Having been a Human Resources practitioner for a long time, I know just how valuable psychological exams are to gauge a potential candidate’s aptitude, personality and mental functioning.
Recently, I was scheduled for an exam in a major car company. I was supposed to be there at 8:30 AM and because it will take at least 4 hours to travel, I woke up at 2:30 AM so I’d still have a bit of time to grab myself some breakfast and find where the company is.
I arrived there 35 minutes ahead of time but I still had to wait for almost 2 hours before somebody came in to see me. I was made to take the supervisory aptitude test, and then they left me again for almost an hour.
I have already finished several articles in Reader’s Digest before a woman finally came and talk to me. She told me briefly what the position is all about and then proceeded to tell me the bad news.
She said that based on the result of my aptitude test consisting of 24 questions, it seems that I am too people-oriented hence I am more inclined to side with the employees rather than the management. For this reason, she said she couldn’t continue to process my application anymore as they were looking for someone who’s more pro-management.
I was indignant that they didn’t even give me the chance to expound on my work experiences. I felt like they just scratched away several years of experiences and trainings in similarly reputable companies. I find it ludicrous that just because my leadership style is not autocratic or traditional, they seem to think that I cannot be an effective leader, which is contradictory had they probed deeper on my experiences and previous working relationships.
I admit that I indeed value human relations very highly because I find it easier to work with people with mutual respect for each other, rather than threaten them with my position. Similarly, in all the years that I have been working, I have likewise maintained very good relationships with my superiors and it was never a problem for me either to cascade management direction and implement company policies.
I still think that standardized psychological tests are wonderful tools for HR practitioners in determining the right people for the right job. However, time and time again, it has been proven that a mere high aptitude to perform a particular task, a superior intelligence quotient, or a proclivity towards certain personality types does not always guarantee efficiency and productivity. I reckon a more thorough and holistic approach should be practiced if companies are really keen on getting the right people for the right job.
Had this company at least gave me the benefit of an interview or even made me to take more tests, I wouldn’t have minded at all if in the end, they say that my qualifications did not meet their standards.