As an FE teacher and trainer, I once went for a training administration post and had to complete a battery of questionnaire-style psychometric tests ("Psychometrics for all trainees", The TES, January 7). As the job involved the usual administrative tasks, I selected answers that showed my skills in paying attention to detail, finishing projects, working in a team, being reliable and so on.
During the follow-up interview, I was told how well suited I appeared to be but that there was slight concern about my lack of creativity and initiative. When I said I had selected answers to suit the post, rather than answering "truthfully", the interviewer expressed horror and disbelief that I was able to manipulate the test in this way.
It is foolish to believe the results of these tests or to believe there is a single personality suited to teaching. Perhaps we should bring in graphology or palm reading as selection tools - they would be just as reliable.
Jackie Sherman, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.