The Personality Test That Went to School

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, November 5, 2018
The Personality Test That Went to School

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I took an aptitude test in middle school, one meant to determine the best career path for me. It was a series of rather subjective questions that were variations of, "What do you like to do?"

What I wanted to be when I grew up was a disc jockey. The test told me I'd be better at selling insurance.


I'm all grown up now and have never set foot inside a radio station. I've never sold insurance, either. Was the test I took so many years ago wrong or right? Were my 13-year old dreams and aspirations way off the mark as well?

Next up in high school was the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. It didn't tell me much, either, but the recruiter seemed to really like my results. "You can do pretty much anything you want in the Army," he said, smiling.

"Can I become a Green Beret?" I asked.

"Sure! We can sign you up today."

I think he sold used cars before becoming a military recruiter.

After graduating high school, I gave the military option a pass and instead attended the technical college in my state, enrolled in a Computer Systems Engineering degree program. It seemed to be a natural fit. I fell in love with computers when my middle school got a trio of Commodore PET-4016s. My friend Matt and I would sneak out of woodshop and duck into the back room behind the library where they kept the PETS and write programs in BASIC, saving them onto tape cassettes. As long as we still got our birdhouses built on time without severing a finger, our woodshop teacher allowed it.

When I was 19, I landed a job as a full-time programmer for a paper company in the city. I worked there for three years and followed it with a series of technical positions in both software development and systems support (IT). Eventually I took on projects that required cradle-to-grave management responsibilities. I also started working directly with clients and had to learn how to set and manage stakeholder expectations.

I learned an increasing number of programming languages, two of which I somehow managed to cram into my brain in just a few days. Once you've learned a few, the rest become easier to pick up. You can't master a programming language in a weekend, but it's definitely possible to survive your first day on the job on Monday when you'd barely even heard of the language the previous Friday.

Through a lot of trial and even more error, I gained a few insights into myself about what I'm good at and what for the good of society should be left to others. I'm 30 years into my career and I'm still learning new things about myself, still gaining insights about my personality's DNA.

And then something happened two years ago that sped up that learning process by an order of magnitude.

I took yet another personality test as part of a job interview, only this one was different.

It was called the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, and its results blew my mind.

My first reaction as I was taking it was, "There's no way this test will tell them anything about me." The assessment is web-based, only takes about 8 minutes to complete, and uses a deceptively easy word-choice format. "How can this accurately define me?" I wondered as I zipped through the questions.

When I read the report afterward, however, I knew this assessment was special.

The Core Values Index holds a PhD in Me Studies, and all the other assessments I'd taken were out in the playground eating dirt.

The CVI absolutely nailed the person that I am, who I've always been, and who I will always be. My report gave me very clear and accurate answers to the many questions I'd struggled to answer throughout my adult life. Perhaps you have asked similar questions about yourself:

Why do I react to certain people and situations the way I do?

Why do I prefer to work on some types of projects and loathe others?

Why have I been successful working at some jobs and not others? Why do I get along so well with certain people and feel so frustrated by others?

My Core Values Index report gave me detailed and thorough yet insanely easy to understand answers to all of those questions. It was life-changing.

I landed that job, by the way. It was at eRep. In fact, they created a new position for me specifically because of my CVI results. I've been working here at eRep ever since, and as I learn more about the Core Values Index, I'm continually amazed at how consistently accurate it really is for everyone that takes it.

Another thing that has been consistent about the CVI is the reaction everyone has after they read their report:

"How does it know me so well?"

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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