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Woman sues after personality tests disqualifies her for a job

With the Indiana job market so saturated with job applicants, employers have become more choosey about the employees that they decide to hire. Many companies have even begun performing personality tests on potential employees to see how they react in certain situations and whether their personality would be a good fit for their company.

But according to one woman's lawsuit, because of her answers to a 50-question personality test, she claims that she was denied a job. According to her test results, she was considered to be less likely than other applicants to "listen carefully, understand and remember" and suggested the job interviewer listen for "correct language" and "clear enunciation." The woman, who has a hearing and speech impairment, feels that the results incorrectly evaluated her. Because of this, she has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Many human resource managers point out that these types of personality tests are supposed to be combined with all the components in the interview process-a good resume, a very solid interview process with behavioral-type questions, an evaluation of how candidates present themselves, as well as the personality test. According to the woman's lawsuit, this wasn't the case at all.

One employment lawyer asks the question: are companies using the tests to screen out applicants or provide insight on people who they may be interested in? Some are saying that it is the latter of the two, pointing out that the EEOC has received numerous complaints in just this year alone involving discrimination because of "personality tests."

It is important to point out that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, in cases where a person suffers from a disability, such as the woman filing the discrimination case, a test may only be administered after a job offer has been made if the test intends to measure any mental or physical impairment.

Source: ABC News, "Woman Sues over Personality Test Job Rejection," Abby Ellin, Oct. 1, 2012

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