Eliminated from consideration after a personality test.

msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
As the title states, I was in the early stages of a hopeful job change and received the results of the personality test I took a couple days back. I had high hopes as this job would have been a nice upward move for me with plenty of room to grow and I've admittedly spent far too long at my current place of employment as I approach upon 7 years in February. I took the exam and to be honest, after I completed it my mind was thrown for a loop. I didn't know what to think other than a gut feeling of wow, I sure botched that since it was often contradictory and repetitive of similar traits the test had asked about - likely to try and catch people trying to work the test to what they felt would be the employers desired outcome. Clearly that was the case, I answered truthfully and in the end I was out of the running since they work it on a pass/fail system.

Now I'm sitting here second guessing myself because they are known for hiring for this role based primarily on ones soft skills rather than technical expertise. In fact, I've been told they hire people in with little to no technical experience because they invest a lot of time and resources in training their candidates on the tech side - which makes sense since soft skills are much more difficult to train and in some cases come down to you either have them or you don't. It left me feeling puzzled because I consider myself to have excellent soft skills and work well with others who have varying personalities. I've turned around two run to the ground retail PC repair shops in the past and built two very successful stores out them which grew significantly in a short amount of time, largely because I'm good at working with people and obtaining trust and respect from those I associate with. That being said, I don't absolutely love working with others - especially large groups. This doesn't translate into me not functioning just fine in that environment, it just means that perhaps my honesty in taking the test may have likely put me out of consideration for the role. In some ways I feel I was deprived of an opportunity that given a chance to have a sit down interview I would have wowed them and had I been placed in the role I would have excelled.

Anyone else run into this as of late? I'm seriously due for a job change so I'm going to be out seeking something else actively but after this experience I'm left wondering just how common these tests are and perhaps how often I get to look forward to being out of the running early on like this again.

Comments

  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Member Posts: 2,111 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You should have answered the questions as per what you thought was the best answer, after all you're trying to sell yourself to the company. The people who don't know which answers are correct are the one's who don't get the job. It's a screening technique to try and eliminate candidates with specific personality traits. We all have our idiosyncrasies, normally we are aware of them you can control them, by answering the questions truthfully it's like saying you are not aware of them. If you don't like your boss/customer, will you tell him/her? most people wont, but unfortunately there are some people out there who will, would you want someone who is so candid and upfront dealing with your valuable customers? I think not! So next time answer the questions logically as per what you think is the best answer.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    EdTheLad wrote: »
    You should have answered the questions as per what you thought was the best answer, after all you're trying to sell yourself to the company. The people who don't know which answers are correct are the one's who don't get the job. It's a screening technique to try and eliminate candidates with specific personality traits. We all have our idiosyncrasies, normally we are aware of them you can control them, by answering the questions truthfully it's like saying you are not aware of them. If you don't like your boss/customer, will you tell him/her? most people wont, but unfortunately there are some people out there who will, would you want someone who is so candid and upfront dealing with your valuable customers? I think not! So next time answer the questions logically as per what you think is the best answer.

    That may be true, but the people who design these exams put a significant amount of work into trying to catch people from working the exam to how they believe one should answer it. I'm not saying they can't be beat, but just that I felt less risk answering truthfully than working the exam to how I felt they would have desired.

    Live and learn I suppose. :D
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    This happened to me once applying for a job oitside the IT field back in my teens, I was so pissed. Sorry to hear that BS is still being used in the candidate selection process outside of retail jobs you apply for on kiosks at the front of the store.
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Member Posts: 2,111 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Here's an example:

    Choose which you feel describes you best:

    1) You like to work alone
    2) You like to work alone but don't mind working in a team
    3) You like to work in a team all the time
    4) You like to work in a team but don't mind working alone

    Best answers is 4, worst is 1, 2 is better than 3.
    Now in reality i'd be 2, but i'll answer 4. But you'd be surprised that people don't know which answer is best. They cant catch people working the test, they tell you this so you will answer honestly otherwise they are wasting their time. The only way they would know if you are working the test is if answers are significantly different in regards to your personality. For instance if in one section is say your generous and ten minutes later in another section you say you don't like sharing etc. If your clever enough you should be able to work the test and that's exactly who they want to employ, clever people.
    I've always passed these and i've only been truthful when i thought the answer wasn't important icon_smile.gif . I would imagine lots of these questions are just a smoke screen and they are interested in 10% of the answers anyway.
    Main things they look for is if you are social, can deal with conflicts and are easy to get along with.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    Honestly I would have refused to take a test like this as they are easily manipulated and fundamentally flawed. I typically like breaking potential employers out of seeking traditional traits and showing them what some variety and can bring to their team. Trust me, most companies like to see a strong individual that is able to work with a team yet provide an outside-the-box perspective.

    If I ever get asked to take one I'll simply explain how I don't feel a multiple choice test is a good representation of my personality but would be happy to discuss it more in person. A company that bases their hiring on such a flawed test and refuses to treat candidates like real people is one I don't want to work for.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    I feel the same way. Idiotic tests.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    I'd have answered it honestly and let the chips fall where they may. I tend to think I am an anomaly in that I enjoy team interaction but can work solo no problems either. In fact, I have worked solo 99% of the time in my career and the more I come across "Engineers" in the Enterprises I visit the more I am glad I worked solo all these years.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wouldn't worry about it, I did a test like that once, they then told me i didn't get hired because they were still not certain about my personality nor the type of person i am.

    I will never go along with any employer who asks me to do such a test ever again or may will i? :p
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • mokaibamokaiba Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    everyone knows you cant answer those truthfully. Answer them the way a calm, sane, and apologizing all the time person would answer them so it results in pass.
  • bryguybryguy Member Posts: 190
    msteinhilber is correct. I took a class as part of my undergrad in Industrial Psychology, and most of the personality tests check for consistency in addition to the personality traits they attempt to measure. You could possibly fake a few questions, but when there are a dozen questions asking essentially the same thing in a different manner, it's hard to be consistent across the board unless you really believe in what you answer. Also, If you paint yourself as a saint, your score will be flagged as a statistical outlier, and you'll be flagged. A well designed test will weed out those that are trying to fake it. If you didn't get hired, and you answered truthfully, then the job wasn't a good fit for you.
  • bull313bull313 Member Posts: 138
    I would wager that whoever developed that test for the position has the personality of a doorknob...icon_rolleyes.gif
    "Follow your dreams. You CAN reach your goals. I'm living proof. Beefcake! BeefCAAAAAAAKKKKE!!!"-Eric Cartman
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I actually just had a very different personality test for this position I just got. They had these cards that had different "values" on them such as integrity, honesty, power, family, religion, etc. There was about 50 and I had to sort them into categories of Most Important, Somewhat Important, etc. I was honest about it, but my choices probably reflected me being a good person at a MSP help desk since my top 5 were Integrity, Family, Security, Diplomacy, and Self-Control. Although, the interviewer said it was just more of a thing to get to know me, rather than see if I'm qualified or not (which I didn't mind).

    Anyway, that sucks. A lot of those tests are cheesy and I've done so many and talked to the people that administer them, that I know what they are looking for and just tell them that. Just be consistent with your responses and show that your honest, dependable, responsible, and that you believe in the best in others (and you like being around them), and you'll pass every time.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    bryguy wrote: »
    msteinhilber is correct. I took a class as part of my undergrad in Industrial Psychology, and most of the personality tests check for consistency in addition to the personality traits they attempt to measure. You could possibly fake a few questions, but when there are a dozen questions asking essentially the same thing in a different manner, it's hard to be consistent across the board unless you really believe in what you answer. Also, If you paint yourself as a saint, your score will be flagged as a statistical outlier, and you'll be flagged. A well designed test will weed out those that are trying to fake it. If you didn't get hired, and you answered truthfully, then the job wasn't a good fit for you.

    That's pretty much the position I took. Though I do contend I have a great ability to blend into any environment and get along just fine. It simply wasn't worth it to me to try and "work" the test to how I felt they would want me to. I'd feel a bit dishonest for one, which as much as I would have loved to possibly get a job there it would have stuck with me. Mostly I just weighed things out in my mind and I felt the best chance for success, knowing a good bit about these sorts of tests and how they work, would be to just answer truthfully and hope for the best. Being honest was the lowest risk in my mind rather than trying to fudge the test and be eliminated based on suspicion of faking the test. As good as I am at detecting their traps, I gave the team of psychologists who likely developed the test the benefit of the doubt that I wouldn't be able to outwit them. I've seen a myriad of various personality tests since I've entered the job market, simple ones that could likely easily be faked, ones like what I took then ones which are much longer such as the MMPI-2.

    I'm still a bit disappointed because of how flexible I can be in working with various types of people. I spent almost a decade in sales and learned to read people very well and interact with all kinds of different personality styles. While I may desire one type over another, I have the ability to adjust myself to work well with most except for the extremely abrasive types with little stress to myself. I get they need a quick way to weed out undesirables, it's just frustrating to be weeded out by an algorithm rather than a human.

    Onward it is, to the next opportunity.
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    My first tech job had a weird test as well. It was a small managed IT company. The position I was applying for was entry level to work at a private hospital along side 1 other guy.

    There was a 3 part test I had to take online. It asked you to rank in order things like "getting married" "having kids" to what do you value more "money" "free time". I was told that the tests would be compared to everyone at the company who took it in order to see if I would "mesh" well with the current employees or not. It was completely bizarre. But everyone that worked there did seem to get a long well.

    The company I work for now decided after I had been here for a year to do a "Culture Index" on every employee. It was a series of 3 web pages with like 50-100 words on each page. And you had to for example the first page click every word that you feel applies to yourself. Then click every word that you feel applies to your job.

    The report gives the explaination:

    The first section titled “Traits” is a summary of seven work-related characteristics. These “Traits”
    assess who you are outside of work, or who you are when you are not modifying your behavior to
    meet the needs of your surroundings. These seven work-related “Traits” are inherent behaviors
    and are typically established by ages 8-12.

    The “Traits” summary portion will help you and others understand how you make decisions, what
    your communication style is like, the pace of the work you engage in naturally and your inclination
    towards detail orientation or conformity.

    The second section of this report entitled “Job Behaviors” is a summary of how you perceive you
    need to behave to meet the demands of your existing job and the responsibilities you are
    accountable for. This summary may also be helpful in assisting you and other people as to the
    cause and/or effect of stress or possible morale issues, if prevalent.


    Ill skip the boring stuff. But the Job behaviors is what I believe they were looking for. Mine stated:

    This person is currently in a position that requires the same basic energy level they already
    possess naturally.

    This person is not utilizing their natural level of Ingenuity in the work culture. This may result in
    feelings of under utilization and morale issues.

    This individual perceives a need to react with more emotional understanding at work, displaying
    more empathy and sensitivity for others.

    Ever since then the one owner randomly stops me and asks if I have any ideas of what needs to be changed or how we can improve our processes.

    I think its a bunch of hokum. But hey if it works for them who are we to disagree?
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Wow, that sounds like an extremely intrusive test, I would completely object to that type of test unless I absolutely desperately needed that job. Like my life depended on getting it.
  • eansdadeansdad Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I know those types of test are garbage. When my mother was head of security at a retail store she used to complain about since they started hiring based on those types of tests in store theft went up. The key to the test was to never be middle of the road, when it was always, sometimes, maybe and never always go with always or never. The place got ridicules on turn over after she instituted a $50 reward for turning in someone. Rats came out of everywhere for everything. Good thing is the only place I've seen using a personality test is the DOC (Dept of Corrections) and Best Buy. I don't think I would even bother if they based so much on a test like this instead of gauging someone during an interview.
  • egrizzlyegrizzly B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+ Member Posts: 490 ■■■■■□□□□□
    you can google the right answer to those tests. Some HR departments are bound by company policy not to hire you if you fail, or at least if your score is within a certain window.
    B.Sc (Info. Systems), CISSP, CCNA, CCNP, Security+
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