Excerpt from course description

Individual Differences, Recruitment and Selection


Ultimately, organizations comprise unique individual employees, and knowledge about the skills and abilities that make people different is relevant regarding several organizational processes and outcomes. Ideally, it can help the organization to select the best candidate for a vacant position, and to ensure that leaders and co-workers reach their full potential. In contrast, the lack of such knowledge can bias the selection process, possibly entailing undue costs and significant limitations to organizational performance and competitiveness.

In this course, you will learn about individual differences (differential psychology) as well as personnel selection. Regarding individual differences, the course emphasizes personality psychology, including the nature/nurture debate, key theoretical perspectives on personality and personality assessment. The course also emphasizes the terms intelligence and emotional intelligence as forms of individual differences, and discusses these terms against criteria for psychological assessment (psychometrics). Furthermore, the course stresses personality and individual differences regarding personnel selection, and discusses how different selection methods such as interviews and psychological tests can help the organization in covering its competence needs. The overarching aim of the course is to aid students in attaining broad as well as nuanced and practical insights within the topics of personality, individual differences and personnel selection.

Course content

  • The trait perspective on personality
  • Other perspectives on personality, including the psychodynamic, the cognitive and the humanistic-existential perspective
  • Evolution, genetics and personality
  • Personality, health and resilience
  • The job analysis and competence potential
  • Interviews as a personnel selection tool
  • Tests and assessment methods in personnel selection


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.