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Old 12-21-2015, 09:38 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,116 times
Reputation: 51

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I am an unskilled worker, so most of the jobs I apply for are things like grocery stores, fast food places, gas stations, etc.

With most of these employers, applicants must apply online, and there are usually online questionnaires trying to get a feel for your personality in the workplace.

And I have no idea what they are looking for. Plus some of the questions are really subjective, to the point where I feel like none of the possible answers properly convey the way I think.

Example A:


The hypothetical scenario is that you are given a task that you cannot complete before the end of your shift, through no fault of you own. Do you
1. Stay late to complete the task
2. Give the task to someone else
3. Come in early the next day to finish the task
4. Leave the task unfinished

Now in reality, I would notify my supervisor and then do whatever they instruct me to do, or follow the default policy for such situations (if there was one). In my perception, none of these answer options make any sense, because it all depends on what your supervisor wants you to do about the situation.

Example B:

Statement: You would point out to your boss if they were doing something wrong.
Options: Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neutral / Agree / Strongly Agree

Like what the hell? That is so situational. If I observed my boss in the process of an obvious accident, perhaps because they are very tired or overwhelmed, I would point it out in a polite manner to save them from the consequences of the mistake. Now if my boss was going against a company policy as a special exception for some reason, I'm not going to point out to them the obvious fact that they are going against company policy - they already know that, and unless it's something highly unethical or illegal, I'll just roll with it. So what is this question trying to figure out about me? Whether or not I challenge authority and am confrontational? Whether or not I overlook problems to avoid tension?

Example C:

Your coworker shows up and seems to be upset about something. Do you
A. Ignore them and act like nothing is wrong
B. Try to comfort them
C. Offer to help them with their tasks
D. Report it to your manager

Again, what exactly are they looking for here? Very situational. Is Martha hysterically bawling like she was just assaulted in the parking lot? Does Martha just seem a little bit tried and grumpy today? Is Martha swearing up a storm and not doing her work? And if it's just trying to gauge my personality.. well any of those could be seen in a negative light. Option A could be seen as being cold and anti-social. Option D could be seen as being overbearing on your manager. Options B and C are both essentially the "nice" things to do, but which one is supposed to be better?

Example D:

An agree/disagree statement: "Most companies are too quick to change their procedures and follow the latest business trends."

I don't freakin know. I just want to work in the bakery.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:42 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,257,322 times
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Those are all stock questions that you need to choose the answer that is closest to what you would do in the situation as presented.
I always thought it would be fun to work in a bakery however, I am a much better cook and salad maker than a baker.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:01 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
Those are all stock questions that you need to choose the answer that is closest to what you would do in the situation as presented.
Yes, but obviously employers are looking for answers that they consider to be more favorable than others.

Most people applying for minimum wage jobs are desperate people (myself included). Pretending and saying whatever it takes to get the job is standard. It's not like people trapped in the minimum wage underbelly of the U.S. can afford to be like... Yeah, my little personal preferences indicate that I would rather work as a deli clerk than a cashier. If you get offered either of those jobs, you take it and make it work, your personal quirks be damned.

So while I completely understand why a company would want to match personality preferences with jobs, and also understand that they hold all the power to be as picky as they want, it is definitely flustering trying to figure out which myers briggs profile any given CEO thinks makes the best employee.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:03 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,257,322 times
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I don't disagree, unfortunately those are easy compared to what you would have to go through to work for me.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:28 AM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,990,740 times
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They are not trying to match you with specific jobs, they are trying to determine if you fit into their hiring profile. The huge grocery chain I worked for used a system that categorized the final "score" as red, yellow or green. Reds were not interviewed, yellows could be interviewed at the hiring managers discretion, and greens were good to go for an interview. They are looking for people who believe in customer service, conflict avoidance, etc., so those are the kind of answers they are looking for.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:36 AM
 
4,549 posts, read 4,731,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
They are not trying to match you with specific jobs, they are trying to determine if you fit into their hiring profile. The huge grocery chain I worked for used a system that categorized the final "score" as red, yellow or green. Reds were not interviewed, yellows could be interviewed at the hiring managers discretion, and greens were good to go for an interview. They are looking for people who believe in customer service, conflict avoidance, etc., so those are the kind of answers they are looking for.
This, and the reason these companies are doing this is because they have enormous pools of applicants for each job. With low skill positions like cashier, stocker, etc. a resume is a useless screen as many people don't even have one. So how should they filter through 125 applicants for one position? Error on focusing on the people that are similar to their top performers.

It's actually very similar to the way Netflix decides what movies you will like based on the way you rated previous movies, or how Amazon provides you with the "People who bought this Item also bought this item" option. It's not always accurate, but much more accurate than closing your eyes, pointing your finger at a name on a screen and inviting that person in for an interview. Typically with no selection criteria people rely on preconceived biases, like "I like this name", "This person is my age", "I like people from this part of town", etc.

Think of it like this, if you knew nothing about someone, but you had to pick a roommate among 50 individuals. Would you choose the person that was most similar to a previous roommate you had had a great experience with, or prefer to choose at random?

This assessments become a lot less valuable from a utility perspective as the job becomes more highly skilled and the qualified applicant pool diminishes.

Last edited by mizzourah2006; 12-22-2015 at 07:54 AM..
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:38 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,810 posts, read 54,486,657 times
Reputation: 31111
With entry level and/or unskilled jobs where no real experience is required or expected, employers need something to try and make a distinction between the candidates and make the best selection. Those designing personality tests have done a good job selling their product to the HR managers, and upper management depends on them because their supervisors in that kind of work generally just promoted workers that are sorely lacking in the ability to evaluate candidates based on the resume and interview.
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Old 12-22-2015, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,587 posts, read 17,582,380 times
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I do think it's basically an initial cull of low skill people where the expectations would be low.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:43 AM
 
13 posts, read 12,286 times
Reputation: 50
They are a useless joke perpetuated by an "HR" industry that has to make up stuff to appear like they actually know what they are doing.

In commission sales type employment some of them have been bamboozled by Tony Robbins and they require you to fill out a "personality profile" aka a "DISC" profile by following their paid for link.

I have filled those out so many times and they ar the SAME TEST and they waste my time.

I have yet to contacted by any firm who requires my "DISC" profile prior to even scheduling an interview.

FYI I am a high "C" and "D". Guess I'm too careful about details and facts to be any good at sales? RIDICULOUS. Only means I care about the product and services I represent because my integrity is more important to me than a commission check.

I know now to not even waste my time with idiotic sales managers who depend on these expensive overrated and redundant personality tests. They do not want people with integrity and they don't have enough sense to stand out and above their competition.

They are just following the crowd and are suckers for Tony Robbins type gurus.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:12 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,116 times
Reputation: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
They are not trying to match you with specific jobs, they are trying to determine if you fit into their hiring profile. The huge grocery chain I worked for used a system that categorized the final "score" as red, yellow or green. Reds were not interviewed, yellows could be interviewed at the hiring managers discretion, and greens were good to go for an interview. They are looking for people who believe in customer service, conflict avoidance, etc., so those are the kind of answers they are looking for.
Thanks for the advice.

I completely understand that there is a ton of competition, why employers use such things, etc.

I was just venting that it has been flustering trying to figure out what they want, so that I can present myself as that, and then just modify my behavior/demeanor in the workplace like I would for any job.

It's also puzzling in that different people are raised with different values, all of which have situational merit.

If I was completely conflict-avoidant, then I would turn a blind-eye and keep my mouth shut about problems in the store, problems that could have a negative impact on customer experience and thus company profit. Is that really what an employer would want? Wouldn't they rather be informed if something is amiss in their store? I was raised to see speaking up as a matter of loyalty and respect for others.

But if most low-wage employers want timid, mindless employees, that is still good information to know. I can adjust accordingly.
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