Hiring managers occasionally wonder whether a sales candidate’s mood can substantially affect his or her scores on a sales assessment test.
These questions can arise when a candidate reports recent frustrations at work or other challenging circumstances and scores low on traits such as Need for Achievement or Optimism.
The key here is to remember that we are measuring traits rather than states.
A state is a more temporary mood or condition (such as temporary anxiety or sadness). A trait is a stable underlying characteristic or quality (such as Need for Achievement). So, although it can be appealing to attribute a low Drive score to a rough patch the candidate is experiencing, we need to heed the warning of the test . . . a low level of Drive may, in fact, have led to the candidate’s current challenges at work.
To be sure, extreme difficulties can have some impact, and we should give the candidate appropriate flexibility as needed. But, challenging circumstances alone will not move a candidate who is naturally a “5” (high) on Drive all the way down to a score of “1” or “2” (low).
As hiring managers, if we are using a well-constructed, validated assessment of the underlying traits essential for success, we can have confidence in the candidate’s scores and their usefulness in the hiring process.
Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience the difference of the DriveTest™, contact us today!