Weird personality test for Army Recruiters

Weird personality test for Army Recruiters August 25, 2012

Apparently, I’m an extroverted introvert and I speak with authority while I question it.

Neat. At least this personality test completely left off religion/spirituality. They were also spot-on about my ADD. I’m medicated though, so maybe I should have answered differently (I’m actually a little ‘too’ hyper-focused when medicated).

It got weird near the end. The test started flashing words like “SUICIDE” “ME” “THRIVE” “THEM” “HANGING” “BREATHING” “LIVE” “MYSELF”, and you had to rapidly sort them. It felt like this trailer for A Clockwork Orange.

Don’t TAIS me, bro

The test is called The Attentional and Interpersonal Style Inventory (TAIS). It measures a person’s adaptability to high-stress environments. I’m in school for Army Recruiting, and it’s becoming very clear that this is a very tedious, time-consuming, and high-stress job.

The creators of the TAIS sell it like this:

Enhanced Performance Systems (EPS): Helping you identify and train tomorrow’s leaders today in business, sport, and military.

EPS is the developer of The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) Inventory, a 144 item questionnaire assessing concentration and communication skills, and various procedures used to improve those skills. TAIS is utilized around the world by professional service providers to identify and train individuals who must consistently perform at high levels under challenging conditions.

If you get to the creepy left/right sorting part and get something wrong, it lets you know. You see a big red X for a second. I got pissed off at the few I missed. FUCKING RED X! WHY I OUGHTTA!!! Then, I’d subconsciously try to send the red x over to the ‘death / suicide’ pile of words, despite the current word now being positive.

I might have clicked wrong too many times because I now have an appointment with a shrink on Monday morning. One third of my class have the same fun meeting to look forward to too. My instructors say this is very common and they’ve never seen anyone removed from class over this test. One of them prefaced the test with: “Don’t fail it on purpose trying to get out of being a recruiter. You’re stuck.”

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • julian

    Is there any evidence this works or sorts people into appropriate categories?

    It looks incredibly imprecise and that it’s so easy to fall into multiple categories suggests a lot of post hoc rationalizing.

    • Justin Griffith

      No idea, man. I just work here 🙂

      Poke around if you wish. This really was the first completely secular personality test I’ve seen in years. That means it’s probably old (pre-2009 Spiritual Fitness BS). So maybe there’s data out there somewhere.

  • lorimakesquilts

    Ugh, good luck with the recruiting gig. My dad had a recruiting command many, many years ago and it was miserable — no one wanted to join up then, plus he’s a dick. Yeah, so nevermind my negative attitude. I do think you would be good at it.

    • Justin Griffith

      LOL’d 🙂

  • Juli

    I officially want to take this test.

  • kantalope

    It says something about the duality of man, sir.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    You are aware of the sleazy and dishonest tactics that seem to be mandatory with current US military recruiting, right?

    All potential recruits cannon fodder should consider the case against enlistment [pdf] before signing away their lives.

  • M Groesbeck

    Is medicated ADHD no longer a disqualifying factor for the uniformed services? That would make my post-grad-school first choice rather easier to achieve…keeping my GPA up is far easier when properly medicated.

    • Len Blakely

      Given the number of un-medicatedpeople with ADHD in the military I would think it would be the way to go.