Are aptitude tests inept?
by Aptitude Tests on 21 May 2013 permalink
I have been a professional in my field for 20 years yet I have flunked several tests with recruitment agencies. So either I am not a professional or the tests are wrong.
I know what I can do and my resume is there to prove my track record - so I would claim that the tests are wrong. They set the bar so high that all they can demonstrate is how someone in their twenties can cram their head with useless information that will be obsolete in two years time because technology would have moved on from where it is today.
So why do recruiters use stupid tests in the first place? Two reasons: lack of trust and discrimination.
People fudge their job application to get an advantage. Recruiters can't believe anything and everything their read in resumes. Integrity is gone out the window. They could use a lie detector during the interview or they can connect across databases of candidates to check if two versions of your resume contradict each other.
Today any claim you make in a job application has to be proven or demonstrated. Recruiters have so much choice they are not going to take any chances. To minimise their risk of hiring the wrong person they always like to award the position to someone who is already in the workforce employed by a competitor rather than someone who needs a job because there is a family to support.
Senior workers are being discriminated against. There is this fad of the forever young and attractive person spread throughout advertising and the media. The only time you will see actors or models clearly well over their fifties is when they try to sell you a pension fund or a retirement home... Get real. Maybe the reason the country is going to the dogs is that we have forgone the collective wisdom of our elders. Try to tell that to an employer who is 15 years younger than you. Age discrimination has at its roots in the rebellion of the current generation. Because things change so fast people believe the lie that experience counts for nothing. Yes technology moves on at a breath taking pace but certain things in life also remain the same. It takes maturity to know which is which.
Job fulfilment is at an all time low because workers feel constrained in a straight jacket - unable to release their true potential because there are not being trusted. An unspoken corporate culture promotes best practice but it's all public relations spin applied within. Those who succeed in business are those who break the rules and don't fit into any mould. Bill Gates would never be hired by today's Microsoft because he didn't finish his course at Harvard College.
Test me if you can!
by Aptitude Tests on 26 Mar 2013 permalink
Have you ever been angry at yourself for flunking a test you know was well within your grasp?
What happened? Did you get thrown out by the effect of surprise? Did you have a memory lapse? Did you drink alcohol or smoked pot the night before?
Knowledge appraisals are to the mind what aerobics are to the body. But unlike physical exercise you never know when aptitude tests are going to be sprung on you in the workplace or some other selection process. Even to get your driving licence you now have to undergo a knowledge test.
Remember the saying: "practice makes perfect"? Well practice then. What a better place to do that than this website.
How can you prepare for tests? Is it as stupid as some contest TV show where participants have to cram their head with useless information about movie stars or sporting athletes in order to come up with the right name or the right date to some unexpected question? (Ah, what people would be prepared to do to win some extra cash, and furthermore what a gullible audience would put up with - just to dream about a quick breakthrough in their lives. Maybe watching more TV will just be the ticket to be clued-up in all that razzamatazz!)
Some recruitment agency may send you a link to take an online test in the privacy of your own home. Thought that was cool? Wait, there is more! What you didn't know was that there is a countdown in the corner of the page. With limited time available to answer all questions, you won't have the luxury of googling up the answers across the net.
Thought you might guess your way through multiple choice questions? They get you by asking the same question again and again couched in slightly different words. Random answers are exposed and you quickly run out of luck.
Besides sheer knowledge of a subject some tests try to evaluate your integrity and see how you would solve problem in the workplace, whether or not you would cut corners to get by under pressure, whether or not you would manage your anger...
Well if a computer administered test could really appraise that it would be worth a lot of money - still some venders keep trying and the amazing thing is that they do get clients prepared to give it a go. As a candidate you have no choice but to go with the flow, hoping that others will do worse than you did so can you can get the nod for the job.
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