A few weeks ago, I posted a blog on assessments – asking what kind you have taken and what you liked or did not like about them. The article was posted in a few groups on LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist. (BTW – Brazen Careerist is one of the newest Gen Yer social networking sites.)

A comment that seems to pop up more than once is discussion on the level of dissatisfaction that sets in with some assessments after you get the results and you are left hanging. One person said it well, “There is not enough information on what to do with the results.”

Free often means… bare bones

When you take a free online assessment, expect to get very little information back. If you do get some information, it will be basic and if you do not understand it, good luck finding someone to help you make sense of it.

The free tests are designed to tease you with the hopes you will buy something or they are there to help with the provider to do some research.

It is also a good idea to check with the author of the assessment to see if they provide training for the people who give feedback. If there is none, then you have some more homework to do. Remember the adage, “Nothing in life is free.”

No training means that anyone can use it and without the background in testing and measurements, the information or feedback you receive is likely flawed.

Is that really how you want to make your decisions?

Getting beyond the basics takes personal investment

Here is another comment: “Regarding the application (used afterward), many evaluations seek to help me understand myself but not all go the next stage of assisting me understand others and therefore interact with them more effectively.”

This commenter realizes there is more to an assessment than the results on paper. First, there is the interpretation of obvious and subtle indicators that can be overlooked by someone who is new to providing feedback.

Many assessments are focusing on you. If you are working with an experienced and trained practitioner, learning how to apply your insight and knowledge is where the value begins to develop significant returns – especially when developing your relationship and increasing your effectiveness with others.

This insight is not gained through the casual observer; it is developed by doing hundreds to thousands of feedback and coaching sessions. The investment you make in selecting and using someone who is experienced will help you make better decisions.

Check credentials

Finally, be wary of people who say they can give feedback even though they are not certified or qualified to deliver the results of a particular instrument. A reputable person will not be offended if you ask them questions on their qualifications.