1. #1
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    Question Entrance Exam Questions

    I am taking a written test next week that I have taken before. The test seems easy to me except for the section that is supposed to be about my personality. I'm not sure if my strategy on this section is causing poor results and was wondering if anyone could help me get my mind in the right place.

    These are my examples that are similar to questions that are on that test. These are not the exact questions, as I can't remember them, and If I could I would not post them because it would be unfair to post actual test questions.

    Question 1

    Which interests you more?
    A) Outside mowing the yard
    B) Reading a book indoors
    C) Cannot decide between the two

    My answer would be A) mowing the yard

    Question 2

    Which interests you more?
    A) Working with heavy equipment
    B) Going to an art fair
    C) Cannot decide between the two

    My answer would be A) Heavy equipment

    Question 3

    Which interests you more?
    A) Working with heavy equipment
    B) Playing competitive sports
    C) Cannot decide between the two

    My answer would be B) Sports

    Question 4

    Which interests you more?
    A) mowing the yard
    B) Working on automobiles
    C) cannot decide between the two

    My answer would be B) working on cars

    These answers are true as to what I prefer. I always score poorly on this section and have been told it is because there are so many inconsistencies in my answers. Such as question three. Is the correct awnser "Heavy equipment" to keep it the same as Question two? In question one I prefered "mowing the yard", so should question 4 also be "mowing the yard"? Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Who designs these things anyway?
    Last edited by atjones1981; 11-18-2007 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by atjones1981 View Post
    I am taking a written test next week that I have taken before. The test seems easy to me except for the section that is supposed to be about my personality. I'm not sure if my strategy on this section is causing poor results and was wondering if anyone could help me get my mind in the right place.
    The only "strategy" in taking a test like that is to simply answer the questions without overthinking them. Trying to "outsmart" the test will only muddy the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by atjones1981 View Post
    These answers are true as to what I prefer.
    Then that's how you should answer them.

    Quote Originally Posted by atjones1981 View Post
    I always score poorly on this section and have been told it is because there are so many inconsistencies in my answers.
    Who has told you this? Personality tests such as you are describing don't yield "good" scores or "poor" scores. They just yield "scores" or, more often, they yield a series of scores on several different dimensions. (For instance, the sort of questions you describe are similar to what you'd find on a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which yields scores on 4 dimensions and reduces them to 16 "types.")

    Quote Originally Posted by atjones1981 View Post
    Such as question three. Is the correct awnser "Heavy equipment" to keep it the same as Question two?
    There is no "right" nor "wrong" answer to any of the questions. When answering Question 2; only consider the choices provided in Question 2. When answering Question 3; only consider the choices provided in Question 3. The whole point of asking similar questions multiple times is to develop a sense of how strong your various preferences are. Don't make yourself crazy trying to force your answers to fit some pattern you think that they're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by atjones1981 View Post
    Who designs these things anyway?
    Psychologists who spent an enormous amount of time and research determining which questions to ask; which combination of answers to provide; how many times to ask similar questions with slightly different answers; and how to interpret the results based on how various populations tend to answer. A well designed personality test can provide a wealth of useful information if it is interpretted by someone who is qualified and who understands its limitations.

    The bad side is that these tests rarely provide simple "scores" and it's entirely up to whoever's using them to determine what answers they (think) they're looking for...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

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    Default Don't read into it

    These questions are what are referred to as pre-psych. questions. They can come up in both written and oral interviews. The reason they have started doing this is that they don’t want to have spent the money to get a few people they want to hire, and then find some don’t pass the psych portion of the background, thus taking a spot from someone who would have passed.

    You will sometimes see up to and over 1,000 questions similar to the ones you listed. Often questions are re-asked in many forms. Such as, “If you were an artist, would you paint flowers”,” Did you like Alice in Wonderland”, “Have you ever heard of a crime committed and secretly hopped they got away with it”. These are used to see if you fit the psychological profile they are looking for. But if you were to ask a psychologist which is the right answer to one of those questions, he or she would not be able to tell you.

    What they do is take a large group of people that they have done extensive study on. They know exactly what kind of person each one represents. They then give them these tests and use that information to place others into categories. The categories are usually derived from the Briggs/Meyers test. In this test people are placed into four categories, the first of which is to determine if you are an “introvert” or “extrovert”. The next separates people into those who are “sensing”, making decisions based on facts, and those who are “intuitive” and make decisions based on feelings. The they separate people into those that are “thinking”, making decisions in a detached manner based on the facts, from those who are “feeling”, who make decisions by associating and empathizing. The last is people who are “judging”, and plan things far in advance, and those that “perceiving” and are spontaneous.

    I asked a psychologist what the questions said about me, I liked Alice in Wonderland. He said he didn’t know, but he showed me what he got from the test. It was a sheet that started with a section that told if you were answering based on your gut reaction, or if you were trying to “force” your answers. Trying to answer with what you think they are looking for will get you eliminated. There are no right or wrong answers, they just tell them what catagories you fit into, and what questions they will to ask you in a psych. You know what the right answer is the second you see the question, just put down the first thing that comes to you.

    A pre-psych question they have asked in Oakland in the past does have a right and wrong answer. The question that they finished the interview with was, “If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?” The majority of guys smiled and said, Ferrari, Corvette, or Cadillac. What they were looking for was, “I would be a four wheel drive, extra cab truck that could run on multiple fuels, with room for lots of people and equipment, a multi-size tow hitch with a GPS”. The question was really asking what kind of a person you see yourself as. Most fire departments have their share of the showy cars and need more work trucks. I hope this helps.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    www.myfireinterview.com
    (707869-1330

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    It wasn't long ago that police departments only gave psych tests. Then the psychologists saw this lucaritive business and convinced agencies they needed to include the psych evaluation as part of the hiring process to get the "Right" candidates; This when they were being limited by health insurance plans reducing the number of visits a member qualified for. The psych tests have changed the face of the fire service. Many including the red hots who have been the back bone of the fire service have trouble with the psycho babble questions. Some agencies have stopped giving the psych because of the candidates it was producing and the ones it was eliminating. Sure some shouldn't be hired. But those who have demanded a second opinion 50% were found fit for duty.

    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.

    Another agency in California has had 4 suicides in the last year.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 11-18-2007 at 11:02 PM.
    _____________________________________________

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    Very helpful stuff. Thanks guys.

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