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Old 08-11-2012, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Stanton, CA
23 posts, read 87,006 times
Reputation: 23

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Hey there, long time reader, first time poster. As someone that is relatively recently unemployed (as of the end of May) I've taken a real shine to this forum, reading messages, tips, stories from people in a similar boat or that have been there, or are in a much more well off position. This forum has been incredibly helpful to me, and thanks to everyone here for that.

Anyways, on to what I'd like to discuss. Those damn assessment questions you get on just about every application you fill out online. They are everywhere, and I know I'm not alone in my distaste for them. They always say "there is no wrong answer" when that really couldn't be further from the truth. The algorithm they use with them looks for very specific answers and essentially disregards applications that do not meet with what they want to hear, so more often than not it comes down to figuring out how they want you to answer rather than answering honestly if you want the job. On top of that you'll often see almost identical questions come up at least 2 or 3 times...on the same application, they may be worded ever so slightly different, but they're asking the exact same thing, it's like they are trying to trip you up or something. Please the sheer number of questions that you have to answer, I mean do I really need to manually type in the letter of what I feel is the most appropriate response for each individual question 89 times if I want to work at Petco?

I've also read people complaining about them due to them being almost discriminatory in nature, and I do have to at least somewhat agree here. It seems that the kinds of questions on these things are either things that shouldn't be taken into consideration, are worded in such a way that answering properly is difficult (such as if it asks if you know someone that has stolen before), or are things that should be asked on an interview? Isn't that what most of these are, questions that would normally be reserved for when someone is actually given an interview for the position?

Also, while not exactly related to the assessment portion of an application, I do feel somewhat uneasy when asked why I am no longer with my former employer, especially as I lost my last job due to a termination, though I honestly feel it was more along the lines of my employer wanting to downsize a bit, they were looking to get rid of me and found an excuse to do it as a termination rather than a layoff (made all the more obvious when my unemployment was disputed by them, but I won out on that one in the end and have received my benefits). It's even worse when they ask why I was terminated, so I've been sticking to "It didn't work out" figuring that if I have any shot at the job, they'll ask at the actual interview if it matters so much.

Sorry, just been doing applications all morning, had to vent a bit.

Edit: And here is a great example of the kind of assessment question that I don't think should be asked, taken from the application I am doing right now:

It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free:
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree

I mean really, what business is it of theirs how I feel about something like that? How does that play into my role at their company or my ability to do the job at all?
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:56 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,565,311 times
Reputation: 13019
"it didn't work out" isn't a very good answer.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Stanton, CA
23 posts, read 87,006 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
"it didn't work out" isn't a very good answer.
Was one that came straight from another thread on here. Certainly more likely to get me an interview than "I was fired because a day that I clearly and distinctly called out on went down as a no call no show".
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:26 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,565,311 times
Reputation: 13019
Then I would say something like "Unfortunately they were looking to reduce their work force at the time, and due to a mis-communication, it was determined that my position was no longer needed so I was let go. I do have a person from that organization on my list of references, please feel free to contact them regarding the quality of my work at that company."

It's all in the spin.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: 112 Ocean Avenue
5,706 posts, read 8,125,235 times
Reputation: 8886
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHarris7990 View Post

Edit: And here is a great example of the kind of assessment question that I don't think should be asked, taken from the application I am doing right now:

It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free:
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree

I mean really, what business is it of theirs how I feel about something like that? How does that play into my role at their company or my ability to do the job at all?
It doesn't. Just answer strongly disagree or strongly agree and you'll do fine. Remember, the people who come up with these questions reside on Planet Ork, and if you're called in for an interview its important you greet the interviewer with a na-nu na-nu.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:03 AM
 
Location: Stanton, CA
23 posts, read 87,006 times
Reputation: 23
The tips are greatly appreciated, will look into implementing them in my job hunting.

Anyways, anyone else have thoughts or opinions on the assessments given on applications?
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: California
4,402 posts, read 11,601,056 times
Reputation: 3129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHarris7990 View Post
Hey there, long time reader, first time poster. As someone that is relatively recently unemployed (as of the end of May) I've taken a real shine to this forum, reading messages, tips, stories from people in a similar boat or that have been there, or are in a much more well off position. This forum has been incredibly helpful to me, and thanks to everyone here for that.

Good luck in your hunt.

Anyways, on to what I'd like to discuss. Those damn assessment questions you get on just about every application you fill out online. They are everywhere, and I know I'm not alone in my distaste for them.

Probably not, but you should be looking at them as the first interview for any position. I love it when I get an application with an assessment, as I know if the application makes its way to the hiring manager, I will already have passed the first interview, as the assessments are more about company culture than anything else.

They always say "there is no wrong answer" when that really couldn't be further from the truth. The algorithm they use with them looks for very specific answers and essentially disregards applications that do not meet with what they want to hear, so more often than not it comes down to figuring out how they want you to answer rather than answering honestly if you want the job.

Yes, the algorithm is set to remove applicants who do not meet the standards. However, what many do not know is that the test "correct answers" are set by current employees. If you are successful with the company they will often have you take the test and your answers will be put into the pool and used as a comparison. So while you are being matched with others in the company, it is really more about the culture.

On top of that you'll often see almost identical questions come up at least 2 or 3 times...on the same application, they may be worded ever so slightly different, but they're asking the exact same thing, it's like they are trying to trip you up or something.

No, not trying to trip you up. Trying to find the shades of gray. The theft one is usually asked a few times. It will ask if you steal, if you know anyone who steals, if you have ever turned anyone in for stealing and will use your answers to determine if you are ok with theft as long as you don;t do it all the way to finding out if you are the kind of person who will turn someone in for stealing a pencil. As internal theft is a BIG issue in retail, this matters.

Please the sheer number of questions that you have to answer, I mean do I really need to manually type in the letter of what I feel is the most appropriate response for each individual question 89 times if I want to work at Petco?

It shouldn't take that long. And as I mentioned, this is the screening interview, the one to see if you are a cultural fit.

I've also read people complaining about them due to them being almost discriminatory in nature, and I do have to at least somewhat agree here.

Not at all. People misunderstand ALL THE TIME about what discrimination in employment actually is. If they asked your age, your national origin, your gender, your race, your physical or mental handicap, your religion, THOSE would be discrimination. Anything else, INCLUDING views on things that are or are not society taboo, are NOT discrimination

It seems that the kinds of questions on these things are either things that shouldn't be taken into consideration, are worded in such a way that answering properly is difficult (such as if it asks if you know someone that has stolen before), or are things that should be asked on an interview? Isn't that what most of these are, questions that would normally be reserved for when someone is actually given an interview for the position?

But the point that this IS the screening interview is still being missed.

Also, while not exactly related to the assessment portion of an application, I do feel somewhat uneasy when asked why I am no longer with my former employer, especially as I lost my last job due to a termination, though I honestly feel it was more along the lines of my employer wanting to downsize a bit, they were looking to get rid of me and found an excuse to do it as a termination rather than a layoff (made all the more obvious when my unemployment was disputed by them, but I won out on that one in the end and have received my benefits). It's even worse when they ask why I was terminated, so I've been sticking to "It didn't work out" figuring that if I have any shot at the job, they'll ask at the actual interview if it matters so much.

That answer is VERY close to a lie. Probably not one that would get you terminated in the future, but definitely one that some HR/companies will consider an issue.

Sorry, just been doing applications all morning, had to vent a bit.

Edit: And here is a great example of the kind of assessment question that I don't think should be asked, taken from the application I am doing right now:

It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free:
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree

I mean really, what business is it of theirs how I feel about something like that? How does that play into my role at their company or my ability to do the job at all?

Perfectly relevant. If you are angry that a guilty person is allowed to go free, then you will also likely not sit quietly back while fellow employees steal from the company. I have seen a LOT of theft cases while I was in retail. Almost always, there is someone other than the employee who knew or suspected the theft but said nothing.
Sorry, but I don;t see the issues you do...although, give it 10 minutes, someone will bash me as an anti employee pro company/HR person for this post. I bet I could even guess who....
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:47 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,267,937 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHarris7990 View Post
Hey there, long time reader, first time poster. As someone that is relatively recently unemployed (as of the end of May) I've taken a real shine to this forum, reading messages, tips, stories from people in a similar boat or that have been there, or are in a much more well off position. This forum has been incredibly helpful to me, and thanks to everyone here for that.

Anyways, on to what I'd like to discuss. Those damn assessment questions you get on just about every application you fill out online. They are everywhere, and I know I'm not alone in my distaste for them. They always say "there is no wrong answer" when that really couldn't be further from the truth. The algorithm they use with them looks for very specific answers and essentially disregards applications that do not meet with what they want to hear, so more often than not it comes down to figuring out how they want you to answer rather than answering honestly if you want the job. On top of that you'll often see almost identical questions come up at least 2 or 3 times...on the same application, they may be worded ever so slightly different, but they're asking the exact same thing, it's like they are trying to trip you up or something. Please the sheer number of questions that you have to answer, I mean do I really need to manually type in the letter of what I feel is the most appropriate response for each individual question 89 times if I want to work at Petco?

I've also read people complaining about them due to them being almost discriminatory in nature, and I do have to at least somewhat agree here. It seems that the kinds of questions on these things are either things that shouldn't be taken into consideration, are worded in such a way that answering properly is difficult (such as if it asks if you know someone that has stolen before), or are things that should be asked on an interview? Isn't that what most of these are, questions that would normally be reserved for when someone is actually given an interview for the position?

Also, while not exactly related to the assessment portion of an application, I do feel somewhat uneasy when asked why I am no longer with my former employer, especially as I lost my last job due to a termination, though I honestly feel it was more along the lines of my employer wanting to downsize a bit, they were looking to get rid of me and found an excuse to do it as a termination rather than a layoff (made all the more obvious when my unemployment was disputed by them, but I won out on that one in the end and have received my benefits). It's even worse when they ask why I was terminated, so I've been sticking to "It didn't work out" figuring that if I have any shot at the job, they'll ask at the actual interview if it matters so much.

Sorry, just been doing applications all morning, had to vent a bit.

Edit: And here is a great example of the kind of assessment question that I don't think should be asked, taken from the application I am doing right now:

It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free:
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree

I mean really, what business is it of theirs how I feel about something like that? How does that play into my role at their company or my ability to do the job at all?

Try applying for jobs that only require you to email your resume and cover letter.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2012, 05:30 PM
 
640 posts, read 1,086,729 times
Reputation: 517
You can't expect a 16 year old kid to have a resume.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:31 PM
 
Location: California
4,402 posts, read 11,601,056 times
Reputation: 3129
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthelpreturns View Post
You can't expect a 16 year old kid to have a resume.
Yes, you can if that 16 year old is applying for a job.
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