One of the most frequent questions we get when it comes to Emotional Intelligence is; How does EQ and personality compare ? What about personality tests and EQ tests -and IQ tests??

At a Kandidata Asia networking meeting in Singapore recently I addressed that question and I think it deserves a post on this blog as well. So for the next few blogs I will try to bring some knowledge and hopefully some clarity to the question; EQ and Personality – Same Aspects of a Person or the Same?


With the internet becoming accessible to people all over the world, therein followed a worldwide explosion of online selection and development tests now readily available to anyone over the internet.

The internet makes it possible to quickly collect large databases and develop norms that used to take test developers many years to do. With flashy graphics, it is also possible to design tests that have high face validity, meaning that they can “look” very good.

While test development used to be a very costly and research-intensive undertaking that could only be done by serious, committed and resourceful test developers based on solid theoretical foundations, today anybody with some basic computer knowledge can design his own tests and market them with high face validity, making them seemingly “look good”.

But what is beneath the surface? How can organizations and companies choose from the 30 million or so hits that you get when you Google for personality tests?

How do you know if a test lives up to its promises and that it indeed can select the best person for a particular position or that it can play a significant role as a tool for developing people?

The short answer is: Only use modern and evidence-based tests.

A modern test should be based on a theoretical model that is in tune with our times (many tests are founded on theoretical models that are close to 100 years old) and have been developed during the last 20 years with the aid of computers.

An evidence-based test means that research can prove that they add value.

In other words, the test should be reliable and valid and proven through extensive reseach that it can be used to assess and predict who the best person for the job will be, and that by using the test for people development, it can actually improve people´s performance.

The most frequently used psychometric tests for selection and development are:

  1. Intelligence tests (IQ)
  2. Personality tests
  3. Emotional Intelligence tests (EQ )

In my next blog I will try to sort out what these three different concepts mean and how they can be differentiated from each other.