Employment questionnaires leave me dumbstruck

Mar 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Blogs, Opinions

Zach Becker

Editor-In-Chief

Okay, so I’ve been applying for some jobs in the area. I submit my resume and references. And then I get to the important part. The area where potential employers find out if you have “the right stuff” for the job. The questionnaire.

1. I am frequently late to appointments. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

2. I sometimes do my work more slowly than normal on purpose. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

3. I consider myself a hard worker. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

4. I frequently have conflicts with coworkers. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

5. I am difficult to work with. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

6. I have secretly stolen from my previous employers. Strongly Disagree. Disagree. Neutral. Agree. Strongly Agree.

Okay, so I made that last question up, but the others are almost verbatum some of the questions I’ve seen in these questionnaires. How dumb do they think people are? Does anyone who really is lazy, perpetually late, grumpy or a thief actually answer these questions honestly? And do we really have to answer 80 of these stupid questions?

I guess these exams might weed out the total idiots, but couldn’t they come up with a better way to test job candidates? Do these exams really help find the best candidate?

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  1. I actually heard a report on NPR about the proliferation of these questionnaires a few years ago. The gist of it was, “Everybody else is doing it, so we don’t want to miss out.” A cascade of groupthink without knowing really what the point of the surveys was.

    These employers buy tests which are modified versions of tests they give the mentally ill to diagnose problems. That means the test is designed to identify what problems you have, not determine whether there is a problem. You look crazy no matter what you say.