What Is the Application Questionnaire?

Some think it’s funny shit, that we’re using it to search for those with similar sense of humor.  Others think it’s irrelevant, a waste of time, has nothing to do with job requirements.  A few customers noticed similarities to Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory mental health assessment test used by law enforcement, Navy SEAL, hospitals, courts of law, and many business.

It’s a behavioral test that relies heavily on “forced answer questions” to get applicants to reveal who they really are.  Forced answer questions are much more effective than open ended questions (eg. Are you lazy?) because it forces applicant to choose between unattractive options instead of giving what applicant think is the “correct” answer (“I’m not lazy”). It forces the applicant to think instead of react.  Many people have been trained to answer questions in a certain way: “I am hard working, I am responsible, I am caring,” instead of thinking about who they really are and how they’re perceived by others.  The questionnaire tests honesty, self-awareness, consistency, and how someone will behave in certain situations.

It’s not scientifically validated but it’s been remarkably accurate thus far, far more accurate than any other questionnaire we’ve ever used to predict traits that will be exhibited at interview and at work.  We test its validity by keeping track of our predictions — how cover letter will read, work history, Facebook profile when available. We also test it on customers.

The questionnaire is also a puzzle.  Those who recognize patterns within the questionnaire will get a good idea how owner’s mind works, how he analyzes random information to make predictions and assessments and how he extracts information out of people. (For instance, a parent who wants to know if son has done homework should never ask “did you finish your homework?”  Should instead ask “how long did it take for you to finish your homework?”  Or “how many math problems did you do today?” Or “why haven’t you finish your homework yet?”   If away from home, ask “did you watch any good TV shows” or “did you reach new video game level yet?” Asking kid if he’s finished his homework is as useless as asking an applicant if he’s hard working).

Finally, it’s a story about life, how one gets from Point A to Point B and all the obstacles in between.  Applicant is writing a story about his plan to achieve his life goals.

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