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HOW TO AVOID HIRING IMPULSIVE, TROUBLEMAKING PEOPLE - You Can Decrease Accidents, Reduce Rudeness, &


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A pre-employment personality test that assesses applicants’ dependability can help managers avoid hiring impulsive people.

Why should you avoid hiring impulsive people? Because impulsive employees create trouble by doing harmful behaviors at work. They
- dislike following rules – including for quality and safety
- cause accidents
- say rude, inconsiderate comments – to customers and co-workers

Reason = Impulsive people act before thinking. In contrast, non-impulsive people think before acting.


I spent years conducting research to create a pre-employment test to forecast job applicants’ dependability, including impulsiveness. This personality test helps employers find out if applicants may exhibit five harmful behaviors:
(1) Impulsiveness
(2) Laziness
(3) Stealing
(4) Substance abuse
(5) Dishonesty on test

Companies using this pre-hire personality test report that hiring non-impulsive people results in
+ less accidents
+ greater following of rules, including quality and safety
+ less rudeness


In the 1970’s, Stanford University psychologist Walter Mischel, Ph. D. , conducted his “Marshmallow Experiment. ” He brought preschool children into a room. He placed one marshmallow in front of each child. Then, he told the children they could either (a) eat one marshmallow now or (b) wait and then later receive two marshmallows.

Results: Impulsive preschoolers took the one marshmallow, and never tried to earn the second marshmallow. In contrast, non-impulsive preschoolers delayed gratification, waited, and earned a second marshmallow.

Decades later, Stanford University did fascinating follow-up on the children used in the “Marshmallow Experiment. ” In high school, the non-impulsive children – those who delayed gratification and earned the second marshmallow – had higher SAT scores, higher educational achievement, less mental illness, and less drug abuse than the impulsive children.

More research was done when they reached adulthood. As adults, the non-impulsive people had committed fewer crimes, lower divorce rates, less marital separations, and lower body-mass index (BMI).

Different research, reported in “Psychological Science” journal, found impulsive adults had lower FICO credit scores than non-impulsive people.

Summary: Research proves impulsive people – i. e. , people who act before thinking – are more likely to exhibit troublesome and troublemaking behaviors. As such, managers are wise to avoid hiring impulsive job applicants.


Impulsive employees create expensive problems for employers. How much did accidents, safety violations, quality problems, and rudeness cost your organization? How much are safe, rule-following, considerate employees worth to your organization?

When you calculate the cost of problems caused by impulsive employees, you readily see big ROI from hiring non-impulsive people.

Hiring impulsive employees decreases your bottom line. But, hiring non-impulsive employees increases your bottom line.


A pre-employment personality test that helps forecast impulsiveness enables you to avoid hiring impulsive employees who harm your company’s workplace and finances.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to make such forecasts using other prediction methods, e. g. , job interviews, reference and background checks. Impulsiveness usually will not be revealed in those methods.

Fortunately, a dependability pre-employment personality test could be your company’s key to avoid hiring impulsive people. Such a pre-employment test helps you discover which job applicants are not impulsive – to decrease your headaches while increasing your bottom line.


Michael Mercer, Ph. D. , wrote the book “Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest. ” Dr. Mercer created 3 pre-employment tests that companies use to assess job applicants. One test, “Dependability Forecaster(tm), ” helps companies assess applicants’ impulsiveness, work ethic, honesty, plus stealing and substance abuse concerns. Dr. Mercer also delivers speeches and seminars at companies and conferences. You can subscribe to his newsletter, and learn about his 3 pre-employment tests at


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