emotional intelligence occupational psychology professional work

A refresh on Occupational Testing

About three years ago, after I passed my British Psychological Society (BPS) Occupational Psychology qualification exams, I naively thought I’d somehow manage to get a job as an Occupational Psychologist trainee (very few and rare opportunities in Southampton and at the time I so desperately tried to save my already failing relationship I rarely looked for jobs outside the city) so to increase my chances I decided to take the now called Assistant Test User and Test  User qualifications which would enable me to administer and interpret Ability and Personality/Motivation tests in an Occupational setting.

I found a consultancy in Brighton, KCP that offered a distance learning option (there were no local consultancies offering this which still baffles me) and they were recognised by the BPS and to cut a long story short after a month, some people take longer but I didn’t want to drag it out, I completed and got both qualifications. I was over the moon as I got great feedback from my trainers Andy and Cathy especially when I went through the Occupational Personality results with my two volunteers.  That was a little confidence boost that I needed more than I knew at the time.

Fast forward to today. My priorities changed, my life changed and unfortunately I haven’t yet given the chance to put my qualifications to good use. But every year around September I have to decide whether to pay to keep my name on the Register of Qualifications in Test Use (RQTU) and every time after contemplating for a month or so, I do. I guess I still hope one day I may get to do something with it. 

This year I decided to go a step further and refresh my knowledge and skills on Personality and Motivation/ Ability Occupational Testing so I posted on LinkedIn for recommendations of any free but high on reliability and validity tests I can administer to a couple of friends and then feed back the results to them. It’s not easy to find a good, robust, reliable, especially personality and motivation questionnaire that is readily available for free. Most of the free resources are generic and their validity and/or reliability is quite low.

Luckily my trainer Andy saw my post and as the sweet, lovely human he is he offered me a free MAPP questionnaire (the online version) the test I used for my qualification. I actually asked for a second one to administer to another friend with completely different ways of working compared to the first friend who filled it in, just to see how different the results and the feedback session may end up to be, and Cathy and Andy  agreed. 

I was at the time inspired by the Help me book I had recently read. For one of the self-help books, Marianne the author and protagonist, had to attempt to get rejected as much as possible and notion behind it was  to get used to the vulnerability and embarrassment which may come with rejection and that  it is actually not as scary as you thought it may be. So I thought I’d ask, I had nothing to lose and what was the worst it could happen? I wish I followed my own advice more often.

MAPP (Managerial and Professional Profiler) is a personality and motivation questionnaire designed specifically for professionals. It’s a great test as it measures a wide range of personality dimensions clustered in three broader categories, People, Task and Feelings and also motivational and values dimensions and what makes it even greater is that the results are compared to a large group of professionals/managers, which contributes to its validity and reliability. If you’d like to know more, you can find all details here.

MAPP can be used for assessment, as a part of the recruitment process but also for development. And that’s how I chose to use it for my two lovely friends who completed it. 

What I love most about giving feedback on any test but particularly MAPP is interpreting the results with the ‘assessees’, exploring how self-aware they are of their own work preferences, leadership style, how they work in a team, on a task and my favourite part, making associations between their work style to their motivation and values and discussing these with them. For example both of my friends seem to enjoy working with others than competing and they care about the well-being of their team, which makes perfect sense as they highly value altruism. 

I can go further deeper on the many, many connections between personality traits, values and motivation using examples but this post will end up more like a book instead.

Both my friends enjoyed their feedback sessions and they both gave me great feedback, similar to Andy and Cathy’s a couple of years ago. Which made me really happy. I was concerned they may treat this as a right/wrong exercise, but of course it isn’t. There’s no right or wrong when it  comes to personality and motivation and values. But it all went well.

They found it useful and quite interesting. And it is. It makes you think and consider things you may haven’t thought about before. 

Before anyone else suggests it, as I have been asked before, I tried my workplace’s HR but no luck. Sometimes, after multiple rejections, although of course I know I shouldn’t take it personally and keep trying, one cannot but feel demoralised and question their own abilities. That’s why feedback is incredibly important. 

I have tried to offer this as a freelance service but as I work full-time in a completely different job, I don’t have the time or resources to promote it. 

If anyone would like to take MAPP or any other questionnaire and would like me to give them some feedback, you can purchase the test from Andy and I’d more than happy to do that for you. 

Special thanks to Andy and Cathy for offering me the test for free and my lovely friends Sophie and Chris who completed it for me.

Eleni

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