Q1.(a). Critically evaluate the role of self-report personality inventories in personnel selection. 10 Marks (CSE 2017 ).

Model answer by Arun Kumar , Mentor-Beautiful mind

The approach: As the question asks for critical evaluation, we should focus on merits as well as limitations of self report inventories in personale selection. The approach should be critical ( not blindly accepting the validity of the inventory).

Self report inventories are instruments to know one’s interest, attitudes and other personality related attributes. The data so mined are used along with ability related data to judge his fitness with the job profile. A good fit between personale profile (ability–personality) and job profile ( job description of the required skills and suitable temperament  to cope with it).  The CPI for example yields data related to emotional rigidity. This is quite useful as many jobs( for example management) require the persons with cool and flexible emotionality. The big five inventory likewise is a very valid and reliable tool for discovering personality traits. Even in the field of defence selection,  MMPI yields very valuable data which in turn empower the agency to make very informed decisions related to selection.

Such inventories, however, are not as reliable and trustworthy as are ability related scales because there is no any authoritative right or wrong answer to a question of the inventory. The response, often, requires interpretation which  bring judgemental bias. The HR department of an organisation thus needs to complement inventory -data by interview data. MMPI like scale , though more reliable and valid due to criterion key validation and addition of validity scales,  this scale too, has the same common problems due to faking good tendency of the respondent.

Despite such limitations,  an inventory is more trustworthy and scientific than a casual assessment of an candidate by the selector.

-Arun kumar

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