On Using Assessments to Screen Prospects

While visiting Santa Cruz last year in August at the FPA Far West Roundup, I stepped into a surf shop on the wharf and saw a magic 8-ball for sale (I’m still not exactly certain what magic 8-balls and surfing have to do with each other). I hadn’t seen one of these things in quite some time, and it reminded me that, much like many of the other toys and games our children play with, …
Imagine this: it’s the day after Halloween, and you are about to enter your local big-box store retailer. EVERYTHING about the store flashes “SALE!” Who or what is in control of your actions in this situation? Let’s consider two different mindsets and possible outcomes related to how we might approach our shopping trip in this scenario: Mindset 1: I can positively affect the wealth my household accumulates. Potential Outcome: I will shop and spend …
In pop psychology and social media, there seems to be more interest in pop personality than in financial behaviors when it comes to talking about the things that will have the greatest impact on how successful we are at accumulating wealth. Who doesn’t love a one-question quiz that asks you about your favorite color and then gives you a report telling you you’re a terrible investor because you like magenta? Tests like the Myers-Briggs …
Imagine that you can ask your prospective client only two questions before deciding if they are a good fit for your practice. What would you ask, and why? The statement above is an example of a structured interview question. Structured interviews are a systematic way to get to know a client, applicant, or other new colleague that links interview questions to topics or competencies that are critical to understand at the beginning of that …
Suppose you are trying to understand the complex underlying personal characteristics of your client, a potential employee, or even yourself. In that case, it goes without saying that you need a good tool (i.e., a good assessment) to measure these not-so-obvious personal characteristics. This is the heart of psychometrics: the science of measuring individual differences (that is, our unique personal characteristics). Typically, psychometrics involves gathering multiple responses related to a characteristic to ensure you’re …

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