Employer Spotlight

Recruit Gen Y Stars

You need new tools to attract the new breed of talent - Experience will help you build your team with Gen Y stars.


Ease of Use

Our management dashboard helps you easily post jobs, pinpoint targeted candidates and manage your talent pipeline.


All Needles, No Hay

Don't wait for the best candidates to come to your door - with Experience, you can proactively target top talent.


Build Your Experience

Experience is your most important asset - we're here to help you find that next opportunity.


Tell Your Story

You're so much more than just your resume. Showcase your Experience.


Connections Matter

Introductions are made easy when you have Experience -- connect with alumni, mentors and industry insiders.


Use eRecruiting by Experience on campus?
Find your school here.

Home  > Article

Can Your Personality Get You Fired?

By Kate Lorenz,

Job candidates rarely admit to being fired for poor performance... and they might just be telling the truth. A Harvard University study found that for every dismissal based on failure to perform, there are two dismissals due to personality and communication problems.

Job candidates rarely admit to being fired for poor performance... and they might just be telling the truth. A Harvard University study found that for every dismissal based on failure to perform, there are two dismissals due to personality and communication problems.

With the high costs of employee turnover, it's no surprise companies are turning to personality and behavioral assessments to help evaluate job candidates, build teams and resolve workplace conflicts.

The Right Fit
Ann Taylor Loft, the world's fastest-growing women's retailer, recently began using testing to fine-tune its hiring process and bring in top talent. Through a partnership with the Gallup organization, Loft has developed a tool that profiles employees who have been highly successful and identifies candidates who have similar traits.

Desired characteristics vary by position. If you're applying for a floor sales manager job at a Loft store, for example, you would be asked to complete an online assessment gauging your talents, traits, attitudes and behaviors related to assisting and helping wardrobe clients. Your results would then be benchmarked against profiles and test results of the stores' best performers to help judge how you would fit into the organization.

"We want to learn more about candidates as individuals," says Wei-Li Chong, Ann Taylor Loft's vice president of Organizational Effectiveness. "We want to know what makes them tick.

"Once a candidate is hired, this same information helps us understand and maximize their talents specific to the role they have," Chong adds. "And we continue to work on developing employees' self-awareness throughout their careers to help create an environment that ensures success."

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
Hundreds of companies -- including Hewlett-Packard and GM -- use testing to take advantage of existing staff strengths and avoid personality-based conflicts. And though there are a myriad of test instruments to choose from, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) remains the standard-bearer of all personality assessments. According to its publishers, Myers-Briggs is used by roughly nine out of 10 Fortune 100 companies and is administered to more than 2.5 million employees a year.

Developed 60 years ago based on the theories of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the MBTI endures because it does a great job of improving team relations by pointing out differences between how personality "types" perceive and process information.

"People have different ways of making decisions and dealing with stress," explains Lynn Ronchetto, Human Resources Administrator at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "The Myers-Briggs tool offers a conceptual framework for understanding those who are different from us and helps bridge differences between team members by showing there is more than one way to get things done.

"The tool is also very valuable from a personal development standpoint, as it gives individuals a revealing glimpse of themselves as others may see them."

You Can't Study For It
What should you do when your boss or prospective employer asks you to take a personality assessment? Experts advise answering the questions truthfully, not the way you think the company wants you to respond. There is often a validity factor built in where many questions are asked solely to determine whether the subject is answering truthfully and consistently.

Even if you do fool the test, you'll only wind up in a job or assignment that doesn't fit or will make you -- and those around you -- miserable. According to Bonnie Bass, vice president of Professional Dynametric Programs testing organization, "When people feel the need to act unnaturally, they waste energy, experience stress and become unhappy and less productive. People are at their best when they're doing work that draws on their natural strengths and allows them to be themselves."

  • Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Other writers have contributed to this story.

More Related Articles

What is the value of a company car?
A number of compensation plans include the use of a company car as a benefit. Sometimes the car is necessary for the position, other times, it's considered an incentive.

Making Yourself an Indispensable Employee
It?s always important to be seen as essential to your company, but this is especially true in the midst of an uncertain economy.

Whatever Happened to Leisure Time?
Forty years ago, economists predicted that the U.S. workforce was heading into a crisis of leisure - that people would soon have so much free time, they wouldn't know what to do with it. As the impact of technology made more and more human labor redundant, it was widely assumed that a four-hour workday, or a three-day week, or even a six-month year would eventually be the norm.

Google Web Search
Didn't see what you were looking for?
powered by Google
Copyright ©2017 Experience, Inc Privacy Policy Terms of Service