[IPAC-List] applicants misrepresenting their experience

Terry McKinney rastmckinney at aol.com
Fri Sep 12 16:19:36 EDT 2014

Keith - Thanks for the nod.  List - I am a strong supporter of "bogus items" when using self reports.  We can't stop folks from being lairs, but we make it harder.

Terry McKinney

RASTMcKinney at aol.com

-----Original Message-----
From: keith.poole <keith.poole at phoenix.gov>
To: ipac-list <ipac-list at ipacweb.org>
Sent: Fri, Sep 12, 2014 8:46 am
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] applicants misrepresenting their experience

Some of the things we have done:

1) Avoid overly general questions.  Insteadof "How many years of budget exp do you possess, " change tosomething like "Indicate the budget responsibilities below for whichyou have at least 1 year of experience; mark all that apply".  Thenbe sure to list one or two items that almost everyone has done even ifyou don't particularly care about them for screening (Monitor overtime;monitor the supplies budget; compile program statistics...whatever appliesin your world), in addition to the "real" items you do care about. We've found that the former phrasing has too many interpretations. The Secretary that monitors the tiny supplies budget for 5 yearswill mark "5 yrs budget exp" and in their mind, they are.  Withthe latter phrasing, if you provide at least some answers they can respondaffirmatively to, even if it's not weighted that much in your screening,it may help with applicants from feeling like they have to inflate theirexp....("I can't just say 'No experience'").

2) Use of "attention to detail"questions (aka "bogus questions").  "How many yearsof exp do you possess using Piper Legal Services Software", or "RepairingEagle engines" or "operating a McKinney 2000" (nod to Mr.Terry McKinney for that one).  None of these exist.  If the applicantsays they have experience, we have the option to screen them out, assumingthe job requires attention to detail...we avoid saying anything like "youlied" or "you exaggerated".

3) Using short open-ended answers, inaddition to radio-button screening questions.  "In 50 words orless, describe how you have used an Access database".  You'llget answers from "enter new registrants and print weekly reports"to "created a database and built queries and reports to track employeecertificationd and training requirements."

4) Use screening questions where theapplicant has to complete a work sample, like put 4 names in alphabeticalorder, add up several numbers or cash transactions, identify the sentencethat has improper grammar.  This may be approaching an unproctoredtest, but the # of questions is probably not a large enough sample to reallycall it a test...we still call it a skills screening questionnaire.  Yes,applicants can get help or look up answers, but in the times we've usedit, we usually find a decent distribution of 'scores.'   We addedapprox 15 questions along this line to an advanced clerical position recently...Ithink maybe 60% got all correct, but there were some that only got 6-7correct.  It's one of those things, people who don't know, don't knowthat they don't know.

Keith Poole
Human Resources Supervisor
City of Phoenix HR Department
135 N 2nd Ave
Phoenix, AZ  85003
Phone: (602) 262-7140
Fax: (602) 495-5498
Email:  keith.poole at phoenix.gov

From:       "Natasha K. Riley"<Natasha.Riley at omes.ok.gov>
To:       "ipac-list at ipacweb.org"<ipac-list at ipacweb.org>, 
Date:       09/11/2014 07:20 AM
Subject:       [IPAC-List]applicants misrepresenting their experience
Sent by:       "IPAC-List"<ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org>

IPAC List:
We have begun using experience-based questionnairesto rank candidates for clerical and entry level jobs where we had usedmultiple-choice tests before.  The questionnaire is part of each applicationsubmitted, and a separate application is required for each posted vacancyfor which the applicant wants to be considered.  For those of youusing these types of questionnaires, I’m wondering what you do when yousee a candidate with applications for several vacancies in the same joband the answers they give are not consistent from application to application. So, it appears that the applicant is misrepresenting his experienceby giving different answers to the same questions.  Do you have proceduresin place to catch this?  What do you do with the applications whenyou find this?  Do you remove the candidate from the lists?  Ifso, do they have appeal rights?
Thanks in advance for weighing in on this!
Natasha Riley
Director of Assessment and TestingServices
State of Oklahoma
Human Capital Management
Office of Management and EnterpriseServices
natasha.riley at omes.ok.gov  
IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

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