SN Mentoring
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Scary MYTHS about psychometric assessments!

“I want to do something which helps me propel my career forward. And I am open to changes in my career trajectory.” She asked.

“But for that I need to know you, understand your motivations, your personality, your circumstances, your future ambitions and personal plans.” I replied.

“How are you going to do that?”

“Well, I will have conversations with you to get all this information but I will need to assess your personality based on a psychometric assessment. Once I have the results, I shall be able to analyse which career paths are better for you.”

“But I do not think psychometric assessments work.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Well I had one during my school days and we, my parents and I, did not agree with the results at all.”

“Now I can’t really comment on your past experiences with the psychometric assessments but what I can tell you is this: the analysis of the psychometric assessment is equally important. The report generated after an assessment is based on certain pre-fed parameters. They are not sufficiently conclusive. And that is why we ask all those other things of you as well.”

“Okay, but can we do this some other way? I do not want the assessment.”

“Sure, there is another way. At least 3 sessions with a counsellor and behavioural analyst like myself are needed before we are able to draw a personality map accurately. The results will more or less be the same as the assessment.”

“You mean like sessions like the ones in Dear Zindagi?”

“Sure, more or less like that!”

“Oh yes, after watching that movie, I always wanted to have such sessions because I think I need to confront certain things about myself as well. So how does that happen?”

“Well, we have regular sessions, my recommendation is not more than twice a week; I can not guarantee how many sessions I would need: it might be 3 or 13. And I charge hourly for that.”

“So that means it will take a month or more?”

“Yeah, it might take that long.”

“But then I want to make quicker decisions.”

“And that is why we use an industry standard test which will take you 25 minutes to take and 2–3 days for us to prepare a 40-page report based on that. Then we will have many conversations discussing your report and analysing where you should move ahead for your right career and how!”

“But I do not trust assessments…”

I can not even remember how many such conversations I have had with my clients. This one happened with a client 3 days ago. There is little I can say here that might change someone’s perspective about the “psychometric mumbo-jumbo”.

All I can say is that psychometric assessments helps clear a lot of things about a person. Are the assessments perfect and all knowing? Of course not! Do they accurately indicate your personality, at least for the past few years? Yes! Can you as a person understand your results and use them in your decision making? Here is the grey area. So I would stake my career on this, and say no, you can not.

Can I understand a lot of data relevantly if I am not a data analyst? Can I understand why India is not bombing Pakistan right now, if I am not a geo-political strategist with a military background? Certain things need to be left to the people who have researched and worked in those fields.

Let us see try and see this in another light, do your scores prove if you are a smart or dumb student? They do not, right! But if I do not know you and I have to make a decision on assessing you as a good or bad student, all I can do is check your scores. I do not have any other way, unless I give you a test myself to see how good or bad you are.

So you need to decide, when you make career decisions, are you going to decide based on scores which others have provided for you or will you take the test again to know yourself better?

You know what I think! I am interested in what you think?



The SN Mentoring publication is a place for curated career-decision-making related content. Here the various SN Mentoring panelists share their experiences and expert advice to students and aspirants’ questions. Here we also showcase some of our mentees’ research & creative work.

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Saurabh Nanda

Sustainability, Global Citizenship, Youth Empowerment… Career Consulting