Based on Human Resource Management (4th Edition) by Alan Price -
published by Cengage
Interviews suffer from a basic problem: (...) When asked what they would
do in a particular situation ... candidates give the answer which they feel the interviewer wants to
The work sample technique attempts to overcome this problem by asking candidates to take on
mini-jobs in a selection situation. ... properly designed work samples capture key elements of a
real job. (...) Work samples have shown some of the highest validity scores compared to other
selection methods. (...) even the smallest companies could employ the simpler forms, such as the
- a typing test for keyboard skills
- group decisions
The most sophisticated of work-sample procedures include 'in-basket tests', sometimes called
'in-tray exercises'. (...) Candidates are given a typical in-tray containing a selection of
material such as letters to be answered, reports to be analysed, items to be prioritized, etc.
They are given instructions on what to do and a time limit. Standard scoring methods are available.
(...) Assessment centres are procedures and not
necessarily places. They function on the principle that no individual method of selection is
particularly good and no individual assessor is infallible. ... they use multiple methods and
several assessors in structured programmes which attempt to minimize the inadequacies of each
method and cancel out the prejudices of individual selectors. Inevitably, assessment centres are
a very expensive method of selection. (...) ... they are focused on potential. (...)
Problems with assessment centres
... the impact on management time is
considerable. Managers may appreciate the value of high-quality selection procedures, but will be
reluctant to devote so much time. Additionally, the traditional process is group-based and is unusable
in situations where only one or two candidates are being considered.
The effectiveness of an assessment centre depends upon its design and the anticipation of
problems. Additionally, the traditional process is group-based and is unusable in situations
where only one or two candidates are being considered. Common design faults have been
Graphology or handwriting analysis has a long history on the mainland of Europe.
It originated in Italy in the early seventeenth century and was further refined in France and
Germany, where it is used widely. The essence of graphology is that analysts claim to be able
to describe an individual's personality from a sample of their handwriting. Their theoretical
basis is that of trait psychology, which holds that personality has a number of fixed dimensions
which are relatively unchangeable and do not depend on the situation.
In the UK there has been a marked resistance to its use, especially among psychologists.
The evidence is very much against graphology's effectiveness (see Human Resource Management [Price, 2011] for review.
Why is graphology apparently so popular in continental Europe and supposed to be increasingly
used in the USA and the UK (Ellin, 2004)? Thomas and Vaught (2001) speculate that
one reason may be that it has an apparent face validity that people can relate to: it looks like
it ‘should’ work as a method. However, in studies on selection techniques in a number of
countries (Anderson and Witvliet, 2008, Anderson et al., 2010), graphology was one of the
least favoured by candidates. Finally, Bangerter et al. (2009) found that graphology is not as
popular in continental Europe as claimed, that few job advertisements asked for handwritten
letters and the handwritten letters that were received by employers were rarely analyzed
by graphologists. They concluded that the popularity of graphology is a self-perpetuating