Certainly, pre-employment tests help you assess what job applicants really are like under all the smoke-&-mirrors and tricks they use on hiring managers.
Job applicants put on a show to impress you. It’s drama. It’s theater. It’s designed to fool you into mistakenly thinking the applicant is wonderful so you foolishly make a job offer. So, let’s expose tricks or games job applicants use to make you think they are wonderful, although they are not.
TRICK #1: LYING ON PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS
On personality pre-employment tests, some applicants lie. They give answers to make themselves seem better or different than they really are.
As an industrial psychologist who did research to create three pre-employment tests, I examined many personality tests. Most claim they catch liars, but when I look at their method and research, I discover they really do not catch liars!
Solution: Only use pre-employment tests that use a scientific method to detect applicant dishonesty on the test. I spent about six months developing my lie-detection method for two pre-hire assessment tests I created. So, make sure whatever tests you use really catches applicants who try to lie.
Importantly, good pre-employment tests will tell you what the applicant truly is like. Such pre-hire assessment tests reveal the real person under all the theater and drama and showmanship the applicant uses to deceive and impress you.
Notes: (a) Job candidates may try to lie or answer dishonestly on pre-employment personality tests, so make sure such assessment tests give you accurate lie detection score. (b) Applicants cannot lie on pre-employment intelligence or mental abilities tests, because such tests have factual right or wrong answers.
TRICK # 2: ASK YOU TO TELL THEM QUALITIES YOU WANT IN PERSON YOU HIRE
Many applicants begin the job interview by asking, “What are important qualities you must have in the person you will hire?”
I discovered most hiring managers answer this question! They fall for this trick! The applicant then spends the rest of the interview saying they have those qualities. Then, when you hire the applicant, you discover the applicant (a) does not possess those qualities and (b) conned you by claiming they have qualities you told them you want in the person you will hire.
Solution: When a job applicant asks you what qualities you want in the employee you will to hire, do not tell the applicant. Instead, simply respond, “Maybe we will talk about that at a later time. Maybe.” Do not tell the applicant what you are looking for!
TRICK #3: REPEATING GOOD ANSWERS MEMORIZED FROM JOB HUNTING BOOKS
Eager job hunters read books that tell them terrific-sounding answers to your questions. Watch for this.
Solution: When you hear an answer that sounds memorized or too good to be true, say, “Aw, come on! Your answer sounds like something you memorized from a job hunting book! Now, tell me your real answer to my question.” If they repeat the same well-rehearsed answer, again say, “Aw, come on! Tell me your real answer, not an answer that sounds like you memorized it from a job hunting book!”
TRICK #4: CLAIMING THEY ACHIEVED MARVELOUS RESULTS
Applicants love to say they achieved incredible results, e.g., monstrously increased profits or amazingly reduced costs.
Solution: When a job candidate claims marvelous results, stare directly into the applicant’s eyes, and say: “Thank you for telling me those great results. Whom can I contact to verify the results you just told me?” Insist on getting names of people you can contact. Doing this shows applicants you may check to see if they are lying.
TRICK #5: SAYING “WE,” & NOT “I”
There is an epidemic of people saying, “We” and not “I.” “We” sounds teamwork-oriented. But, beware when you ask an applicant a question, and the applicant says, “We did blah-blah.” Perhaps all the applicant did was buy pizza for the employees who really did the work!
Solution: When an applicant says, “We….,” say, “I need to decide whether or not to hire you, and not all the people you include as ‘We.’ So, from now on, please answer my questions by saying, ‘I,’ and not ‘We.’” Sure, employees work with co-workers, but you need to uncover what the applicant did, and not what the applicant maybe did with a bunch of other people.
TRICK #6: USING RAPOORT-BUILDING METHODS IN FIRST 120 SECONDS
In sales training, people learn the first ingredient of making a sale is to develop rapport with the buyer in the first 120 seconds. So, watch for this within the first two minutes: An applicant smiles at you + nicely shakes your hand + compliments your office or company + makes you laugh.
Managers often ‘fall in love’ with such charmers! Do not fall into that trap.
Solution: Look beyond the first 120 seconds of rapport-producing techniques. Do not ‘fall in love’ with any applicant due to the candidate using Sales Training 101 techniques on you.
AVOID FALLING FOR 6 TRICKS APPLICANTS USE TO CONNIVE YOU
You now know six tricks applicants pull on you with
1. trying to lie on pre-employment tests
2. conniving you into telling them what to say
3. memorizing good answers from job hunting resources
4. claiming spectacular results
5. hiding behind the word “We”
6. making you ‘fall in love’ with them within 120 seconds
Remember, applicants want you to offer them a job. You must make sure you hire terrific employees. Now you know how to avoid getting connived by applicants who use tricks to deceive you during your quest to hire the best.
COPYRIGHT 2017 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D.
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., wrote the book “Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest™.” Dr. Mercer also created 3 pre-employment tests – the 3 “Forecaster™ Tests.” His pre-employment tests are used by many companies to do pre-hire assessments of job candidates. He is a frequent speaker at conferences. You can subscribe to “Dr. Mercer’s HIRE THE BEST Newsletter,” and see info on his 3 pre-employment tests and 6 books, at www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com