How do ENTPs manipulate people

The nastiest interview questions

People are seldom fired for technical deficiencies - it is usually the personality that does not fit. That is why 80 percent of German companies trust personality tests - and the trend is rising. They are particularly useful when looking for executives, as a survey by the graduate psychologist Rüdiger Hossiep from the Ruhr University in Bochum shows. In 2007 it was only 20 percent of the companies that looked for the right person with psychological tests.

But which test is really good for what? The list of procedures is long. More than 20 tools for personality analysis are listed in the “Handbook of Personality Analysis” by the consultants Markus Brand, Frauke Ion and Sonja Wittig from the Institute for Personalities. With their help, HR and supervisors should find out whether an applicant suits them, from which employees they put together a successful team and how employees will develop in the future.

Tests without a scientific basis are useless

The participants in Hossiep's survey swear by the Myers-Briggs type indicator and the Persolog personality profile, as well as the Bochum inventory of job-related personality and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire. But their suitability is questionable. "The first two places are taken by two type-building processes, the significance of which is questionable from a scientific perspective," criticized Hossiep. And that is exactly what makes a bad personality test, says Jürgen Deller. "Test procedures have to be scientifically developed and validated, they have to be objective and reliable, that is, they always have to deliver accurate and repeatable results," he says.

In addition, a test must predict what it is used for. Deller is professor of business psychology with a focus on differential psychology, aptitude diagnostics and organizational psychology at the Institute for Strategic Personnel Management at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. He often experiences that tests are used to select applicants that were not designed for this purpose. Such as the Myers-Briggs type indicator, which goes back to a method used by the spiritually influenced Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung to classify his patients.

These are the types of the Myers-Briggs type indicator

People of the ENFJ type have an extroverted feeling, introverted intuition, extroverted sensory and introverted thinking.

You can find a complete profile here.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator is controversial because it goes back to a method used by the spiritually influenced Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung to classify his patients into categories. He is not suitable for personnel selection.

People of the ISTP type are characterized by introverted thinking, extraverted sensory systems, introverted intuition and extraverted feeling.

You can find a complete profile here.

According to Deller, anyone who uses such a test, which also spits out other results depending on the form of the day and the situation, to select applicants is simply committing a malpractice. The problem is that only a few HR departments have the appropriate specialist knowledge about test procedures in order to avoid such errors.

He therefore advises companies to resort to experts when it comes to the use of personality tests. "Depending on whether I have many or few applicants, it is worth visiting an external tester or training my own HR department," he says. For small and medium-sized companies, associations or chambers such as the IHK often offer such test procedures.

One of these experts is Rainer Neubauer. Neubauer is an industrial and organizational psychologist and has been working as a diagnostician, coach and consultant for managers and young managers since 2003. He is the managing director of Metaberatung GmbH in Germany and Switzerland, a consultancy and service provider for personality procedures. He knows how to make tests tamper-proof. Because application and career coaches like Jürgen Hesse have published pages of test-cracking tips on the subject. “There are three options for manipulating a test: I try to lie or maybe even let someone else do the test for me. I give the answers that I think are wanted or I just tick something out of arrogance, ”he says.

Few try to manipulate tests

In order to identify liars, one builds in so-called consistency questions, which - in different formulations - appear again and again in the test. “If you lie, it is difficult to keep up with it,” says Neubauer. These consistency questions also expose participants who simply ticked something at random. Of course, you don't tell the candidate outright that he was caught lying. "It's more like: You didn't seem to have had a good day, but you can repeat the test again."

In addition, the tests are checked at regular intervals and changed if necessary. “A test must be checked at least every eight years to ensure that it functions precisely,” confirms Deller. Buying a test cracker book once doesn't help forever. And as soon as it becomes apparent that a particularly large number of candidates give the same answers, the test is changed anyway. However, the statistics show that attempts to manipulate personality tests are in the lower percentage range, according to Neubauer.

He sees no problems, especially when it comes to the courtesy replies. “In this case, a car dealer would be called a great sales talent,” he says. In this respect, it depends on who you are looking for. Anyone looking for a salesperson should therefore consider rejecting an applicant who can adapt well to his counterpart and tries to guess what he wants to hear from him. And Deller also says that applicants present themselves better than they are in the interview anyway. Somehow that is what is required after all. In this respect, such behavior does not have any major effects.

And even if someone answers the question about their own weakness with "I always work too much and am a perfectionist", that has not yet disqualified himself, but at most amused the HR manager. Because: "One question alone says nothing," as Neubauer knows.

In addition, HR professionals shouldn't rely on the tests alone, says Deller. “There are interviews, tests, the résumé and the assessment center. And personnel selection should never be based on just one tool. "

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