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Thread: Post-Interview Testing

  1. #1
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    Default Post-Interview Testing

    EOI Decision Successful yesterday and now this: did a Skype interview a couple of weeks ago and received a message this morning saying that I'd been shortlisted for the position, and that someone from Myers Briggs would be contacting me for some personality testing shortly.

    Is this common for NZ employers? In 20+ years, I have never been asked to complete a personality assessment in the USA. I'm not worried, since my personality must fit my career path fairly well (hey -- I haven't changed careers in two decades), but still somewhat curious about what to expect and how much weight is typically given to results.

  2. #2
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    If the company uses the tests correctly the results will not dictate whether or not you get the job. Good recruiters/HR Managers will use the results to plan some competency based questioning for a 2nd interview, i.e. they will ask you when you have experienced certain circumstances and how you dealt with them.

    As you said, they are nothing to worry about, they simply provide some extra info about the kind of person you are (in theory). I have known a few companies who pin everything on psychometric test results, but they are few and far between.

  3. #3
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    I forgot to say - It's usually a good idea to do a couple of practice tests if you've never done them before. Do a Google search and you'll find plenty online, alternatively you may get some examples on the Myers-Briggs site itself.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Tobiwan --

    Appreciate your thoughtful reply. Strange thing is that the first interview (lasted 2 hours+) already included a boatload of competency-based questions -- the interviewers had a lengthy checklist, and were determined to get through it. For example, if my answer to a question that had already been asked covered the subject matter of a later question, the interviewers seemed a bit embarrassed to be going over the same ground, but that didn't stop them.

    I'm just happy to have been shortlisted, and I'll take a look at the Myers Briggs site at your suggestion (looked like psychobabble to me at first glance, but I'll hold off my opinion until I have an opportunity to delve further into it) -- I doubt much will happen until the New Year anyway.

  5. #5
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    I cannot comment regarding how common Myers-Briggs testing is in NZ, but I was tested in my previous job (about nine years ago) and then again a couple of years ago in my current job. Interestingly, the results were slightly different the second time - so although I have stayed in the same IT-related career path, if MB is correct then my personality must have shifted slightly in the last few years..!

    For those unfamiliar with Myers-Briggs, they have four basic measures and two possible results for each measure, giving a total of sixteen possible 'MBTI' (Myers Briggs Type Indicators) categories. These four measure (each with two 'preferences') are as follows:

    Extraversion <--> Introversion
    Sensing <--> iNtuition
    Thinking <--> Feeling
    Judging <--> Perceiving

    The test involves lots of questions where you have to pick one of two possible responses, and you select the one you are most comfortable with. It's very important to note that there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers, they are just looking to categorise you by the type of responses you give. For example, one question might be: "Which word appeals most to you: 'Justice' or 'Mercy'?". They aggregate your answers and put you into one of the sixteen MBTI 'boxes'.

    In my own tests, I show and extremely clear preference on two measure (Extraversion and Sensing) but the other two come out somewhere in 'middle ground' so I don't fit neatly and clearly into a single 'box'.

    What interested me in each case was both times the entire team I was working with was tested, and everyone's own opinion/assessment of the 'validity' of the results depended on how clear-cut their result was. Anyone who fell neatly and clearly into one of the boxes (which included my old boss, the first time I was tested) were convinced that MBTI was obviously a completely accurate and useful tool for recruitment, teambuilding, etc.

    However anyone who fell into 'middle ground' on three or all four measures would not fit tidily into one of the prescribed MBTI boxes, and therefore felt that the tool was a completely useless lot of psychobabble - and that included my new boss, the second time I was tested!

    My personal opinion is that it is an "interesting" tool and could be helpful, and it would influence my recruitment decision. However I would *never* reject a candidate simply because of that test alone.

    Unfortunately you cannot know whether the manager recruiting you is a "believer" in MBTI, or is just putting you through the test because HR requires all new recruits to do it.

    You can find various MBTI-type tests online, and it can be fun (and possibly enlightening) to do them. You should get a reasonably consistent set of results from such tests, as it is actually really quite hard to lie consistently enough to "fool" the test - and doing so would probably flag up the fact that someone is trying to cheat the test.

    The best case scenario is they are just trying to verify that the claims you made in the interview and if how you came across matches your 'real' personality. The worst case is that they slavishly follow the MBTI and have one very specific personality type they want for the job - and to be honest, I really wouldn't want to work for an organisation who thought that way!

    I hope that helps...

    Cheers!
    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeKaJoSa View Post
    ...The best case scenario is they are just trying to verify that the claims you made in the interview and if how you came across matches your 'real' personality...
    That makes sense. Even though it was a videoconference, and I got a lot of positive feedback from the interviewers, it's still far short of an in-person interview. It also gives the interviewers some "objective" validation of their impressions -- important if you're justifying a hire halfway around the globe, I suppose.

    ...The worst case is that they slavishly follow the MBTI and have one very specific personality type they want for the job - and to be honest, I really wouldn't want to work for an organisation who thought that way!...
    Agree on both counts, but I didn't get that impression at all. It's a large firm, and the very nature of my profession generates effective managers of widely varying personalities, so I rather think that they're just screening out any major disconnects between the "interview" personality and the "real" personality.

    ...I hope that helps...
    It does -- thanks!

  7. #7
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    Congratulations on being shortlisted for the job!

    Really, this personality test is not a big deal. I was in your same position 3 months ago - from the US, I had a couple interviews, liked the company and told them I was interested in the job, and the last part was taking this personality test online. It weirded me out, and I was really nervous taking it. I even found that a significant portion of the questions had at least 2 out of 4 answers (multiple-choice test) that seemed equally right.

    I found out afterward that they just use the test as a last measure to make sure you're not entirely unsuited to do the kind of work you're applying for. It only has any weight if you get like 90% of the questions "wrong." I haven't really looked into it, but my impression is that NZ employers might be required in some way to administer those tests.

    The fact that you're taking the test means you've probably got the job. If you've been doing the same thing for 20 years and enjoy it, you must be suited to it. You really don't have anything to worry about.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    I found out afterward that they just use the test as a last measure to make sure you're not entirely unsuited to do the kind of work you're applying for. It only has any weight if you get like 90% of the questions "wrong." I haven't really looked into it, but my impression is that NZ employers might be required in some way to administer those tests.

    The fact that you're taking the test means you've probably got the job. If you've been doing the same thing for 20 years and enjoy it, you must be suited to it. You really don't have anything to worry about.
    From my experience this is exactly right.

  9. #9
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    I have found, when looking for a job here, that any type of Psych testing is very common for a job here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    ...The fact that you're taking the test means you've probably got the job. If you've been doing the same thing for 20 years and enjoy it, you must be suited to it. You really don't have anything to worry about...
    From your lips (or keyboard) to God's ears.

    Took the test this morning (US time), and found it rather dull. It seemed to consist of the same twenty or so statements, repeated in various groupings (approximately 108 of them, IIRC). For each grouping, I was to characterize which statement was "most like" my personality and which was "least like" it. The HR message that sent me my test link said that the only purpose of the test was to evaluate my style of working.

    Supposed to get a phone call from HR to discuss results.

    I did take a couple of practice tests in advance (which were not even close in format to the "real" one) at the suggestion of a couple of posters here -- consistently came out INTJ, which, from the brief searching I've done, correlates well with the position I applied for.

    Thanks for the good wishes from all.

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