Anybody every undergo psychometric testing for a job?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Thomas Veil, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    I believe that's the proper title for it. My wife is up for a job, and she's jumped through the first two hoops -- an interviewer and a department head -- and now she has to go back to meet the personnel director and for some psychological testing.

    I was just wondering if anybody'd ever had one of these tests. Anything she should know about it? Anything she should be prepared for? (Should she try to second-guess any of the questions, for example?)

    Also, should she be cautiously encouraged? I went through a similar process where the last "layer" of management I had to meet with was the City Manager (the highest-ranking public official in our town). It turned out to be the easiest part of the hiring process. He wanted to talk to me for literally five minutes and just get the sense of whether I'm a "people" person. I'm thinking this may be a similar case for my wife.

    But mostly I'm concerned about the psychological test. My wife's one of the nicest, most honest people you'd ever meet, but who knows if that's what they're testing for?
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    A friend of mine recently applied for a job as a CIA analyst. Using a lie detector, they asked her a lot about whether she was happy with her gender, if she's done drugs, if she has illegal stuff on her computer.

    But your wife isn't applying for clearance, is she? It's probably just personality profile stuff.
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
  4. 3rdpath macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2002
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    late last year, on a lark, i applied for a position that required security clearance. among the assorted mental and physical tests was a very long multiple choice psychometric questionaire. i found the test fascinating because of the many subtle variations of the same questions and the variations of the preceeding questions that were obviously meant to influence my responses.

    it was computerized so there was no way to compare the questions....and it was timed so there wasn't really time to ponder previous responses. my strategy was just to answer honestly and take each question individually...kinda like clearing the cache after each response.

    and beware the questions that use " always " and " never ".
  5. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2005
    I second that. In fact, beware of the questions that want to make anything an absolute: Always, never, impossible, cannot, unconditional, unlimited, etc.

    Not saying disagree with them, just saying thats a red flag. :)
  6. BillHarrison macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2003
    I have taken and failed these tests several times. Always got the job however, as skill and training always outweigh a "test" of this nature. My reason for failing? I did "Too" well on the tests. Yes, believe it or not, they expect everyone to be "A little" bad. However, to me, these tests are simply a joke, and tell you next to nothing that the person taking the test does not want you to know. I know when I am screening potential employees, I could do in 10 minutes what this test claims to do in an hour of answering questions.

    Of particular difficulty for me to comprehend, I was often informed after "Failing" one of these tests, that they find it impossible that someone has never even "Tried" marijuana, etc. I was informed that everyone has tried it, and that its a red flag for them, marking me as dishonest for claiming otherwise. That was precisely the point I informed them I was done with the test, them, and the interview process. Note, I got a call 3 days later with an offer for the job.
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    i have been tested, too, and the only advice i will give is being 100% honest in answering the questions. there is no better way of failing than trying to please someone...
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I have taken a few of these tests, and I agree about being honest. Though if HR will listen, tell them why you answered some questions the way you did. On one test there was a question about "have you ever thought of a way to steal from a company?" I had to answer yes, since as a manager I had to think of how losses of money and product could happen.

    I am not a fan of these tests though. One company I worked for used it as a means of in their mind of creating a balanced workforce between Type A and Type B workers. Unfortunately it was used to keep certain well qualified people from career advancement, and allowed total idiots to retain management status.
  9. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2003

    When I was *much* younger, psychological tests were very popular in the hiring process, but they were using the wrong kind of tests :eek:

    To put it bluntly, I'm not a *people person*, but potential employers were using Mensa style IQ tests to screen applicants and since I score high on them, I was always hired and I was miserable.

    I sure hope that you wife's future employer is using a test to screen for the kind of employee they want as opposed to the most "intelligent" (whatever that means)

    Take care, Margaret
  10. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Chip, that is a sticky question. I wish they'd give you space on these things to explain some of your answers, because even though your answer makes perfect sense, somebody who doesn't know the context of your answer might not see it that way.

    I already told my wife to answer these things honestly, but I'll make her aware of the "always" and "never" questions. Thanks, folks.

    BTW, this can't be that extensive a test. They told her it will take about twenty minutes.
  11. VincentVega macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2004
    I'd have been particularly annoyed if I were in that position, having never even smoked a cigarette, let alone dabbled in drugs. Did they have any evidence for this assertion or reasoning behind the "everyone's done it" view?

    Did you accept the offer?

    I hate psychometric tests. For some reason it takes me absolutely ages to fill them out. I took one test - around 10 questions - and it took me at least 15 minutes to complete it and even then I wasn't overly happy with most of my answers. It didn't help that the manager who was interviewing me kept telling me that the quicker I did the test the better it looked (or words to that effect), which added to the already-pressurised situation I was in. In the end, I didn't get the job, because they didn't think I would get on well with the non-technical staff. Which is the lamest excuse ever.

    I wasn't that bothered really, as the manager (for whom I would have ended up working) was a bit of an ass, as evidenced by his comments whilst I was attempting the test. If they didn't like me being honest in my answers - which I tried to be (within the limits of my lack of prowess with such tests) - then it's their problem, not mine.

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