My Job at the Cult – DISC Profiles

My Job at the Cult – DISC Profiles

My interview for the job that shall not be named was interesting on many different levels, but one of those levels was the DISC personality test I was given.  Maybe my job career thus far has been old school, but I’d never been asked to take a personality test for a job before.  The one they had me take was the DISC profile, which as explained by Wikipedia:

DISC is a behaviour assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Marston. Marston’s theory centers on four different personality traits: Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance.

Really, it wasn’t an awful idea in theory… until I saw the test.  With a format like the SAT, it was pages upon pages and pages of questions about what I would do in different work and social situations.  Some of the questions were no brainers, and others seem pointed that there was a “right” answer (even though I was explicitly told there were no wrong answers) and I choose what my hopefully future boss might like best.  Twenty minutes later I finished this test, and they went to run my results through a machine that processes #2 lead pencils.

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The majority of my interview was spent reviewing the results of my DISC test instead of my portfolio.  “It’s really unusual for creative people to have these results,” the CEO said as he poured over my personality profile as if it were some strange mythical beast.  I wasn’t exactly sure if that was an insult or a compliment.

Results of the DISC profile were taken well out of context of the interview though.  When I started the job on my first day, the office manager helped make me a desk placard.  This had my name, a photo, and my DISC results in giant letters.

“This is to help others know how best to interact with you before they approach you,” he said.

I don’t know about y’all, but the way I learn how to interact with other people is by actually interacting with them.

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Some of the people who I worked with that really “drank the Koolaid” as we would say, were super enthused by these DISC profiles.  It wouldn’t be uncommon to be asked what your profile was in a non-work related conversation in the break room or to hear something like, “Well I know you’re low compliance, so you aren’t going to like this…”

And just in case if you’re curious on how to interact with me in the future, I’m IDSC.  I guess in the end my compliance was too low to stay working there for long, but that’s a story for another day.

Has anyone had to take a rather intense personality test for a job?

28 thoughts on “My Job at the Cult – DISC Profiles

  1. I had to take one of these once when I was like 17, applying for a job at a call center. Apparently I do not have the personality for it (no freaking kidding!) so they never even called me back. I dodged a bullet with that one.

  2. If I walked in on the first day and saw something on my desk immediately ‘classifying’ me for the sake of other people, I would turn around and walk right out. Also I don’t think I would be able to hold my tongue if the interviewer started going over my test in the way you described. Lunacy, all of it.

  3. I’ve taken this same profile test before. It is actually useful, because it can help you identify how you work with others and how others need to be worked with.
    I think your workplace was taking it a bit far.
    I was extremely high-D and high C, very low S and not a single point under I.
    Have you ever watched the video of the creator explaining it? It makes so much more sense that way!

    1. I think the test in theory is perfectly fine. I agree with its assessment of me (High I and C, low everything else) but the way they used it here was just really over the top.

  4. I took something similar for American Eagle, it was pretty stupid. I mean basically it was spot-on though, it said I sucked at selling but was great at organizing- um, yup. So they basically always had me folding stuff, or working in the back or working on floor sets, ha! I could sell if I was in the changing room, because then it was easier to approach people. But they know I’d have everything spotless if I was in charge of organizing! 🙂

    That being said, we learned in psychology that they use those kinds of tests to bring out red flags. Like, when they ask if you’ve ever lied and you say no, they know you’re a liar and throw you out. (My brother lost a job to Best Buy doing that once). They have ‘flag questions’ where you think “oh I’m going to impress them and answer it this way” but if you do they know you’re full of sh*t and they actually discard the test lol.

    Very interesting they put your DISC profile on your name plate… that’s taking it a bit far.

  5. I had a job once that required a similar test and an IQ test and some crazy aptitude test with specific job related math and logic questions. That, apparently, was the interview – it took 4 hours! Awful, boring, mindless job, though – no way did they need people with college degrees and ‘good’ test scores! I left, as did the other 20 or so people hired with me, and I hear that they’ve since re-thought their interview/qualification process
    My current job is going through the DISC profile thing – but it is voluntary for most people, and not something you need to share the results of! I hate any sort of process that attempts to put people in categories…but that’s a rant for another day 🙂

  6. I had a company that liked my portfolio, but rejected me after the personality test. It’s seemed totally bizarre to me as A) it was a design job–shouldn’t you be more interested in my creative skills? and B) I’ve been told I interview well and am quite personable. Basically the test predicted they wouldn’t like me, so they didn’t even bother to meet me.

    My favorite interview test of all time was for ESPN, which was a sports quiz. I fell just short because of the damn basketball questions.

  7. Yup! I’ve had to do a DISC Profile test before. The company I worked for was sales based, and most of their employees were not college graduates. The company was pretty good, and competitive, but they also took the DISC profiles pretty far. If I remember, I was a DICS. I remember laughing pretty damn hard at that abbreviation…

  8. We did this once during a seminar for my job… it was basically about interacting with clients and how certain personalities require different approaches. We took the test ourselves and thought it was interesting but no one gave much thought to it past that thankfully! I can’t imagine being defined by this test on a daily basis!

  9. Wow. No. Though I’ve heard of it and seen it done, I haven’t ever been in that situation.

    That is just crazypants. Now I want to know what my DISC is.

    And? I need to hear MUCH MORE about this cult job!

  10. I had one of these once prior to interview – it was sooooooooo long and boring that I left halfway through and said F*ck that job! lol

  11. Uh … no, and that’s just plain weird! But then, even though I am a professional, I’ve never had a job where I worked for a company. My district is huge so if I need a change, I just move schools. Teachers in my area are a lot like contractors; we pretty much do what we want as long as we follow the state’s guidelines. I usually feel like I work for myself (there’s no one to “report” to or to tell me what to do).

  12. I’ve taken a number of personality tests over the years.

    I agree with the commenter above that this company took it a bit far.

    But understanding your own “stance” and how others are does help with interactions, to hopefully prevent miscommunications and interpersonal discord.

  13. I took the DISC test as part of a professional development workshop. Studying the different profiles, and how someone who was strong in particular areas, was part of the workshop, and we talked about how to integrate those different people within project management. It was really, really useful for me at the time and I am still amazed at how well the test nailed my work habits & professional personality.

    That said…super, super weird to have it on your desk! Eek! Any kind of jargon-y test or system like that, in regular use at a company, skeeves me out. It’s information that should add to, not limit, your interactions with other people.

  14. I’ve never taken a personality test for a job before. I don’t think the test itself would bother me but sharing it with everyone seems really strange.

  15. I took one once that took only a few minutes. The first section was check all that apply of descriptors of how you view yourself, then the second section was how you think others view you. Took honesty and 2 minutes. Later, the Co. gave me the results, and they were not far off at all for such a simple test.

    :shrug:

    But yeah…you were part of a cult… 🙂

  16. My husband manages people and he had his team take the ID test (same concept, diff company) and it actually really helped him and his team understand why they were or weren’t communicating well amongst each other. I even took the test an it also helped him understand me and why we sometimes have roadblocks in communication. Used correctly, I think it’s an awesome tool. And yeah, at work, they would put their ID# in their directory profile ;). I’ve never heard of anyone using it as part of an interview or onboarding process – that’s kinda weird because it’s automatic assumptions without knowing you.

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