(Closed) Anyone have to take a "pre-employment" exam?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

All of our applicants have to do a personality scan/IQ test (so I did one when I applied). It sucked and was difficult, but on this (the hiring) side, I definitely appreciate them.


That being said, a lot of times a person’s results won’t match their degree/experience – so then we just ignore the test results! GL!

Post # 5
8736 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I had to take a math test, verbal test, and personality test as part of my most recent role.

I came nowhere *close* to finishing all the math questions. It was an interview for a finance company so the test I was taking was the same test they use for the quants and research analysts. 

Many of these tests they don’t expect you to finish (or only expect certain applicants to finish) and usually they are looking for accuracy over quantity.

As for the personality test, I then had to come in and discuss my profile with HR including whether I agreed with or disagreed with the answers.

I ended up getting the job even though I didn’t feel great about the testing. My boss told me that HR does the personality test to weed out any major company culture mismatches but they don’t get the final say (they can just later say ‘I told you so’ if need be). 

Post # 6
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@classyashley:  Sure – obviously it depends on the test, but ours send back results of different factors – how assertive someone is, how confident they are, how proactive they are in social situations, how good they are at problem solving, etc. Our IQ test is what gives us the problem solving score (so it’s not a true IQ test, but it certainly seems like it!).

Generally, these things are helpful. If we’re filling a position with a lot of visitor interaction in a high stress area (I work at a zoo), assertiveness and confidence need to be high. On the other hand, if it’s a more office-type job like basic data entery, someone who is good at problem solving and is very social wouldn’t be the best fit, even if there background indicates they might be. That person just wouldn’t be very happy.

Now, on the other hand, we will get applicants who try to “fix” the results (I interned in my office before I applied/was hired, so I was one of those people, ha!). When this happens, results are ALL over the board. I’ve looked at my results – and they don’t match me at all – but that’s because I was trying to beat the system.

We also hire for a lot of positions that require highly educated or experienced people – these people tend to not do as “well” on these tests, probably because they try to fix the results. They tend to score higher in the problem solving area, though.

Something else to note: for these personality profiles, doing “well” is all relative. Like I mentioned above, some personality traits are great for certain jobs, but not great for other jobs. Also, just because test results show a person would be good in a position, I’ll often meet candidates and after talking to them for a moment, realize that’s not so true.

I realize this is confusing, but I hope I explained it a bit more 🙂

Post # 7
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Had to take a personality test once for a job interview that went swimmingly. Got called back for interview #2 so I thought I nailed it. Wrong. I actually cried when I got home.

They read back my personality test and it said I was reliable, confident in my work, and diligent but everything shot me in the foot. It said I was impatient and judgmental, preferred working alone, and valued quantity over quality, among other things, that I no longer remember. The whole interview was basically them reading out each result one at a time and then me having to either defend or explain myself even though (it seemed) they had already made up their mind about me. The atmosphere and demeanor of my interviewer was totally different from interview #1. I was in total shock and felt backed into a corner.

It just really made me feel like a piece of crap who was socially incompetent and unpleasant to be around.

But like my friend said – “personality tests are subjective. You were judged by a computer. It’s not that big of a deal and if the interview was uncomfortable you probably wouldn’t want to be with them anyways” 

Post # 8
365 posts
Helper bee

I used to administer this test for my company. EVERYONE thinks they did terribly on it, and technically, most people do poorly by school standards – I got a 72% and I was in the top 5% of people we actually hired. A pretty typical score for people we actually hire is somewhere between 45 and 60%. So if you think you did poorly on it, don’t necessarily assume that they have crazy high standards or something. NOBODY finishes the math portion of the test that we give. We also give the same test whether you’re going into sales, if you’re a software developer, if you’re customer support, if you’re accounting.. so there’s something good and something bad for just about everyone. Software developers often do terribly on personality assessments but great on math; sales can be exactly the opposite. And that’s fine.

My company mostly uses it to identify talent you may not have known was there. They ended up putting me in a position I thought I was entirely unqualified for, though I ended up doing pretty well in, based on problem solving skills. So while the test seems kind of bullshit-y, some good could come out of it. Don’t worry too much about it.

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