The answer to your question is determined by what you intend to achieve at the interview, and what you are interviewing for?
I don't see any problems with conducting a personality test either prior to, or immediately after the interview (the timing would be determined by the type of test used and the purpose its result will be utilised for).
But, I definitely wouldn't do a personality test in the face-to-face time.
Why? Because there are other important things I would like done during that face-to-face time.
But, a word of caution - if you're going to have your candidates complete a personality test when they arrive for the interview, you MUST inform them beforehand. And, inform them how long (estimated) they may need to make themselves available for to complete the test and appear for the interview.
Not only is it the decent and polite thing to do, but remember - candidates are assessing the employer as well.
And, if they are taking time out (of their existing job or their life in general) to attend an interview, they may not factor in extra tests. And, some personality tests can take an hour or longer to complete. So, not informing them in advance casts the interviewing organisation unfavourably with good quality and talented candidates.
Another question - are you going to conduct the test yourself or hire a specialist for the purpose?
If you are considering the former, I strongly suggest you give serious thought to outsourcing it to specialists who will also work with you to address the fundamental premise of your question which forms this post - among other vital but often under-estimated factors at interviews coupled with personality tests.
Hope this helps you!
31st August 2012 From India, Gurgaon
I do agree on a few of the points mentioned by you. This would mainly be a part of the interview process for mid management and above.
Yes the candidate will be informed reg the PT when he/she comes in for a F2F. This is something I have been stressing on cause it does help in proper screening of a candidate. I could be wrong :)
Do you think its advisable to have an online test or have a professional conduct this F2F. Which do you think is more effective and would not scare off the candidate.
31st August 2012 From Canada
Well - interviewing for mid management and above changes the game completely - doesn't it!
It brings in a lot more variables, metrics - quantitative and qualitative - as well as a lot more F2F time.
In this context, my view is that regardless whether the personality assessment is conducted online or F2F, it MUST be a test whose purpose is clearly understood.
What I mean is that some tests are designed to test a person's personality fit within an organisation but not their competency fit and vice-versa.
Ideally, for a mid mgt candidate, the employer would want to get a snug fit for both - personality and competency - for obvious reasons. The former to ensure a cultural fit and cultural leadership (moving forward) and the latter to ensure deliverables are met within established framework and constraints. Also, some tests are designed to compare scores of competing candidates, whilst others only offer a subjective (individual-centric) assessment for a particular role.
With this in mind, my suggestion is to DEFINITELY opt for an established and reputable assessment that is backed up by a qualified interpretor. After all, getting the test data is only 15% of the game. The remaining 85% is making sense of it and applying it within the context of the task at hand within the broader organisational context.
Like everything else on the internet, there are a number of free or minimal charge personality tests available online that many organisations self-administer.
In my view this is playing with fire. While it may seem like an upfront cost-saving measure and keep certain employers' egos inflated, the mid to long term ramifications of such self-conducted assessments are next to disastrous. Especially for mid management and above positions.
After all, they are going to steer the ship, order the sails up or down, and turn into or away from cross-winds and cross-currents.
It just makes more sense to invest as much as possible into ensuring that the best skipper is behind the wheel rather than one who appears to be the best.
I hope this helped you! All the Best!
31st August 2012 From India, Gurgaon
Here is an example from the software industry that shows how hiring for talent can change the way HR hires employees.
Sonja, the HR manager of a software development company, hired for talent for over two years and then stopped for two years because the two owners said they could do a better job of selecting successful Technical Support Analysts (TSA) than Sonja. TSAs go to the customers' work place and identify the programming errors and then reprogram the software. The two owners felt too restricted by the talent selection process we provided to Sonja.
After two years of doing it themselves they went to Sonja's office and told her "Start using your talent idenfication process again since you are much more successful at hiring good TSAs than we are." The owners could not duplicate her success. Sonja took a risk when she first tried the talent idenfication process.
1st September 2012 From United States, Chelsea