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Pre-Employment Psych Tests

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Huntsman, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Quirk

    Quirk Senior member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it until you see it. 'Psych' test can mean a lot of things -- often, they're just trying to get a very general sense of your cognitive skills and interpersonal, management and problem-solving style.

    Years ago, I worked for a company that issued pre-employment tests that included such questions as "if you were in a position to embezzle money from your employer and could be absolutely sure no one would find out about it, would you?" You would not BELIEVE the number of people who would admit to such a thing. I didn't know whether to be more depressed about how dishonest people were, or amazed at how stupid they were.
     
  2. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    Is this testing whether I'm a replicant, or a lesbian, Mr Deckard?

    So, do you dream of electric sheep?
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    So, do you dream of electric sheep?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Actually, the Google thing doesn't really bother me, though general information availability does -- did you know you can often go to a county website and get the plans for someone's house? Nice for a robber, eh? I tend to be somewhat jealous of my privacy so I never, ever use my name openly on the Web. Googling me gets a bunch of hits on things that are on my resume, so that's grand.

    rd, globe, quirk, thanks for the comments. The more common it is, the less annoyed I am, though I probably should consider that a defect of character. Madison held liberty of conscience to be the most dear of all. Well, I'll wait and see it. If it exceeds my tolerance, I have a Sharpe in my brief for the eradication of responses.

    j, does your gecko do speed?

    Regards,
    Huntsman
     
  5. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Fuckers [​IMG]

    How goes the hunt?


    its killing me, thank you for asking[​IMG]
     
  6. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    I once worked for a guy who, in retrospect, was a sociopath. He got an offer to purchase his company from a pretty big outfit, for some serious money, but the guy thought so highly of himself that he countered back to the suitor that he'd sell for less, if they hired him to run the company for five years and put some big performance-based incentives into his contract. They said, sure, just come down to Minneapolis to meet with out board.

    So he flies to the meeting, and they meet and make nice for the morning, and then they say, "all of our managers have to take this series of tests". So this guy, figuring he's the smartest dude in the world, goes in for a battery of tests for the rest of the afternoon. He is smart, but he is deeply, deeply flawed.

    He takes the tests and goes back to the board meeting. The board says, "hey, remember that offer we made you? Well, forget it." The guy's psych test results totally freaked out the baord, and they not only didn't hire him, they passed on buying the company at all.
     
  7. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    My company requires applicants for manager-type positions to take an aptitude test that takes about 2 hours online. It measures some psych issues, i.e. ability to work with others, sociability, managability along with stuff like verbal and mathematical abilities.

    It's interesting to look at the results when you're interviewing someone.
     
  8. Jill

    Jill Senior member

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    I had a job several years ago that required this. There was a type of "IQ" test, which they use as the first weed-out tool. It was an implementation consulting firm. They didn't seem as interested in my knowledge of the subject matter (HCM software) as in my ability to quickly learn it - hence the IQ test. Legitimate, I suppose. Fortunately my ability to take such tests greatly belies reality!!

    So it was onto the next test, a "psych" eval. The purpose of this was not to determine whether I was a "psycho", per se. It was instead to determine whether or not I fit the profile of whatever template they had established to be the "ideal consultant". As someone else pointed out, the results are rarely viewed by the company or its employees. Rather, they farm that out to an "industrial psychologist" whose job is to review and analyze the data, then interview you to fill in the gaps of what he already suspects.

    In my case, he said, "I am going to go ahead and give you a recommendation. But I do so with reservations. I honestly don't think you'll still be a consultant in 5 years. You just aren't cut out for it, according to what I see/hear. I think you would do great owning your own business or possibly in sales... just not consulting." Of course I argued. I got the job.

    Long story short (if that's still possible): I knew he had hit the nail on the head, even when he said it, since I've always been entrepreneurial by nature. I just didn't want to pass up the major coin I would make over the next few years. But he was right. I was miserable for the next 7 years, actually. I now own my own business.
     
  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    similar story to Jill - about 15 years ago, I took a battery of tests like this. The woman who did a summary of the tests told me that, even though she was going to recomend me as a good fit for the position, she thought that I should know that my tests indicated that I put to much effort into my work and I should try to balance out my personal life. she mentioned some details that pretty much blew my away that they came up from the tests. She was right, and it gave me a push to work more on my personal life.
     
  10. oman

    oman Senior member

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    after hearing you dudes' stories, i kinda want someone to psychoanalyze me

    any takers?
     
  11. ATM

    ATM Senior member

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    I've had a friend who went into an interview for a technical writing position and they asked him to elaborate on a particular political post he had made on his blog.
    Suppose the interviewee had written the same comment in a published book. Would it then be fair game in an interview?
     
  12. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had a job several years ago that required this. There was a type of "IQ" test, which they use as the first weed-out tool. It was an implementation consulting firm. They didn't seem as interested in my knowledge of the subject matter (HCM software) as in my ability to quickly learn it - hence the IQ test. Legitimate, I suppose. Fortunately my ability to take such tests greatly belies reality!!

    So it was onto the next test, a "psych" eval. The purpose of this was not to determine whether I was a "psycho", per se. It was instead to determine whether or not I fit the profile of whatever template they had established to be the "ideal consultant". As someone else pointed out, the results are rarely viewed by the company or its employees. Rather, they farm that out to an "industrial psychologist" whose job is to review and analyze the data, then interview you to fill in the gaps of what he already suspects.

    In my case, he said, "I am going to go ahead and give you a recommendation. But I do so with reservations. I honestly don't think you'll still be a consultant in 5 years. You just aren't cut out for it, according to what I see/hear. I think you would do great owning your own business or possibly in sales... just not consulting." Of course I argued. I got the job.

    Long story short (if that's still possible): I knew he had hit the nail on the head, even when he said it, since I've always been entrepreneurial by nature. I just didn't want to pass up the major coin I would make over the next few years. But he was right. I was miserable for the next 7 years, actually. I now own my own business.


    The first time I ever did a Myers-Briggs test (which sounds similar to your thing) was when I was right out of college, quite inexperienced, and had wangled an introduction to a firm for a sort of informational interview. As a courtesy, they gave me this thing, and I had NO idea what they were looking for, or likely to find in it. I was so rattled that after I left the interview/test, I had a few drinks with lunch, which I more or less never do.
     
  13. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    My company requires applicants for manager-type positions to take an aptitude test that takes about 2 hours online. It measures some psych issues, i.e. ability to work with others, sociability, managability along with stuff like verbal and mathematical abilities.

    It's interesting to look at the results when you're interviewing someone.



    Quick question Bradford: I've seen this noted with some job openings and it has got me to wondering if calculators are allowed on the math part. Are they? I would love for the answer to be no just so I can tell my students.

    bob
     
  14. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    From those who have taken the test at the firm I am speaking of, calculators aren't needed even if you could have them. As an engineer, I stand by my desire to have a calculator handy for all tests, though I can do a square root by hand if the occasion demands. Logs, however, get trying. By the way, rd, if your students are using sophisticated calculators, they might be clinging to them because of all the class notes they have programmed into them. That is rampant, almost de rigeur here. Concordia, I think I'd get a drink if I got hit with a first MB in an interview. Since I know what it will come out to be, I wouldn't mind that as much, even though it can give the interviewer enormous insight. Regards, Huntsman
     
  15. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    From those who have taken the test at the firm I am speaking of, calculators aren't needed even if you could have them. As an engineer, I stand by my desire to have a calculator handy for all tests, though I can do a square root by hand if the occasion demands. Logs, however, get trying.

    By the way, rd, if your students are using sophisticated calculators, they might be clinging to them because of all the class notes they have programmed into them. That is rampant, almost de rigeur here.


    Oh I know that trick. I am just trying to get them less dependent on them for basic math. Multiplication that can be done in your head, etc. I would never expect anyone to take logs, etc without an aid. See, so your definition, as an engineer, of "not needed" could vary wildly from my students' definition.

    But given the prevelance of such tests, it started me wondering what they actually consist of, what type of questions are asked (multiple choice vs short answers, etc), and what aids are allowed.

    bob



    bob
     
  16. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    From those who have taken the test at the firm I am speaking of, calculators aren't needed even if you could have them. As an engineer, I stand by my desire to have a calculator handy for all tests, though I can do a square root by hand if the occasion demands. Logs, however, get trying.

    By the way, rd, if your students are using sophisticated calculators, they might be clinging to them because of all the class notes they have programmed into them. That is rampant, almost de rigeur here.

    Concordia, I think I'd get a drink if I got hit with a first MB in an interview. Since I know what it will come out to be, I wouldn't mind that as much, even though it can give the interviewer enormous insight.

    Regards,
    Huntsman



    Hunt, these tests usually don't involve anything as tough as a root, unless it is somethig really simple like 16. typically, they test your ability to answer questions at the upper range of what an elementary school kid can answer, but fast, maybe 20-30 seconds per question would be optimal.

    anyway, good luck
     
  17. jay allen

    jay allen Well-Known Member

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    My wife is a partner in a company that supplies tests like these to consultants who then administer them. Her company doesn't do pre employment stuff.....generally high level management types use their products to determine "developmental opportunities". I can tell you that, at least with the tests I've taken, there are never any correct answers. They are written in a normative ipsitive (sp?) format where you have to pick 2 out of 4 answers. Their company has a data base that goes back 20 years and it is used to score the tests based on the hundreds of thousands of tests taken before...by people in similar postions, etc.

    I wouldn't over think this thing....take the test. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job. It isn't like you are being given truth serum and being forced to take a lie detector test. The test will probably grade you on things like empathy, persuasiveness, and other touchy feely traits. It isn't trying to figure out if you are crazy, or an axe murderer.

    Good luck.....
     
  18. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Suppose the interviewee had written the same comment in a published book. Would it then be fair game in an interview?
    No. It's still an awful lot of checking into you.
     
  19. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Oh I know that trick. I am just trying to get them less dependent on them for basic math. Multiplication that can be done in your head, etc. I would never expect anyone to take logs, etc without an aid. See, so your definition, as an engineer, of "not needed" could vary wildly from my students' definition.

    But given the prevelance of such tests, it started me wondering what they actually consist of, what type of questions are asked (multiple choice vs short answers, etc), and what aids are allowed.

    bob

    bob


    Yeah, I have something of a cockleburr in my saddle about calculator-less exams, from getting nailed by one once. Glad you're aware of the notes issue. I don't know whether my Profs know about that and all the other stuff that goes on or not, but I am pretty agitated that others have a higher cumulative than I for less than honorable reasons.

    I'll post back tomorrow night about the contents and ground rules.

    Hunt, these tests usually don't involve anything as tough as a root, unless it is somethig really simple like 16. typically, they test your ability to answer questions at the upper range of what an elementary school kid can answer, but fast, maybe 20-30 seconds per question would be optimal.

    Alright, I'm good with that! Speed is life.

    I wouldn't over think this thing....take the test. The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job. It isn't like you are being given truth serum and being forced to take a lie detector test. The test will probably grade you on things like empathy, persuasiveness, and other touchy feely traits. It isn't trying to figure out if you are crazy, or an axe murderer.

    Yeah, that's what I'll do. But oddly enought, if they were concerned if I was crazy or a psychopath, that would bother me less, becasue that has a whisper of legitamacy -- you don't want the new guy going postal becasue they serve the wrong brand of coffee. It is the desire to score, not merely to know, aspects of my character and temperment that riles. All the same I'm selling out cause I'm gonna take it.

    Regards,
    Huntsman
     
  20. jay allen

    jay allen Well-Known Member

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    I think you'll find the test pretty interesting. You'll spend as much time trying to figure out what THEY are trying to figure out as you will answering the questions. Take my word for it.....don't even try......and answer the questions without regard to what you THINK they are looking for.

    I took a couple of the tests my wifes company designed. I have to admit that I thought this stuff was all BS before taking the test. After they were interpreted (No scores on these tests) I was amazed. In my opinion they absolutely nailed my personality. They determined that I was very persuasive, passionate about my work, had plenty of empathy, hated details, worked well with others, could be too opinionated, etc, etc. The scary thing was that the questions asked were so freakin' obtuse that it was never clear what they were asking. I was absolutley amazed at the result.

    Have fun with it.....believe me, you aren't selling out.
     

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