Monday 2 April 2007

Psychometric testing

When of the key changes to the City job market in recent years is the advent of psychometric testing. Many companies use it as part of the assessment of any new candidate.

Thanks to the wonders of the interweb you can even do some of your own for free, should you be so inclined; here are some links to these kinds of tests.

In the distant past I had to do one of these things and insisted to the agent that I receive the same results as the company (you should always do this, as they have to release this info).

What I like though about the whole process is the double-think that is employed in the analysis. In fact it is a first cousin of the kind of double-think employed in politics and the media village. positives are spun as negatives and exaggerations. I have seen this in the results I have had shown to me in the recent past. Here are some of my favourite examples:

Entrepreneurial and focused = A ego-centric loose cannon

Task-oriented team player = Does as told and won't make trouble

Lateral thinker = Lazy and tries to get other to do their work

Creative = Always late and takes ages to complete any assignment

Assertive leader = Difficult to manage as a deputy

So what do you think; there must be plenty more ways of describing personalities this way...any more ideas?


Newmania said...

Creative and thoughtful- gay

Nope I haven`t quite got this. I `m goin to be a a bit quiet for a bit anyway .

CU later

Anonymous said...

A bit quiet for a bit

= caught over-indulging at the keyboard again

CityUnslicker said...

thanks for the last drop in N

ND - super!

Anonymous said...

Never mind psychometric testing, what about eye-testing - could you revert to 10-point please ?! (for the benefit of your older readers)

Anonymous said...

I went to one of these workshops recently and our personalities were decided on which shapes we liked - triangles etc. I think I went for the triangle, rather than the squiggles or circles. In fact, my characteristics matched a bit of each.

Anonymous said...

As you are aware Mr Newman has abandoned his Blog - so I have decided to try yours for a daily dose of common sense. I have stopped doing psychometric tests since they called the Police after the last one. One of Mr Blairs ideas is to pre-identify people with psychotic tendencies before they commit crimes and I had fallen foul...

Anonymous said...

See Im back!

CityUnslicker said...

Mutley - great to have you on board sir. my output is not as prolific as mr Newman's, but I try a little.

Ellee - Choosing your own personality; it does all sound a little like astrology to me!

Anonymous said...

I've done dozens of these things for various recruitment agencies over the years. You get the hang of them after a while. I find the trick is to answer as many questions as you can using the neutral option. Then answer strongly agree/strongly disagree on a few carefully chosen questions. Then the computer prints out what you want it to print about you. I've thought about answering everything using the neutral option before, just to see what would happen.

The other week at a job interview I had to do a 'verbal reasoning' test. this was much better, there was no way you could fiddle it. Basically you had to read a paragraph of information (about a dinosaur for example) then read four statements and for each statement state whether it was 'true', 'false' or 'can't tell' based on the information you were given.

If I was going to give a prospective employee any sort of a test I'd use one of those, not a psychometric one.

CityUnslicker said...

I agree Steven - they can be quite easy to fix. As for the verbal reasoning, this tests apptitude for readin more than anything else?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I was quite taken aback by being asked to do it, I'd never seen one before.

You didn't have to be a power reader to get it done in the 15 minutes or anything, there was plenty of time to think about it.

What I like about the verbal reasoning is that it gives you a mark out of 45 rather than a few paragraphs of tosh about your personality. You either get the questions right or wrong. With traditional multiple choice psychometric testing, it tests your ability to judge what the employer wants to hear and trick the computer into saying it.

CityUnslicker said...

The wrost one I did steven_l was a maths test to get a job; wow was that hard. You don't remember much of the theory 10 years after leaving school!

Anonymous said...

Nice Post - love your analysis


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