I Got Rejected Because I Failed a Personality Test

by Dustin Lee on Unsplash

I live in Orlando, Fla. Every time I arrive at the Orlando International Airport, Orlando’s mayor Buddy Dyer welcomes you as you’re on your way to baggage claim, Welcome to Orlando, The City Beautiful.

Palm trees, lakes and plenty of sun — this place really is beautiful.

However, the startup and tech scenes are kind of small, especially to me since I just moved from New York City.

Amidst Disney, Universal, hotels, chain restaurants and shopping centers, there are a few startups.

I am looking for a tech job, preferably a job where I can make an impact. My AngelList searches in this city often last 5-10 minutes.

When I come across a company, especially a startup that I am interested in, I get my hopes up. I craft a very tailored cover letter and eagerly apply, anxiously awaiting a response.

On AngelList, I found an eCommerce startup company that graduated from the business accelerator YCombinator in 2016 and raised $5 million in funding. This all seemed so exciting!

I lived and breathed eCommerce for over three years, so this was a great opportunity for me to provide my insight and passion along with my new tech skills.

A couple weeks ago, I applied for a Technical Marketing Coordinator Role there.

The same day, I was asked to do an assessment regarding Project Management Skills: Time Management.

After completing that, the CEO reached out to me via email to do another assessment.

This was complete a five-minute personality profiler, which is a Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, from a company called The Predictive Index.

A few days after completing the assessment, he sent me this email:

To which I responded:

Then, he responded:

I was pleasantly surprised to see he attached a three-page PDF of my personality results.

Usually you never get any sort of feedback, and it’s something we are just taught to constantly ask but never receive.

I didn’t email him with any further questions about this topic such as—why exactly was I rejected and what exactly are you looking for. He had the opportunity to be specific and chose to be vague. I’m not going to nag my way into getting a second chance with this company.

I’m not even upset this didn’t work out because I never really had a fair shot.

I didn’t get a phone call, I didn’t get an interview, but what I did get were two bizarre assessments that this company relies on for hiring decisions.

So I now have my results to this assessment and I honestly think I did great.

Not to be conceited, or hey, maybe it’s a self-defense mechanism. But who in their right mind would refuse to work with me based on this?

I sound great! Not only do I sound like I am employee-of-the-month-material, I also sound like marriage material.

This test confirmed I am such a great catch that it’s just intimidating everyone.

Or, maybe, more realistically, this test is so incredibly useless that none of my bad qualities were mentioned.

In that case, I’m even more confused.

Granted, let’s be real, obviously I answered as correctly as I believed to the best of my abilities, sometimes exaggerating my positive traits a bit.

So here are my results. Take a look, I’m perfect:

results from The Predictive Index

And then:

results from The Predictive Index

I’m going to cut this right here. This is all great, and I need no more of an ego boost after reading this.

But wait, I found a problem.

This might be the sentence, innocently hidden between all these compliments, that isn’t 100% aligning with the job description of a Technical Marketing Coordinator role. Highlighted below:

So there you have it, mystery solved.

Is this the reason why I didn’t get the interview? Is this arbitrary statement about me even true? To be honest, I can’t tell you.

I don’t recall a question on the assessment to be so closely relating to this topic that it can make such a bold statement about how I choose to focus on certain things…or even so, make an entire judgment of who I am?

Whether we blindly believe this test or not, I just don’t see what’s so wrong. It’s not like my results said I’m a psychopath or anything.

So what gives?

Googling personality tests, I see so many resources and forums online discussing how to fake or game these in order to move forward in the interview process.

People do not want to be disadvantaged because they don’t know how to take a personality test. This is all too silly.

My career coach once said to me, “pay attention to how your interview process goes with a company, it will give you a lot of insight into how the company is.”

As I reflect, I don’t think I care about passing or failing this personality assessment after all. Any company that ends the interview process based on three pages full of random questions is not something I want to be a part of.

I will wait a few weeks or months if that’s what it takes for me to find a good fit.

I had a friend who interviewed for the Police Department and when asked if she ever did any drugs, she said no. The lie detector test determined that was a lie, and she didn’t get the job.

My friends and I have known her for years and know she was speaking the truth — but what can we do when someone has chosen to believe a psychological test instead of the person in front of them?

Switched careers. Frontend Developer|| Former eCommerce buyer||Twitter: @raksheen

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