1. #1
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    Default Any information on psychological tests?

    Im looking for any sort of information on psychological tests and the psychological interview. I am a firm believer in preparing myself for every part of the test and this is my next step. Since im posting here, i guess i should introduce myself. Name's Tim, 21 yrs. old, been in the fire service for 5yrs. now, currently working as a contract FF/PM near chicago, and just got a conditional offer of employment. Have passed every portion of testing so far, and the last step is coming up which is why i am asking for any advice or information. Thanks to everybody on here, this forum has been very helpful.
    Last edited by sfpd1234; 03-09-2007 at 01:28 PM.

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    Default You have to pass the psych test first time out!

    Consider taking down the name of the department that's considering you.

    Most candidates are more than surprised when I tell them up to 40% fail the psychological test given by many departments.

    I received one phone call and two e-mails from relatives of a firefighter/medic candidate who failed a psych test before the candidate called asking “What can I do now?” He had been testing for 5 years and this was the first job offer. I asked him if he knew who we were? Yes. Did you know we had a preparation program for the psych? Yes. Why didn’t you get it? I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this, “Things were going so great I didn’t think I needed it.”

    Imagine after all the education, experience and time preparing to get this job like the above candidate . . . and you're eliminated. Then no one will talk to you to find out what happened. I've talked to too many candidates who were devastated and didn't know what to do next. This is a critical part of the testing process you need to prepare for and pass the first time out.

    You’ve jumped through all the flaming hoops and made it through the background check. Then, you’re conditionally offered the job pending the medical, which includes a psychological test. You take the test, no big deal right? Then the phone stops ringing.

    You are out of the hiring process. You are told that you didn’t meet the profile. What profile?

    What do you mean I didn’t meet the profile? I’ve got training, experience, education, every degree, certificate, merit badge, and a paramedic certification. I’ve been a volunteer, paid member of another department for 10 years, and lived and breathed this job. And, I don’t meet the profile?

    What’s included in the psych test? There is a written test that sets up a profile of you. Then, there is an evaluation by a psychologist.

    Written Test: The most common written portion of the psychological evaluation is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory interview test of up to 1000 questions. The aim here is not to pass the test but to go into the job fully prepared. Put your pride and natural defensiveness aside. They ask a few questions in several different ways. You want to answer questions “strongly for” or “strongly against” instead of being in the middle undecided. Answer questions to present yourself as a more social, interactive, team playing type of person, i.e., you would rather be in a conversation with others than reading a book alone.

    You can get some insight on how the written test is scored here: http://www.bigdeadplace.com/psyche_eval.html

    Here is a link to a book with the entire MMPI 2 exam in the appendix and most of the relevant scales.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081...lance&n=283155

    Some written tests include an Ink Blot Test. You can find out more about this test here: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.php

    The Evaluation: This is where the wheels start coming off the wagon for too many candidates.

    Before the interview, the psychologist will often have you take a separate personality test, fill out a personal family history, a biography and additional information forms.

    The biggest error candidates make during the psychological evaluation is thinking there is a patient/doctor confidentiality even when the doctor has them sign a release that there is not. This is not your family doctor. Guess who’s paying the bill?

    What gets candidates in trouble here is they want this job so bad that they will say and do almost anything to get it.

    Although I don’t encourage candidates to be less than truthful, those candidates who are honest to a fault diminish their chances of passing the psychological interview! That's right. You folks want this job so bad you will tell the psychologist anything they want to know. Even stuff they didn’t ask you. Once you start down this road of total honesty, creating trails where you don't have to, tossing out more information than was asked for thinking this guy is your friend is where you get into big trouble. Especially when the psychologist says, "Everyone has skeletons in their closet, this interview is not designed to eliminate you from the process”, or “you don't want to be too squeaky clean." So you open up. Then the phone stops ringing and no one will talk to you. You are out of the process Mcfly. And, you don't know why.

    So what should you do?

    Only answer the question you’re being asked. Before you volunteer information, think before you speak. If they want to know more they will ask. Don’t appear to be closed but warm and cordial. Present your ideas clearly. Don’t ramble or chat. Be articulate. This is how you’re going to be in the field. Believe it or not this is part of the job interview. You are making an impression of who you are going to be as a firefighter.

    Make sure you dress up and don’t slouch. Be prepared to audition for the part of being a firefighter. Know your strong points. Be prepared to demonstrate you are a team player.

    A large city fire department called in twelve candidates for the psychological interview. Only three passed. They sent in six more, only two passed. Another six more were tested. Again, only two passed. All those who passed were our candidates. They prepared in advance with our special report that took us over a year to compile to let them know where the land mines were before they went in. Ask them if it was worth knowing what was a coming?

    This from a new firefighter:

    I want to comment on your psych test information and report. I had to take one for two departments. Well all I know is that I went into the test and followed your advice. I tried to answer the questions as honestly as I could, while presenting myself as a very positive social person. Some of the "experts" out there say that you should be brutally honest on the test. Well 3 good guys I know did just that, and they did not pass either test. We lost 10 out of 25 guys on one test! In all honesty I might not have passed either if I hadn't followed your advice. I feel that is a very dangerous test, and some of the advice these people are giving out is costing great candidates a job. I wanted to let you know that your advice worked, and I owe you much thanks! Steve.

    This from an in service firefighter: During the last hiring process 2 years ago the psychologist passed 10 people. Of those 10, 2 have quit, 2 have been fired, and 1 committed suicide. I wonder if he is worth what the city pays him to evaluate prospects? Have a nice weekend.

    More on the psych here: http://eatstress.com/psych.htm
    ______________________________ _______________

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    You can get some insight on how the written test is scored here: http://www.bigdeadplace.com/psyche_eval.html
    You might want to find a new cite for this. Whoever wrote this website hasn't got a clue about how the MMPI is scored or interpreted.

    FWIW, prior to entering the fire service, I was a database manager for a clinical/research psychologist. I used to write the scoring routines for all of his raw test data and have been inside the scoring process for a couple of dozen different psych testing instruments -- including the MMPI, the MCMI personality profiles, and some of Dr. Rotter's related tests.(Jules Rotter's office was just down the hall from mine. )

    Here is a link to a book with the entire MMPI 2 exam in the appendix and most of the relevant scales.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081...lance&n=283155
    Dead link.

    Some written tests include an Ink Blot Test. You can find out more about this test here: http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rorschach.php
    You'd be hard pressed to find many psychologists who still use this test outside of a clinical setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://eatstress.com/psych.htm
    "I have taken the CWS test before about 5 years ago and got a 73%. After using your preparation program, I was able to score 88.12% on the written exam,..."

    "Thank you for helping me with the psych portion of the written exam. I took a test a year ago without knowing your info and scored in the low 70's. About 3 weeks ago I took that same test and scored a 94% and will be continuing in the process."
    What psych test yields scores in percentages?

    Aside from the same basic test taking skills that apply to any multiple choice written test, studying for a personality test, IMHO, is about as effective as studying for a urinalysis.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 03-09-2007 at 04:41 PM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Default

    My advice to you is to Deny, Deny, Deny.....answer false for any
    questions related to any sort of drugs or alcohol no matter what! and always answer questions to show you are a very social,team oriented and are capable of dealing with all kinds of stress easily. Do not give out any info about your parents that would deal with them having past problems with any
    drugs or alcohol, abuse, etc....

    Example of drug and alcohol questions: true or false i sometimes like to have one or two drinks after i get home from work.....maybe this is true for you, heck who doesnt like to have a beer and relax every now and then right?? but the psych board sees this as a sign that if you are stressed from work you turn to alcohol to relieve it. so read the questions carefully there are also a few double negatives and they also ask the same question many times just written different ways. and be prepared for a long session of answering questions....Mine came to about 1000
    questions in all. Have fun !

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    Default Psych Test

    I am wondering if I should wear a suit to the psych test or if business attire is okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsmart54 View Post
    I am wondering if I should wear a suit to the psych test or if business attire is okay.
    Dress for success!

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    SFPD, be aware of free advice. I would caution risking your career decisions over what you read on the internet. Good luck on your exam.
    Last edited by BCLepore; 03-16-2007 at 12:31 AM.

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    Exclamation thanks

    First off i want to thank you BC Lepore, i bought your CD smoke your firefighter interview, and i believe that was one of the most helpful things i have had so far! I actually just took my MMPI-2 exam and the psychologist contacted me and wants me to now take another 140 question exam, because he said it appeared that i was trying to look too good, he says he is not too worried about it, but from my candidate point of view, i am VERY worried about it. This is the last portion of my testing, i have a start date and everything, and have passed everything up til now. My question is.... what do i do with this 140 question test...? i didnt lie on the MMPI-2, but it is saying i look too good.....? am i supposed to lie on this next test so i dont sound so good? Any advice would be greatly appreciated seeing that (as stated above) this is my LAST thing.... im practically hired... but i gotta pass this!!! once again, any help is greatly appreciated!!

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    The fact of the matter is that most modern psych tests are designed to detect people trying to intentionally produce a particular result. (And they generally do a pretty good job of it.)

    Your best bet? Don't take the test with the idea of trying to force your answers to conform to the profile that you think "they" want to see. Just take the test and answer the questions honestly without trying to "out think" the test.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Question nervous

    im definitely getting nervous..... i am supposed to take the test today, he is going to fax it to me so i can take it and fax it back.... i wonder what test i am going to take now.... he said it is a 140 question exam... basically to validate because i looked "too good" any opinions? advice?
    Thanks to all!!

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    SFPD activate your PM or call me 888-238-3959.

    So you haven't had the interview with the doc yet?

    The written test is designed to show a profile of you where possible psychological problems and job difficulties might exist.
    There are three general areas:
    1. Psychological problems or conflicts.
    2. Manifestations of how you express your personality. Are you quiet, a follower, leader, independent, outgoing and friendly without being obtrusive?
    3. Assessment. How well you think on your feet. Your ability to maintain a focus when stressed, your judgment, and short-term memory.

    If your profile rated you in the severe category in any of the areas, your interview will concentrate on those to verify these findings. That could be why you’re being called back to take an additional test to determine the findings in a certain area.

    Psychologists can use different rating scales that range from three to seven. They are similar to school grades of A, B, C, or marginal etc.

    After his psych written, Tony received a call that his results were
    inconclusive. Since he lived in another state, they let him take home
    the written to complete again. He left a panicked message on my
    answering machine. Even though candidates should not try to figure out what the questions are geared to finding out, Tony not only tried to do this on his first attempt, but was sitting down with his wife no less (right, this will solve the mystery) at midnight trying to figure out what they were looking for in each and every question when I returned his call. Folks this is mental distraction!

    Stop the presses! I told Tony to immediately stop this circus, go to
    bed, regroup in the morning and retake the test alone not trying to
    psych each question. After much waiting after he sent it back, Tony got the called, passed his interview with the doc and had his badge! Whew!

    More on the psych here: http://eatstress.com/psych.htm
    Last edited by CaptBob; 03-19-2007 at 02:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    (re)take the test alone not trying to
    psych each question.
    Isn't that what I just said in fewer words?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    More on the psych here: http://eatstress.com/psych.htm
    Two words: spell check.

    Candidates who are using our program are going from failure to passing and scoring over 95 percent on the psychological examination and proceeding to the next phase of the hiring process.
    I'm still trying to figure out what you mean by "passing" or "failing" a psych test. What psych test produces pass/fail results? Or scores in percentages?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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