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Interviewing: Have you ever had to take a "test"?

By cupcake ·
I want to start a discussion about an event that I had this past Monday.

I have a headhunter who recommended a local position to me. I checked them out on the internet, the company looked solid and based on what the HH said, I gave him the okay to book the interview.

I showed up at the interview appropriately dressed, copy of resume (which they presumably had) 15 minutes early. I was promptly given an application - I haven't filled out an application in at least 15 years - and a "test" to complete. Oh, and this was at the entrance, not in HR.

I guess the look on my face said volumes since the receptionist then said "its a proofreading test". I told her I wasn't interviewing for a proofreading position, to which I was told "everyone who works here takes the test".

My best guess is that its some sort of psychological test in disguise because I found out last night that because of my performance, I wouldn't need to "bother" to return. Now, not tooting my own horn, but I majored in English in college (and yes, its been a few years) but not so long that I would have "failed" this test. And I do QA now, for heaven's sake!

Oh, and I should note that following completing of the application and test, that the person who I was scheduled to meet with suddenly went into a meeting with the CEO and couldn't meet with me.

I wouldn't work for the company now if they got down on their knees and begged offering huge bags of money. But I am interested in hearing about others experiences with interviewing or their own companies' hiring practices.

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A few times....

by JamesRL In reply to Interviewing: Have you ev ...

When I started in IT, I was applying for a marketing position at a software company, and they made me take the IBM programmer test, which was all logic and pattern recognition questions. I did fine.

When I applied for a role (years later) as a IT security policy analyst, I had a test which was to write a security policy on a specific thing. I placed 2nd out of 500 applicants, and 12 interviewees. Of course second still isn't a job.

At my current role I had to take the Myers Briggs personality test - I guess I have one cause I got the job. It was after the first interview but before the offer.

I think perhaps you lost the job because you questioned the test - if I had to guess.

James

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Meyers Briggs

by GSG In reply to A few times....

We ask questions in the interview that allows us to determine what categories the person fits. It's not used as a basis for hire because by the time we get to that, they're pretty much going to be hired. Nope, for us, it's used more to figure out who they'll best work with the first few days, and which office to give them.

I'm an ISTJ and I work in a hallway of all ENFP's. I'm the exact opposite of everyone else, and some days I just want to go postal on them... but not often.

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Took that one too

by DMambo In reply to Meyers Briggs

But it was after years of employment with the co. They decided that they wanted to give it to applicants, but first wanted a few guinea pigs from the current inmates of the asylum.

I don't exactly recall my "type", but I do remember thinking that the qualified test administrator was like she had joined a cult. She thought the MB Personality Type results were a true insight into the person's soul, even if s/he might have been battling irregularity or simple chronic halitosis or some other lifestyle impacting disease on that day.

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I have had all kinds

by The Scummy One In reply to Interviewing: Have you ev ...

from filling out an application with a written test, to sitting in front of a computer and taking an exam to determine my skills.

Funny thing, on that computer exam -- for a desktop position (NT4), they put up a developer test (C++), followed by a sysadmin test (Cisco), followed by a support test (NT4 and Office).
After 2 hours of testing, I was just about to say F-It and walk out, when I was told I passed at least 1 of them and would be put in for the position.
I accepted of course, and then asked how long the position was for -- 3 friggin weeks with no chance of extension. I sucked it up and decided never to go back to them again (however, I needed the job at the time and it did pay decent at least).
Another place sent me out for drug tests for a 2 day position -- which I turned down, even though I was clean and knew I would pass.
I did take a drug test a few weeks later for a position that lasted 3 months though

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Oh gods, the dreaded "Interview Test."

by jmgarvin In reply to Interviewing: Have you ev ...

While some of them are fine (how do you backup MS SQL, how do you write a stored procedure, please explain what a blob is, etc). The ones I hate are:

A) Solve problem X (where Problem X is an internal problem they want free consulting for)

B) Write a segment of error free code that is fairly large in 10 minutes with no paper, whiteboard, or compiler.

C) Take a psychological test. Barf...these are not only meaningless, but if you REALLY want to know how I am, interview me.

D) Filter me through multiple "levels" of test to identify some esoteric knowledge.

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In an odd bit of irony....

by JamesRL In reply to Oh gods, the dreaded "Int ...

..when I applied for a desktop tech job at one company, I was kinda overqualified, but I wanted to work for the big high tech company so I dove right.

The department was being managed by the "assistant" manager while they were hiring for that, and the former manager gave me a bit of a technical going over. He really thought he could trick me up, and he was leaning back in his chair smiling smugly.

I did get the job, and one of my department memebers eventually moved into work for Mr. Smug. I heard all kinds of complaints.

A few years later I was leading a section of a major project and Mr. Smug was given to me as an resource. He supervised some contractors for me. Eventually I was asked to lay him off.

It doesn't pay to be smug and arrogant, I might have fought for him if he had been a marginal employee with a great attitude. But he was a marginal employee with a bad attitude and it made the decision easier.


James

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Have you ever been asked

by The Scummy One In reply to Oh gods, the dreaded "Int ...

what kind of animal you would be upon reincarnation? Yeah, like I would know even IF I believed I would be reincarnated!

I have been asked some stupid questions before -- however I have thrown some nasty ones out as well.

When I was team lead, I used to throw out "in Win 98, how do you log in as administrator"
or the nasty open ended question(s), just to see how far it would go. Basically, say Ok, I have this problem, how would you fix it
~answer~ -- ok, that didnt work, what would you try next ~answer~ -- ok, that didnt work, what would you try next (If I couldnt think of anything else, I figured it was done, if I could think of something else, it would continue until they were out of ideas).

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I recently took

by Dr Dij In reply to Interviewing: Have you ev ...

proveit.com tests.

I'd been taking tests on my own - security + test (by a training co, to see if you'd pass the scurity plus if you decide to take it)
also brainbench test. Some of them are included free with computer society membership.

I also signed up for a couple temp angecies and they gave me typing tests, spelling and 10key tests - passed them all despite my yptos here :), amd more careful in tests.

The provit tests also were for ms office apps. did pretty well despite hte horrid new ribbon interface I hadn't used.

They are visual and let you fiddle around on menus till you find the right function rather than asking questions. So only if you really don'tknow how to do something will younoot get an answer right.

I'm doing training to become an SME for various profession. The texts involve small tests at the endof every chapter. I do those too to make sure I understand the reading.

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back in the day

by The Scummy One In reply to I recently took

I took the NT4 server brainbench test and scored 97% -- the cert I got was with a special stamp showing the top 10%

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Lots

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Interviewing: Have you ev ...

Math, literacy, psych, presentation, sometimes even IT. Several have been just sprung on me. As long as they aren't outright stupid, I go into adapt and overcome mode.
A lot of the time, they are just looking at how you cope with the pressure of insane nonsensical demands, that come right out of the blue.

Fortunately the wife and other poorly organised authority figures have me thoroughly aclimatised on that front.

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