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weird interview

i attended a job interview with universal computer systems and to my suprise we were [about twenty of us] given a funny/weird test to complete.
It was full of different diagrams [cicrcles, squares, triangles e.t.c] and we were told to kind of choose the answers. We were also told that a wrong answer meant a deduction form the original test score .
Could anybody please tell me their experience with this kind of interview technique and tell me how i can get some information about it.
Thank you for your time
Tony Konovitch

tony Konovitch
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Sounds like an IQ test to me. 

Software Is Fun
Thursday, December 18, 2003

The bit about wrong answers decucting from your test score is to remove randomness in a multiple choice test (like the SAT, for American readers).

Ideally, if someone guesses every answer, you want them to have a score of 0.  If every question has two choices, and you subtract 1 point for each wrong answer, if the person gets 50% right (because they guessed on every answer), they'd have 0.  If there are three choices, you'd subtract 1/2 point, and so on.

The bit about the circles and triangles and what-not sounds like an IQ test--when I was in Israel, all the companies made you take one.  (A stupid exercise, but don't let me get started on that...)



Thursday, December 18, 2003

They were messing with you don't worry. MOVE ON!

Thursday, December 18, 2003

When you're taking a test in which you get deducted for wrong answers, you shouldn't make random guesses. you should play the odds instead. Thus if you can at least -eliminate- one or more of the answers, then you can (depending on the scoring being used) randomly guess from among the remaining questions. Only if you can not tell any difference between any answers should you pass on a question. That's one of the things they probably tell you if you take a testing strategies course, or it is something you'll figure out on your own if you are smart or have an understanding of basic statistics.

Its definitely meant to be an iq test. If it is a real iq test backed by scientific design and testing, then most likely it would have been REQUIRED to be administered by a licensed psychologist (did you see one at the interview). If there was no psychologist present, then it is probably not an iq test that produces valid results, but rather the sort that you find in self-help books or on the internet.

Philosophically, I don't have a problem with an employer having a short iq test in an interview as long as its a valid test and the job is the sort where ability is correlated with intelligence. But I have a feeling this was not a valid one. Also, I doubt its legal to give an iq test in an interview since a psych evaluation  is beyond the scope of what is permissible in most interviews, and without a psych, the test is probably no good.

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, December 18, 2003

IQ tests are reasonably common here in New Zealand.

However I've never seen much attention paid to the results.  It's basically yet another 'no' measure,  if your score is appalling, you're out.  Otherwise it's onto the next stage.

Michael Koziarski
Thursday, December 18, 2003

The whole test was based on the same format, i do not think it was an IQ test cos it was divided into four sections[around 70 questions total] and all sections had the same format with the shape things.
Does anyone know where i can get info on this kind of testing?

tony Konovitch
Thursday, December 18, 2003

From what you say and as the developer of similar tests, being the son of a licensed pshycologist helps ;), they are for pattern recognition. Mostly "choose the odd-man out" or "find the next in sequence".

It helps in identifying the ability of a person in what is known as "Extropolation" skills. This is extremely important for work that requires being given a base set of data and being able to choose appropriate new data that can be included or excluded from the set.

Vist our (still rudimentarily designed & work-in-progress0 website and download the CHM file from

Indian Developer in India
Friday, December 19, 2003

Actually, the whole test was a trick question. The correct answer was to stand up and say: "this test has no relevance to my ability to perform the job, therefore I refuse to waste my time and yours in doing it."

If you had done that, they would have offered you the job on the spot.

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, December 19, 2003

UCS hires in College Station, TX area, right?

I always saw their (oft-repeated) ads in the newspaper and was uneasy about applying there.  I'm nervous about 'always-hiring' companies--my first real job was in Appletree in that area.  Appletree was always hiring, because 1) they paid minimum wage, and 2) always had more people than necessary, so if someone quit they could just assign everyone a few more hours.  Because it was located next to the high school, there were always plenty applicants.  The turnover was high, but never *too* high.

So just know that, in an economic sense, UCS is spending less on salary and more on advertisment--it's an economically sound system, but it means that all that money spent on advertisement gets deducted from your paycheck.  So expect to be paid (a little) less than comparable jobs, and move on when possible.

But I could be wrong about all of this.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Indian Developer,

I just checked out your site.  Are you aware that the name of your business (Softcore Enterprises Private Limited) may be a bit... ahem... confusing to some readers? 

In the U.S. at least, "softcore" is a common term for a category of erotica/pornography.  (Porn that isn't too explicit, like Playboy magazine, as opposed to "hardcore" porn that shows anything and everything.)  Maybe I just have a dirty mind, but your name seems to have a (probably unintended) double meaning.

Robert Jacobson
Friday, December 19, 2003

Not just in the US of A. Sigh! Though not as blatant as in your neck of the woods.

Long story short, the Co. was formed when anything with "SOFT" meant InstaCash and I had to inherit the name. Not much probs. though, thus far. Yours was the first such comment made in 2 years. I've had the Co. for close to 5 now.

Indian Developer in India
Friday, December 19, 2003

> In the U.S. at least, "softcore" is a common term for a category of erotica/pornography. 

That's too funny.  Working on the page rank maybe?

Friday, December 19, 2003

This kind of test is very specific. It is used to determine if you are a visual mathematician.

Some tests are referred to as Visual Interface Test or a Standard IR test, search the web. You will find these tests out there.

Kevin MacMillan
Saturday, January 17, 2004

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