John Kelly's Washington: When Employers' Personality Surveys Are Too Personal

By John Kelly
Thursday, May 21, 2009

So, this guy's looking for a job. He's a writer and was laid off in October. He answers an ad at a D.C. communications company and -- yes! -- gets an interview.

Part of the process is to take a few tests. There's a writing and editing test, of course, and then there's this other test, sort of like that Myers-Briggs test so many HR departments are fond of, a test that asks a bunch of seemingly random questions to zero in on your personality type.

It starts out simply enough:

1. Do you prefer your life to be full of changes?

2. Are you an ambitious person?

Then it moves further afield:

29. Would you rather be a dentist than a dress designer?

53. Would you consider it too dangerous to go mountain climbing?

And then it gets a little freaky:

57. Do you prefer ordinary sex?

Um, well. . . .

100. Would you go to a wife-swapping party?

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