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Dear Workforce Can Leadership or Creativity Be Measured

A lot of tests are out there, and they've improved quite a bit over the last decade.
August 20, 2000
Related Topics: Dear Workforce

Dear Workforce:

If a candidate while being interviewed is asked a question or given a situation where he/she had to display their--let's say creativity--skills, and they give an answer which does display their creativity skills, how can we be very sure about it?

I want to know if there is a non-controversial personality test. Eagerly awaiting your response.

Regards, Maleeha Siddiqui, Process Developer, Horizon Inc., Karachi, Pakistan


A Dear Maleeha:

A common, effective selection strategy used by many employers is a combination of both personality testing and behavioral interviewing.

Personality tests are good tools for assessing the basic potential need to be an effective leader, while behavior-based interviews are an effective means of capturing information about specific leadership experiences. The two in combination will give you a complete picture of a candidate's leadership potential and experience.

Personality tests are typically not "plug-and-play." Before rolling out a personality test, federal guidelines suggest that employers analyze their jobs and document that tests are "job-related." Ideally, you should also conduct local research to demonstrate that people who score higher on the test do better on the job. An industrial psychologist with expertise in test validation can help.

For tests that are well validated, a confirmatory job analysis is sufficient for establishing the job-relatedness of the test. When using a personality test that contains a cognitive component, a local validation study is strongly recommended because of the known adverse impact associated with that test.

Personality tests are useful in predicting potential, but you also need to assess the degree of real-world leadership experience the candidate has gained. Structured interviews are an effective means of capturing information about leadership experiences and competencies. The information gained in the interview will complement the information from the test and allow you to expand on the information learned from such a test.

A couple of good sources of more information: First, the products and services directory at Also, the Research Center at (you'll want to click on "assessment and testing" on the right-hand column.


SOURCE: Personnel Decisions International, Minneapolis.

E-mail your Dear Workforce questions to Online Editor Todd Raphael at, along with your name, title, organization and location. Unless you state otherwise, your identifying info may be used on and in Workforce magazine. We can't guarantee we'll be able to answer every question.


 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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