Sample CASPer™ Test Answers

Ideal CASPer™ test answers for scenario 1 with explanation

Q1. Should they bother calling Steve in if they have many other qualified candidates?

If aside from his test scores Steve is the best candidate, they should definitely call him in. Not only is it possible Steve just isn’t a good test taker, which likely has little to do with his job, but he must possess attributes that were not tested that have greater impact on his performance.

It is worth finding out more about these traits, since they are not only effective, but may add diversity, new skills and open more options to the sales team. His difference may make him stand out, which can be a great asset in sales. The other candidates may also have many unique qualities, but if they are all similar in their test results, Steve’s uniqueness together with his other qualifications are compelling reasons to call him in for an interview over one of them.

Q2. What is the point of a battery of tests if they don’t assist in early candidate selection?

Tests do assist in candidate selection, but are only one aspect. Quantitative tests may be appropriate when minimum technical competency is required, or as a decider between otherwise equal candidates. New graduates may not have much professional experience, so using standardized measures, similar to looking at their GPA, may be an efficient way to filter candidate pools.

However for experienced candidates their accomplishments together with feedback from peers and managers should be weighed much more heavily.

Personality tests should inform management and communication style more than candidate selection. Perhaps assigning the best supervisor or how to get more out of the interview. For example, introverts may use a different sales style that has to be drawn out; and extroverts may be more amenable to a group interview and round-table questioning. They may also be used to inform the interview, perhaps identify areas that need special focus.

Situational simulations may be useful tools for early filtering or raising red flags. As these tests get more sophisticated, our reliance on them may scale appropriately, but are best used as auxiliary material.

Q3. Personality tests not only help predict cultural fit, but potentially magnify cultural bias, hiring only candidates who are like the existing group. Is this desirable if it leads to a team that functions like a well-oiled machine?

Certainly like-minded people can require less supervision and management of ‘soft’ issues. For particular situations it may be appropriate, for example a short-lived project that could benefit more from speed than inclusiveness. It can also be appealing because on the surface it may reduce the risk of turnover and conflict.

However for long-term employees, diversity in the overall workplace provides many permanent benefits beyond the alternative. Multiple points of view, diverse engagement points with customers, and creating an inclusive environment gives an energy not just to work, but into their private lives as well.

Diversity extends beyond ethnicity or gender: it can include qualities such as communication and leadership style, and while it may not be practical to deliberately maximize all potential diversity, using any of those traits for exclusion is detrimental when done blindly.

It may take longer to get everyone to understand each other, and management may be more challenging also, but I believe it not only leads to better performance, but more job satisfaction and hence talent retention.


Rubric for CASPer™ test answers:

Did the respondent balance the corporate need for efficient selection and risk reduction?

Did the respondent offer reasoning why a successful candidate may play against type, and in fact be a potential strength?

Did the respondent recognize the need for diversity and opportunity at the workplace?


Theory behind CASPer™ test answers:

Employers have never been more risk-averse in hiring. Even in a reported shortage of necessary skills in the workforce, they are unwilling to widen their search scope, preferring a position to go vacant for 6 months when only 3 months of training would have been required.

Indeed they are headed in the opposite direction, introducing indicators of how candidates would integrate into the corporate culture and matching personalities to specific jobs to predict long-term performance and reduce turnover. The CASPer™ test is itself an example of this.

To get a little mathematical, a game theory analysis would in fact err on the side of interviewing Steve. The reasoning being that if the other 10 were very similar, they should all give the same result. In other words, there is little advantage betting on them 10 times when the decision isn’t hiring, but just interviewing. Reciprocally, the chances of learning something new from Steve are quite high, even if the decision is made to not hire him. An irony of attempting to use data is that it is often used incorrectly.

From the employers’ side, efficiency in candidate selection is definitely a concern. Limited resources and doing more with less predicate automating and assigning a score to each candidate as quickly as possible (as in fact the CASPer™ test you are taking does).

Specifically, from the HR manager’s side, they are looking for as many tools as possible to ‘cover their butt’ in case things should go poorly. As you can see, this risk-aversion is driven from the shareholders down to the individual employee level.

Time and again, diversity has ruled as a prime indicator of success, yet these tests potentially introduce unintended bias. Whether that is against personality type, race, sex, military experience… the list is endless.

In their best use, personality tests are used to encourage awareness and communication, understanding the needs and best ways to effectively work with different personality types. However, in practice they are often used to filter candidates at an early stage. The candidate should ideally speak to this in some form.

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Ideal CASPer™ Test answers for best score