Every week I find people searching for this phrase on Google. I imagine you are probably applying for a job and the employer uses these tools as part of the selection process. Or, maybe you are in a work environment where they want to benchmark their employees for recruiting, team alignment, or other reasons. Whatever the purpose of the assessment, you want to come away impressing the company, recruiter, or manager assessing you.
Can You Fail?
Along the same lines I see searches come in about if you can fail a DISC Assessment. The truth is you can’t.
One misconception we see in the general public is the use of the word “test” when they refer to DISC. Distributors such as us don’t use that word for a reason. DISC is not a test. A test you can pass or fail or fall somewhere in between, but what DISC measures are behavioral styles. If you demonstrate that you are more conservative than demanding does that mean you failed?
You are a measure of the behaviors you use and adapt to. The only way to fail a DISC assessment is to lie on it. There is a tremendous amount of value that can be learned about you from these tools. Chances are your assessor wants to use DISC to see how you would fit with different team members, whether you’d be happy doing the type of work required, or how they may work best with you. You can only fail an assessment designed to pick up on your behavior styles if you tell it you behave in ways you don’t typically behave.
How it Works
The general way the DISC Assessment picks up on your behavior styles is by having you rank 4 different character attributes. For example;
Responsible, Sociable, Stable, Open-Minded
The assessments pick these words from a bank of characteristics that represent the different behavior styles. TTI Performance Systems Ltd, the developers of the DISC assessment we use, have tested these assessments in over 100,000 workplaces to verify the accuracy of these reports with successful results.
After ranking several of these words, the assessment can very accurately measure your rank of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
By understanding how the assessment works, you can feel more comfortable answering the assessment truthfully. You can see that the only wrong answers are the ones that don’t describe you.
So What Are The Best Answers?
If there are no wrong answers, what are the best ones? To put this in perspective, it would be like me asking you, “what is the best personality to have?” Because there are thousands of possible combinations of behavioral styles and only a few percent of the population sit in each of the different behavior profiles, seeking out one specific profile is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Meaning, the assessor has a variety of behaviors they are seeking for.
Again, this makes the case pretty clear for being yourself.
That being said, you may think, “Well, even if there is no wrong answer, there may be certain behavior characteristics that I’m being evaluated for.” Are you in sales? Then they may want a higher D, with someone who is strong-willed, forceful, and ambitious. Are you in a highly technical or precise field? Then they may want a high C, someone who is exacting, cautious, and systematic.
If you take these assessments honestly, they will find your true strengths. I won’t deny that there are some people out there that advise you to take these assessments from the job’s perspective. You then have to ask yourself, “Why would I want to take a job or position on a team where I’m at odds with my own natural strengths?”
Do You Really Want To Lie?
The truth is, employers have a number of tools to profile and match potentials to a position. When someone tries to answer the DISC assessment in a manipulative way, the consultants who read the report can easily pick up on it.
That is just a basic reason not to manipulate these assessments, but the true reason is much deeper. The person assessing you is doing you a favor. They are making an effort to ensure whoever takes on that role will be matched in a way that cooperates with their natural behavior style. They want the candidate to feel like they are a natural fit, that the tasks they will complete will be engaging, and most of all, that the stress will be minimal.
If the results of your assessment don’t show you have the behavior styles that thrive in the job environment they are evaluating you for, count your blessings. We’ve been studying the assessment reports of thousands of professionals from a range of companies. When we coach someone and see that their profile is at odds with the job type they are in, it shows. They are stressed, unhappy, and often looking for another job. Do you really want to do that to yourself on purpose?
The Best Way to Take DISC Assessments
We administer these assessments daily and as such have found many helpful suggestions for taking these.
1. Give Yourself Time: Depending on the assessment they can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. That is not a general recommendation, trying to rush through an assessment will hinder its accuracy.
2. Do It In One Sitting, Without Any Interruptions: The question types can easily get mixed up if you take breaks or have distractions.
3. Don’t Over-analyze, Go With Gut Instinct: Some of the questions don’t seem sensible, it is by design. The best way to answer these is with your gut.