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Personality quizzes prevent employment

I was having a hard time finding a job, especially during the summer. If I got paid to fill out applications as a source of income, I would have been able to pay off my student loans by now. But lucky for me, I found work in retail during my first week of moving back to Tyler.

I walked into the store, handed my application to the head manager and then she set me up for an interview – right there on the spot. But what makes me upset is the fact that my suspicions about the negative hiring process of many department stores was proving to be accurate.

Best Buy, Macy’s, Walmart, Chase, etc; these companies all require that you fill out an online application.

However, I was never given a call-back. Did I not fill out something correctly? Did I not pass a reference check? Finally, I decided to contact one of the companies I had filled out an application with. The lady on the phone told me that I did not pass my personality quiz and that apparently I was a “yellow” instead of a “green.” So I decided to do research and came across an article on ehow.com. It was titled “How To Pass a Pre-Employment Personality Test.”

TRUE and FALSE questions: One of the questions on almost every assessment is ‘I like to be in a large crowd.’ The correct answer is TRUE. Me, personally, I put FALSE, just because I am a more calm and relaxed person. However, I like Walmart and I like Six Flags so they don’t give you the option to explain your reasoning. The test will then probably say ‘I like to be the center of attention.’ I will put FALSE. To me, the question sounds like ‘I like all eyes on me and everything is about me’ but the correct answer is TRUE. This is because companies like people that can be good at sales and are not afraid to talk to others.

The test will then go on and ask you simple questions like ‘I can count to ten’ or ‘my previous employer would hire me again.’ They even throw in the scenario questions to see what you would do in certain situations (what would you do if you caught a fellow employee stealing) along with vocabulary like ‘a quasar is…’ But it starts to get a little tricky. The questions will become the epitome of corporate doublethink. For example:

‘I know someone who has stolen something.’ I would put TRUE (I believe that everyone knows someone who has stolen something or has been a victim of thievery). But to my surprise the correct answer is FALSE. Because although the question says ‘I know someone has stolen something,’ what it really translates to is ‘I hang out with thieves.’

More questions like these include: ‘It’s ok to tell someone a small lie to spare his or her feelings’ (translation: I’m a liar), ‘I’ve done my share of troublemaking,’ (translation: I am a delinquent and shouldn’t be hired) and ‘it is maddening when criminals go free’ (translation: I don’t believe in our justice system, therefore, by extension, don’t believe in company policy if I don’t agree with it).

You can notice a relationship here and I can definitely say that this advice was in fact valid. After the three to six months they tell you to wait before you can apply again, I took the test over and I basically answered the opposite of what I answered last time. By now I was already employed through the remarkable face-to-face paper application but as for my second attempt at a company that used these electronic applications, I was offered an interview. I went in and was offered a job. I declined.

There are millions of people who have low self esteem and feel like they are not good enough. But now it has come into the work force. It seems that introverts do not stand a chance against extroverts when, in my opinion, introverts may not be the outgoing and pushy sales guy, but we might be the ‘come in when someone is sick’ or ‘take the extra mile to do things right.’ I am an introvert and I am a hard worker. And because I have a computer telling other people my abilities and what I am capable of, it hinders me and others like me an equal chance of employment.


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