidate.

Should you ever complete one of our personality profiles, please insist you have a ‘one to one’ feedback session with one of our qualified consultants, whether you were successful in the post or not.

About the questionnaire

The questions are almost conversational by design and along the lines of a typical conversation you may have at social or business gathering where a complete stranger is asking you questions to try to get to know you better. The questioner is asking you how you see the world, seeking your view on a variety of topics, trying to gauge your opinion on everyday things, such as “What sort of hobbies do you have?” or “Do you like classical music?”. For the vast majority of questions, the answer choice is “Yes” or “No”, “True” of “False” just the same as in a conversation where the other person asks, “Do you like football?” and your response could be either “Yes, I love the game” or “No, can’t abide it”. However, in real life it isn’t as clear cut as this and the answer could be “No, but I do support West Ham” which is really neither “Yes” or “No” it’s a “Maybe” So in our questionnaire we provide three optional answers a “Yes”, “No” and a “Maybe” type answer. Again, this is trying to reflect the social conversation you may have with a stranger at a gathering. This is all the questionnaire is doing, asking you everyday questions. There is no hidden meaning to any of the questions and there are no “trick” questions (whatever they are!) Just simple questions designed to elicit your view of everyday things in your world.

People often ask:-

“Should I practice filling these questionnaires in?” Well, you can do, but it’s a bit like practicing having conversations with strangers, you might feel more comfortable doing it, but I am not sure it makes you any better at it.

“Should I try and give the answer they are looking for?” We are not looking for a specific answer, an honest answer of your view is what we would like to receive.

“Can I fail this test” No, you cannot fail (you can fail to complete it!) and it isn’t a test, it’s a preference questionnaire.

We don’t set a time limit to complete the questionnaire as everyone has a different reading speed, however, it shouldn’t take anyone over an hour to complete it. The best option is to set aside an hour where you are totally undisturbed and start the questionnaire, then work through to the end in one go.

Give the first answer that appeals to you, do not over think the question, or the answer choice, again there is no ‘correct’ answer. Just as in a conversation when asked “Do you have sugar in your tea?” the question asker doesn’t want to wait ten minutes for the answer. Make a decision, you either do or you don’t.

As this is an online scenario and we rely on the honest commitment of the candidate to complete the questionnaire on their own with no input or interference from others, we do ask that you do this.

Before you consider getting any help, give this scenario a thought. Sam was asked to complete an online questionnaire in the application for a senior data analyst with a prestigious high profile-company, however Sam was quite timid, shy, introvert and very sceptical of the process. So, Sam’s brother said “I have a mate of mine down the pub who is brilliant at filling in these things, he will do it for you, they will never know it wasn’t you! So, the chap down the pub did complete the questionnaire and Sam thought it was brilliant when called for interview. Due to shyness Sam had been coached on being interviewed and on the day came across very confident. In due course Sam was offered the post. Sam was promptly placed in a large open plan office with all sorts of distractions. Sam was then asked to deliver a presentation to channel six television news at the end of the week. Unfortunately, Sam never made it to the end of the week!

The only person who will lose out by not completing the questionnaire honestly is the candidate.

I hope this helps you to understand what personality profiling is used for.

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