What To Do When Assessment Results are Different than You Expected

Sometimes assessment results come back with information different than you expected. In this video, Robin offers ways to address this conversation constructively with the candidate as well as how to consider the data in your decision-making.

What Should You Do If Assessment Results Are Different Than You Anticipated?

Sometimes when we look at assessment results, we get a surprise; we see things that we weren’t anticipating. In this video, I’m going to be talking about constructive ways to handle that conversation, especially with a candidate although the concepts will apply to both a candidate and an employee.

Don’t Tell the Candidate

The first thing that you don’t want to do is say something to the candidate like, “Wow, those assessment results were not what we were looking for!!” That immediately backs the person into a corner. Now they have to justify the responses/results. The second thing is that you do not want to have the candidate re-take the assessment. If you have given them a heads-up that something is wrong, then they are going to be forced to think about answering the questions in a new and different way because the first way obviously didn’t work. Then we start to get skewed results and an inaccurate picture of the individual. Not to mention a lot of unnecessary angst on the part of the candidate.

Change Your Focus: How Does the Candidate Fit the Job?

Instead, here is where you want to focus. Keep in mind that there is no pass or fail or right / wrong to the assessment results. What we’re trying to understand is the fit to the job. So if the person scores, for instance, higher on assertiveness that you thought they would or should, how does that fit to the job? Share the feedback report with the individual. Ask if they think that the information from the assessment accurately reflects their style. Most likely, they are going to say yes and confirm the results from the assessment. If that’s the case, now you start to dig through with the candidate as it relates to the job. Help them see and explore together how their traits and behavioral styles and interests are going to be a fit for the position (or not!). That is going to lead you to much better decision-making.

Allow the Candidate to Challenge the Results

If the candidate does challenge the assessment results, that’s fine, too! Explore that deeper by asking for more examples so they can share specific, tangible information that will illustrate the accuracy one way or the other. It leads you to more shared conversation which will lead you to a better decision.

The Bottom Line with Assessments Results that are Different than You Expected

Here’s the bottom line. Even if the information from the assessment results is different than what you thought it would be or different than what you hoped it would be, it still offers you the excellent opportunity to explore those conversations before you bring the person on board. It helps you makes a better decision for selection but also for coaching that person later once they get in the role and you know more what to expect.  

I encourage you to think about these assessment results as a way to understand the impact of performance, not whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. We always want to set the person up for success and looking at the results with that perspective will always be more productive!

Be sure to check out more videos in the Learning Resource Center, available to you as a member. Here’s to your Graceful Leadership!

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