-(This is my first post on MTs, so I'm not certain what to expect, however, I've been very impressed with the Podcasts thus far, so I will venture forward here.)-

Background:  Recently I was engaged by a potential future employer and after a phone screen I was requested to take an online Psychometric Test.  At the time when asked to login to do the testing, I inquired with the company's HR recruiter if I would be able to receive the results.  I was told they would share them with me.  This commitment was enough for me to move forward and take the online assessment.

I received an email a few days later informing me that I was no longer a candidate. 

When I inquired with the HR recruiter about my test results, I was informed they would "not" share the results with me.  Beyond the core integrity issue here, I put forward a question to other managers out there.

Thesis:  If we as candidates for future employers are required to take Psychometric Tests, should we not be given a chance see the results?  If not, doesn't this violate Stephen Covey's 5th rule, Think Win Win, or no deal?

Opinion: If employer's are interested in using Psychometric Test as a tool to discriminate against a "false positive" (Mark's Pod Cast in 2008),   I'd argue that they are asking for us as candidates to give them an additional tool to use against our interest, which is to meet with the hiring manager and engage in a process of finding a fit.

I can't help but think of the parable of the master who teaches the dog to fetch a stick, just to be beaten with it.

Questions: What alternatives do we have with near 10% unemployment to request that the assessment be conducted after the first face to face meeting?  How would you go about it, and is it reasonable or unreasonable to request?  If so, why or why not?

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 As I see it, if an employer makes you sit a test then it is quite reasonable for you to ask for the results.  What you cannot do (unless there is legislation to the contrary in your area) is insist they supply you with the results, although I fully understand your frustration at not being given them.  My opinion is that they should make the results available to you unless there is a compelling reason not to (e.g. their contract with the testing supplier bars them from doing so, copyright , commercial confidentiality &c), but then I believe that in general information should be available to all interested parties unless there is a compelling reason not to.  I'm also aware that a lot of people disagree with me on this and many other matters.

I do think that having given you a commitment to share the results there is an obligation on them to do so.  However, there's an issue of proving the commitment and the standard get out of "That person did not have the authority to make that commitment and is being coached on this.  We are sorry for any confusion this caused."

As for what to do if required to take a psychometric test as part of a selection process, take the test.  Recruitment is an unequal power relationship.  The recruiter has far more power than the recruitee virtually all the time and more so in the early stages.  Recruiters can use any legal test they like to want to select candidates.  You may have some legal challenge against specific tests (e.g. if you can demonstrate that a particular test has been shown to discriminate against your race or gender) but refusing to take a test is a short cut to the rejection pile.  The recruiter is looking to cut down their list of candidates to a manageable level, they are looking for reasons to reject candidates.  By refusing to take the test you are giving them a very clear reason to reject you.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack


maura's picture
Training Badge

What Stephen said.  I used to work for a publisher of psychometric tests, some of which are used in employment screening.  At that publisher, we tightly controlled who had access to the tests themselves, as well as the reports generated by any of the scoring software, because many of them can only be interpreted properly by people with sufficient training in psychology.  Whoever told you you'd get a copy of the report might not have realized that it was a restricted access test.  If you remember the name of the test you took, you can probably google it to find out if it's restricted or not.

CJH0553's picture

Its clear from both of the reply posts that  I made a mistake in its creation.  My interest is not in having a copy of the test, that was a simple enough matter, given it was web based.  Screen shots and/or printing a web page makes making a copy very simple.  What I was seeking was the results from the assessment.  I was interested in the report that analysis my answers and reports a score to the employer.  Thus, my focus was more of if you are going to measure me, shouldn't I have a chance to understand what you measured and your interpretations of the results.  This becomes a Win Win, not a Win Loss as I mentioned in my previous post.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

You seem to have read both my reply and Maura's differently from how I did.  I'll try to restate and summarise:

  • The recruiter is under no obligation to give you the results of the test (unless legislation in your area so compels)
  • It is reasonable for you to ask for the results but not reasonable for you to insist if they decline
  • The reason for the recruiter not supplying you with the results of the test may be (and often, in my experience, is) related to a  requirement placed on them by the test supplier.  Such a requirement may be based on copyright (the results will often include a narrative/analysis which may include material copyrighted to the test supplier or a third party and licensed by the test supplier) or on the fact that a qualified person is required to interpret the test results.  Or it may just be that they are concerned you may use the results as the basis for litigation claiming they misinterpreted the results or the test mis-represented you and so cost them a lot of money to defend the claim.
  • It is possible that the person who told you that you would have access to the results did not know that you would not have access and did not have the authority to commit the company to that.

I hope this is clearer.  Please note that throughout I am referring to the results of the test, not the test itself.



Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

There's no requirement for firms who assess individuals to share all of their data with them, anymore than you are required to "prove" that what you say you have done you have actually done.

An interview is a test, just like a psychometric test is a test. Transparency from a company might be nice in a perfect world, but so would total honesty from interviewees. Lying is rampant in interviews.

So, a rough bargain ensues. The company gives you some benefit of the doubt, even though they know they will never be able to validate what you tell them completely. You give the company some benefit of the doubt to run the process with a healthy bit of self interest incorporated into it.

I wouldn't request waiting on the test. That's you trying to have the process benefit you, but thats not the purpose of the screening process. You asking for it sends a message of fear and arrogance...bad idea.


afmoffa's picture

 "I received an email a few days later informing me that I was no longer a candidate."

That's a regrettable outcome, but it's also likely the end of the story. Once the company is not interested in you, you will be more effective if you stop being interested in them. The HR recruiter committed to giving you the test results. The HR recruiter was mistaken or dishonest, and either way, stop caring about it. You can spend the next week writing the company demanding test results, or you can spend the next week looking for opportunities at companies that will treat you better and that haven't already ruled you out as a candidate.