| New interview test aims to 'x-ray the minds' of candidates

New interview test aims to 'x-ray the minds' of candidates

Would you find it useful to know if your candidate had an imaginary twin?

With the ebb and flow of hiring fads putting curveballs under the spotlight last year, the latest rage is psychologically profiling your candidates - gathering an ‘x-ray of the subconscious mind’.

According to the Daily Telegraph, some of the UK’s largest employers are using the ‘Cambridge code’ a psychometric test that analyses a person’s characteristics through a set of 55 questions. The test is aimed at uncovering ‘subconscious latent potential’.

To put it simply, the code aims to extract jobseekers whose credentials look good but whose characteristics could be a liability in the workplace. Developers also say that the test can identify mental health problems.

The 30-minute online assessment, which is being used by British Government departments as well as FTSE fims to analyse prospective staff, includes questions such as: ‘Have you ever had an imaginary twin?’

Other questions include: ‘When your boyfriend/ girlfriend/partner/sibling/parent wants you to do something that makes them happy, can you say 'no' even if saying 'yes' puts your needs second?’ and ‘Remember the moment when you first lost out to a rival. What did you do?’

The test, developed by a team of researchers at Cambridge University led by Drs Curly Moloney and Emma Loveridge, aims to tease out candidates underlying motivations.

“Each question tells us a small thing but when put with other answers, it becomes a small piece in a big picture,” Dr Moloney told the Daily Telegraph.

"Our algorithm has enabled a new approach to assessing individuals providing an x-ray of the subconscious mind."

The company says that the test aims to show candidates resilience, potential and how they deal with authority - traits not easily gleaned from an interview. The questions also aim to find out how good applicants are at managing people and dealing with rivalries.

It’s also hoped to be used by GPs to evaluate the mental health of their patients.

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The test however has drawn criticism, with Inc contributor and President of advisory company Howard Raucous, Chris Matyszczyk wary of the intrusive nature of the assessment.

“I've come here for a job, not a shrink session,” he wrote. Citing the fact that Dr Curly Moloney hired two candidates using the code – without ever meeting them - he raises the point that companies are just using the test to hire numbers, not individuals.

So, will you be using the Cambridge Code to make your next hire? Tell us in the comments…

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Comments (1)

  • Ruth Austin
    Ruth Austin
    Tue, 31 Jul 2018 3:35pm BST
    I would have serious concerns about using this test alone. It asks very personal questions. A test that determines how well someone may fit into a team or organisation could be useful but this seems extremely intrusive.

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