(Cattell, 1996) The global factors the test measures are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN). (Hofer & Eber, 2002)
Employers also use skill or knowledge specific tests. For example, tests for prospective employees of the United States, State Department are not unlike university examinations in a politics class. They are designed to determine an applicants knowledge of foreign governments, history and diplomacy. These are job-specific skills for that employer. Similarly, many factories will examine prospective employees to determine their level of knowledge of required skills from plumbing to computer technology. In essence tests of this nature determine an employees competence in the skills the company or position requires them to have.
Tests of this nature have been used since time immemorial. Arguably, an apprenticeship program in a trade such as tool and die maker can be seen as one long testing process resulting in the apprentice receiving the designation of journeyman. Wikipedia suggests that academic careers can be seen as an apprenticeship program: “Even in academia, the tradition survives, with elementary, middle and high school completing general education; with post secondary degrees awarded in the Associates, Bachelor and Master levels; and PhD students as apprentices, post-docs and associate professors as journeymen and full professors as masters.” (“Master Craftsman”)
Testing alone has one major advantage. It is entirely objective. There is no influence over a test relating to an interviewer liking or disliking a candidate. The candidate answers the test and the test results are calculated.
However, this can also be its major disadvantage. Particularly if the test, such as the PF Questionnaire is designed to measure personality factors. The PF Questionnaire can accurately judge global personality