The psychometric test which was until now considered as a helpful one for job seekers to identify their strengths was directly called pointless (the job application form is still valid, though. )
The government’s Behavioural Insights Team made a questionnaire called My Strengths questionnaire with a number of statements to which the participants have to answer to what degree they agree with them. Among the mentioned are “I am easily bored” and “I have not created anything of beauty in the last year”.
The number of questions is 48. After them the respondents are given a summary of their five key strengths based on their answers. Good examples of these keys are let’s say “curiosity” and “originality”.
Later on the job seekers are proposed to think how these strengths could help them when searching job and invent at least one new way to use them everyday. For example how to use business document templates in a different way everyday.
No matter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated that people’s attitude towards the test had been positive, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “Ministers seem to have got jobseekers wasting time on mumbo-jumbo personality tests when they should be looking for work.”
The Guardian came out with an article talking about a single mother who was threatened by DWP that if she did not complete the questionnaire her jobseeker’s allowance would have to be withdrawn.
However according to the opinion of many bloggers if they answered “very much like me” on every question the final results would be the same as when “very much unlike me” is chosen every time.
A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office tried to defend the test, stating that it had been tested in academic environment in the US.