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What is the correct answer to this job application question???!!!

missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,401 Senior Member
edited June 2009 in Parent Cafe
Son is trying to get a job as a bag boy at Albertson's...$6 an hour. If you want to be amused, take the 120 question personality test that is part of their on-line application. Son was told to redo his app because he failed the first time-he was a "red yellow" and needs to be "green green." We just couldn't figure out the "right" answer to so many of the questions....about 25% were of the "have you stopped beating your wife" variety. Our favorite one was:

It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free.
Strongly agree
Strongly disagree

The question assumes that the courts DO let guilty criminals go free. If you agree, you're a hot head with no respect for the criminal justice system. If you disagree, it's fine with you if guilty criminals go free.

There were so many questions almost as bad: "I criticize people when they need it." That assumes folks sometimes need criticism (not correction.) So, if you agree, you criticize people. If you disagree, you let bad actions slide.

Similar question: "I tell people off when they need it." So, you're either a person who TELLS PEOPLE OFF (I didn't know anyone even still used that phrase), or you're such a wimp that you let people abuse you.

If he doesn't get a green green this time, I guess Son with the 2120 SAT won't be deemed well suited to be a bag boy.
Post edited by missypie on

Replies to: What is the correct answer to this job application question???!!!

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Sounds like it's some variation of the Minnesota Multiphastic Personality Inventory (MMPI) that I happened to have done my dissertation on years ago.

    If so, there are no right or wrong answers. The pattern of one's answers (impossible to detect) is what matters.

    If it is based on the MMPI, I'm fairly sure that the MMPI has found to not be reliable for employment, and from what I've read (I've been out of the field for a long time, so this may not be accurate), it has fallen into disfavor.

    There's also the chance that your S's answers don't fit the pattern of people who are happy in jobs as bag boys and who consequently stay on the job. Oh, well. I'm sure he and you are really disappointed about that. ;)
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    Where's the question about putting the bread on the top of the bag and the canned goods on the bottom? :-)

    Paper or Plastic? There is no one right answer.... lol
  • binxbinx Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    I did a Google search on the question, and pulled up a bunch of blogs about people who've taken the test. I found one where the person listed the questions and his answers. He said he'd taken the test about 20 times and never got a call back, and wanted to know what he was doing wrong. Someone told him that the key is to be "strongly" either -- that the middle answers are "wrong", and to take the test quickly. That seems counter-intuitive -- I don't really want my bagger to have strong opinions! Most of the bloggers seem to feel that the test was "unnecessary" (not the word they used, though).

    It does seem a strange method, though. What ever happened to : Can you work all shifts? Will you be on time and work hard? Are you capable of handling both paper and plastic?

    Maybe all those surly baggers I've met recently have been too busy feeling strongly about all those loosed criminals.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    Many of the jobs that are in shops require an "honesty" and "character" test. The problem is that if you answer those questions honestly, you won't get the job. The object seems to be to see if a candidate has the common sense to figure out what the answers should be.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I forgot whether it's Barns and Noble or Borders, but one of them has the same test (well, they have that question, at least). I think they're looking for "average." Don't try to be too much of a moral good two-shoes, don't over-think the questions, and finish relatively quickly. Of course, I could be totally wrong on this. That's just my impression.
  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,461 Senior Member
    Human resource mumbo jumbo. How many HR people does it take to change a lightbulb? None, but they all insist on being involved.
  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,919 Senior Member
    Our school district has a similar test. You are allowed about 30 seconds per question and many come back slightly re-worded.
    Are you fit to be a teacher if you can't answer correctly? Evidently not. It's clearly not meant for those with personalities who like to weigh questions and debate answers....
  • ebeeeeeebeeeee Registered User Posts: 5,199 Senior Member
    Around here Albertson's pays more like $8. per hour to "bag boys" and there are never enough of them. I have actually learned to work the turntable that pushes the groceries down to the bagger and bag myself most of the time much to the embarassment of my children. Not sure I could pass the personality test though because I definitely TELL PEOPLE OFF because of course, most of them NEED IT!
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,401 Senior Member
    Last time, he answered almost all of the questions "agree" or "disagree." This time he changed to answering almost all of them "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree." That will probably either strongly help or strongly hurt!

    I remember this type of test from college psych classes. I know that they put very similar questions on the test to see if you answer them consistently. This is very well suited for the online format, because they set it up so there is no ability to go back to earlier parts of the test.
  • jazzymomjazzymom Registered User Posts: 3,676 Senior Member
    Hi missypie

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed seeing this thread. As we speak, my S is working on filling out a job application for a health food grocery store called "Sprouts" opening in the neighborhood and the questionnaire has the same "strongly agree," "agree," format. I told him to start feeling more strongly. We'll see what happens.
  • asdfjkl1asdfjkl1 Registered User Posts: 1,950 Senior Member
    I took almost that same exact test and fell into the same situation. Somehow, I never got called back for that job...
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 37,063 Senior Member
    Human resource mumbo jumbo. How many HR people does it take to change a lightbulb? None, but they all insist on being involved.

    cartera - LOLOLOLOL!!!
  • SunDiegoMomSunDiegoMom Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    My 16-year-old took a test awfully similar to that one but at Target. He told me it was the most difficult test he had ever taken. Who would have known?
  • cnp55cnp55 Registered User Posts: 3,778 Senior Member
    As a retailer, I've been advised to use a similar test for new hires. I don't, mostly because I don't think the cost of administering the test is worth the price, and I question the benefits. I also don't have such a huge volume of applicants that I need another sorting device.

    Having said that, I think the correct answers are aimed at sorting out applicants with personality traits that are not compatible with creating a top notch customer shopping experience. I don't want to hire a clerk that thinks that businesses (especially mine!) are ever OK to steal from, or bag boys that think it's ever OK to be surly with customers or coworkers.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,401 Senior Member
    Boy have I learned a lot in the last 12 hours-it's called Unicru. There are so many postings on the net where folks looking for retail jobs are unemployed because they can't pass the test. It's used by Target, Borders, CVS, Gamestop, Albertson's, Best Buy, Petsmart, and who knows who else. I think that at times the "answers" are posted on Wikipedia, then others edit them out. The majority of folks say you have to answer "strongly" but a few say not.

    I think we got one set of answers wrong the second time around. There are questions like "I dislike listening to other people's problems." "People should keep their problems to themselves." We thought these were to screen out the busybodies who would be in everybody's business. But I guess that's wrong-if you're in customer service, you're supposed ot love hearing about other people's problems.

    What's baffling is the one boy that my son knows who works at Albertson's as a bag boy is a hot tempered kid who has few friends at school...my son was asked to room with him on a field trip because no one else was willing to. How did he pass the test???!!!
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