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The mental gymnastic of aptitude tests

by Aptitude Tests on 22 Apr 2014 permalink
How current is your knowledge of procedures and systems in your industry? You might use that stuff in your trade on a daily basis or just look it up on the internet if need be. Nevertheless it can be used as a selection criterion to cut down a long list of job applicants to a shortlist for interviews.

As you get older your memory is not as supple as it used to be. You also learn not to remember things that can readily be referenced.

Unfortunately that's not a good situation if you get screened through a battery of aptitude or knowledge tests. This is exacerbated by the fact that some people have spoiled it for everyone else by making false claims in their resume.

In recruitment you are presumed a liar until proved dependable - through a test that is. This sets a fair but high standard for everyone.

It will be difficult to assess someone's experience and seniority through a test (that's what face to face interview are supposed to determine). In a world where everything is standardized or packaged there is no room for giving someone a go. You deliver the skills or we look at the next person.

Nobody is interested in what fresh insight you can bring to the firm. All they want to know is that they don't need to waste time on your training or induction. You are deemed to pick up the ball running. All what is required is to obey the procedures manual and whoever can do it the cheapest will get the job.

Only once you're in, can you flex your problem solving skills and be flagged for a promotion. Another hurdle here: If your strategy is to enter at a low position and move through the ranks you might find you have to compete with outsiders poached straight out of competitors. They have done exactly for the last 5 years what the job description calls for, while you lag behind and can't show evidence of any management skills.

The whole concept of aptitude tests can be overused to coerce people into pigeon holes they don't want to belong to. But if you want to get the job and pay the bills and support your family what choice do you have?


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