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What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

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Achievable
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What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Achievable » November 23rd, 2018, 2:20 am

This question was sparked amongst my friends in response to considering a question from Elon Musk, which I think is a personality assessment tool of his. Its also been dubbed as his favorite interview question.

"You're standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?"

I received many interesting answers, from people who have very different backgrounds and accomplishments. No one has given the same answer. I don't think there is, an answer. Mine was: "I don't know..." - Then again, I am the only one within this group who has no formal education, so that could be reasoning. Absence of education might more often produce an absence of response, especially in regards to high-level questions from people such as Elon Musk.

So I offer a question of my own: What type of animal are you?

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Greta » November 23rd, 2018, 2:36 am

The north pole, of course. The path makes a triangular slice with the apex at the top.

I am a member of the great ape family, species H. sapiens.

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by LuckyR » November 23rd, 2018, 3:03 am

Since when is "brain teaser" an assessment of personality?

As to interviewing candidates it is usually a situation where competence is not an issue but getting along with the other personalities of the partners is.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Burning ghost » November 23rd, 2018, 4:16 am

Greta wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 2:36 am
The north pole, of course. The path makes a triangular slice with the apex at the top.

I am a member of the great ape family, species H. sapiens.
Not necassarily. The most obvious answers are at one of the poles of some planet. If you live long enough and walk slowly enpugh then it is possible plate tectonics will take care of the rest. Also, if you’re a planet covered by conveyor belts or some form of teleportation/time machine then there are many other possible options.

Achievable -

I’m the type of animal that thinks it’s an animal of some type. Not that I am quite sure what “animal” means, but it has enouh meaning in biological terms for me to throw my hat into the ring and declare “I’m an animal.” It does seem quite silly though because it is something like saying I am this biological thing that usually has limbs and eyes. A catalyst of entropy that somewhere along the line managed to produse a substance called “plastic” (if we’re going for the view of that dutch author whose name has slipped my mind ... Vonnegut!)
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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Burning ghost » November 23rd, 2018, 4:23 am

LuckyR wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:03 am
Since when is "brain teaser" an assessment of personality?

As to interviewing candidates it is usually a situation where competence is not an issue but getting along with the other personalities of the partners is.
Every question is an assessement of someone’s personal triat/s. Some people’s personality traits on this forum are reasonably clear. You can see certain aspects of different personalities coming to fore here and there. Some are red herrings and some express more fully how someone is likely to react. If you can see the pattern of responses then you can make a pretty good judgement about someone’s character.

How well you can predict someone’s repsonse to spme given question is interesting in and of itself. If someone is very predictable then does that mean they are in tpuch with everyone’s thoughts or merely facile? What do my replies on this thread say about me? Given that I’ve asked this question have I set out a false example of my persona due to trickery or are these words an “honest” representation of who I am; or merely a facade of a facade?
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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Alias » November 23rd, 2018, 3:20 pm

The question clearly said "Earth" , not some planet, and as you cannot walk southward from the south pole, it can only be the north pole. What he's assessing is not so much personality as intelligence - which, I suppose, is his top requirement in an employee.

It all depends on what you need to know about the person.
Their attitude to other species? The animal question might tell you something - though the person's own assessment could be misleading and you wouldn't know, from the single question, in what way.
For example, objectively, I most resemble a squirrel, but I'd prefer to see myself as a lynx.

If I could only ask one question, it might be "What would your brother say?"
If they laugh, they're on my wavlength. If they describe themselves as their actual sibling might, I would consider the content of that description. If they said "I don't have a brother," or "Huh?", I would dismiss them.

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Eduk » November 23rd, 2018, 4:04 pm

Alias I don't mean to burst your bubble but I suggest you Google the answer.
Myself I only worked out the obvious answer. I guess I'm not a genius but clever enough to at least realise this.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Steve3007 » November 23rd, 2018, 4:30 pm

My favourite personality assessment tool is talking to people.

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Alias » November 23rd, 2018, 7:28 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:04 pm
Alias I don't mean to burst your bubble but I suggest you Google the answer.
So, the long answer is, any one of an infinite number of spots on some imaginary circles that ought to be covered with ice. In which case, one correct answer is "I don't know." In which case, he can't tell whether you're very clever or very stupid. Not the most precise tool!

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Eduk » November 23rd, 2018, 8:10 pm

I'm with you on that Steve. Talking to people is a pretty good tool.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Burning ghost » November 23rd, 2018, 11:23 pm

Alias wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:20 pm
The question clearly said "Earth" , not some planet, and as you cannot walk southward from the south pole, it can only be the north pole. What he's assessing is not so much personality as intelligence - which, I suppose, is his top requirement in an employee.

It all depends on what you need to know about the person.
Their attitude to other species? The animal question might tell you something - though the person's own assessment could be misleading and you wouldn't know, from the single question, in what way.
For example, objectively, I most resemble a squirrel, but I'd prefer to see myself as a lynx.

If I could only ask one question, it might be "What would your brother say?"
If they laugh, they're on my wavlength. If they describe themselves as their actual sibling might, I would consider the content of that description. If they said "I don't have a brother," or "Huh?", I would dismiss them.
You can walk southward. Reason being you start walking on the spot and/or around in circles because if we’re talking magnetic pole then technically it isn’t static; magnetic pole is different to pole so that is an issue too. It would be bloody hard to end up on the same spot too so some margin of error is needed.

The actual answer given is something else anout starting at the correct distance from the south pole I think.

Other planets can be called “Earth.”
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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Alias » November 24th, 2018, 12:00 am

Those are all wonderfully creative answers. Congratulations on your new job!

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Achievable » November 24th, 2018, 3:20 am

Greta wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 2:36 am
The north pole, of course. The path makes a triangular slice with the apex at the top.

I am a member of the great ape family, species H. sapiens.
The most educated member of the group gave this as his answer. However, he ultimately switched his opinion to a lesser educated person's answer (not mine).
LuckyR wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:03 am
Since when is "brain teaser" an assessment of personality?

As to interviewing candidates it is usually a situation where competence is not an issue but getting along with the other personalities of the partners is.
As someone mentioned below, every question can be used as a personality tool. It is the intent of the questioner, and design of the question, which defines the type of question being asked. Hopefully that provides a more clear answer to your question.
Burning ghost wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:23 am
LuckyR wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:03 am
Since when is "brain teaser" an assessment of personality?

As to interviewing candidates it is usually a situation where competence is not an issue but getting along with the other personalities of the partners is.
Every question is an assessement of someone’s personal triat/s. Some people’s personality traits on this forum are reasonably clear. You can see certain aspects of different personalities coming to fore here and there. Some are red herrings and some express more fully how someone is likely to react. If you can see the pattern of responses then you can make a pretty good judgement about someone’s character.

How well you can predict someone’s repsonse to spme given question is interesting in and of itself. If someone is very predictable then does that mean they are in tpuch with everyone’s thoughts or merely facile? What do my replies on this thread say about me? Given that I’ve asked this question have I set out a false example of my persona due to trickery or are these words an “honest” representation of who I am; or merely a facade of a facade?
Thank-you. I sort of thought this was considered obvious on a philosophy forum...But hey, I'm new.
Alias wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:20 pm
The question clearly said "Earth" , not some planet, and as you cannot walk southward from the south pole, it can only be the north pole. What he's assessing is not so much personality as intelligence - which, I suppose, is his top requirement in an employee.

It all depends on what you need to know about the person.
Their attitude to other species? The animal question might tell you something - though the person's own assessment could be misleading and you wouldn't know, from the single question, in what way.
For example, objectively, I most resemble a squirrel, but I'd prefer to see myself as a lynx.

If I could only ask one question, it might be "What would your brother say?"
If they laugh, they're on my wavlength. If they describe themselves as their actual sibling might, I would consider the content of that description. If they said "I don't have a brother," or "Huh?", I would dismiss them.
I would imagine we'd need to ask him which he valued more, 'personality' or 'intelligence'. I'd imagine he would want a certain combonation of both. Or a certain type of each. I do not think it would be a simple answer. My point is, he's looking for intelligence and certain personality traits. Maybe this question looks for both? Maybe his follow-up to to various answers for his question lead to one or the other? Or a continuance of either?
Eduk wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:04 pm
Alias I don't mean to burst your bubble but I suggest you Google the answer.
Myself I only worked out the obvious answer. I guess I'm not a genius but clever enough to at least realise this.
Well, if you google again, you'll see the man who invented the question advertises that there are actually two answers. So if you were to tell him it is "obviously" your answer, you would probably not be employed by him. Just my opinion, though.

Also, I doubt its acceptable in his interview to conduct a quick google search.
Steve3007 wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:30 pm
My favourite personality assessment tool is talking to people.
Can we break that down though? I feel like that is the avenue by which one implements personality assessments.
Alias wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 7:28 pm
Eduk wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:04 pm
Alias I don't mean to burst your bubble but I suggest you Google the answer.
So, the long answer is, any one of an infinite number of spots on some imaginary circles that ought to be covered with ice. In which case, one correct answer is "I don't know." In which case, he can't tell whether you're very clever or very stupid. Not the most precise tool!
It may not be the most precise tool based on the information we have regarding the question, but I don't think its his favorite interview question for no reason. I also think he has better ways to gauge intelligence. Single questions seem more geared towards understanding of one's thought processes and how they come to an answer. Again, though, we'd more information. Such as, his follow-up questions to specific answers, in order to get a more thorough understanding of what Elon is doing with his question. I maintain the position that he is doing something beyond what we can google.
Alias wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 12:00 am
Those are all wonderfully creative answers. Congratulations on your new job!
Creativity might be an interest of his in regard to asking interviewees this question.

Side question: If there were truly one sole answer to this question, why would he keep asking it?

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by LuckyR » November 24th, 2018, 3:33 am

Burning ghost wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 4:23 am
LuckyR wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 3:03 am
Since when is "brain teaser" an assessment of personality?

As to interviewing candidates it is usually a situation where competence is not an issue but getting along with the other personalities of the partners is.
Every question is an assessement of someone’s personal triat/s. Some people’s personality traits on this forum are reasonably clear. You can see certain aspects of different personalities coming to fore here and there. Some are red herrings and some express more fully how someone is likely to react. If you can see the pattern of responses then you can make a pretty good judgement about someone’s character.

How well you can predict someone’s repsonse to spme given question is interesting in and of itself. If someone is very predictable then does that mean they are in tpuch with everyone’s thoughts or merely facile? What do my replies on this thread say about me? Given that I’ve asked this question have I set out a false example of my persona due to trickery or are these words an “honest” representation of who I am; or merely a facade of a facade?
You are technically correct, the missing information is that most (like the OPs question) are exceedingly poor assessment of someone's personality traits
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is your favorite 'personality assessment' tool?`

Post by Alias » November 24th, 2018, 11:13 am

Achievable wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 3:20 am
[Alias -- What he's assessing is not so much personality as intelligence - which, I suppose, is his top requirement in an employee.
I would imagine we'd need to ask him which he valued more, 'personality' or 'intelligence'. I'd imagine he would want a certain combonation of both.
But we didn't ask him, so I'm guessing from the OP. This single question can't provide all those answers. I responded to what was written above, with my limited information. I can further project, from my experience of working life, that when a prospective employer poses a simple logic question, what he's probably not looking for is whether the prospective employee can contrive an answer to out-clever him. Again, I'm only guessing.
Side question: If there were truly one sole answer to this question, why would he keep asking it?
That's two questions.
"Why would he keep asking it?" doesn't depend on the number of possible answers; it depends on what he's looking for. One reason for a favourite question might be that he's seen so many people answer it. It's become a benchmark - a standard of comparison.
How does the candidate react upon hearing the question: smile, frown, tense, blank out, roll his eyes? Does he start figuring right away, or does he sniff around for trickery? Does he stare at the interviewer, look off into space, close his eyes, move his fingers? How long does he think about it?
There is much to be learned about attitude, trust and confidence, as well as intelligence, from watching someone solve even a very small problem.

Here's a test: Have a box of band-aids in plain sight. During the interview, pretend to cut my finger.
The response to such a tiny emergency is something I've seen a good many times, from very different people. How you handled it would tell me quite a lot about you.

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