Monthly Archives: September 2009

How to beat and pass psychometric tests

Psychometric tests are sometimes used by firms in addition to other interviewing procedures. Hiring managers hope that these tests will help them assess the suitability of a particular candidate.

Before I discuss the origins, claims, dubious utility of psychometric tests and unveil strategies to “pass” them, consider the following passage of a New York Times interview with Lawrence W. Kellner CEO of Continental Airlines.

Q. How do you hire?

A. I don’t believe — and I probably learned this through experience — that any one-hour or two-hour interview can let me figure out, “Yeah, that person is going to be really successful.” What I’ve found is that step one is, “O.K., have I worked with somebody who could fill this job who’s really good?” Because I’ve found my success rate is dramatically higher going that route. If not, the second step is to widen the net to people who I trust, and look for people they’ve worked with. Our third net is we try to find somebody we know and trust who knows the person we’re thinking of hiring. The best possible interview is minuscule in value compared to somebody who’s got even a couple of months of work experience with somebody, who’s actually watched how they work.

Here is an example of a question you will find in a psychometric test.

Personality test

So how might you answer this and hundreds of similar questions that make-up such test?

The strategy you is available for download on Click on the picture below!

Presentation at “Cultura Democratica”

Presentation / Presentazione del 12/Sept/2009

English / Italiano (sotto il video)

The organisers had given me two hours to present on communication in politics (including campaigning through social media).

I settled upon a flexible road-map because I wanted to create an opportunity for the participants to express their opinions. Most presentations, espescially in continental Europe tend to be monologues where the audience sits passively and is expected to absorb dense and sometimes deliberately obscure.

In the end, the presentation was thus:

Part 1) “If you (the audience) were the communications team of your party’s candidate, and your candidate had to participate in a presidential debate in a month from now: what would you do; what would you suggest; what would your strategy be?

Part 2) Focus on, where I state that the genius of the campaign was to reduce the distance between “emotion” and “action”.

Part 3) At the request of the audience, we then focused on the French Presidential Debate between Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy. In particular, I demonstrate how Mr Sarkozy was far more prepared and had a communications strategy to meet this challenge. (see an earlier post on Presidential Debates)

What you see in the video below are excerpts of the presentation (in Italian). For the entire 2-hours presentation click here.

Special thanks to my "mentor" Brunella Devoti who dealt with the logistics throughout the conference and introduced my talk.

Questo e’ il reso-conto del mio intervento a Cortona a l’occasione dell’evento “Cultura Democratica”

Come accade spesso (e a maggior ragione in Europa continentale), questo tipo di presentazione si trasforma in un diluvio di informazione che per il pubblico e’ difficile da gestire. C’e’ da scommettere che in certi casi, l’opacita’ e la densita’ della presentazione e’ il risultato, non di un presentatore che non a cura di chi lo ascolta, ma, che sono volute.

Decidetti dunque di far partecipare il pubblico; di dare lui l’opportunita’ di esprimersi, di rivelare quante opinioni contrastanti possano esserci e di diriggere il dibattito. Il meta-messaggio che volli trasmettere tramite l’interazione, e’ che la comunicazione in politica e’ un tema molto complesso.

Percio’, la sessione fu divisa in tre parti:

1) “Se voi foste i consiglieri di un candidato, e che questo candidato dovra’ affrontare il suo avversario in un dibattito televisivo in un mese da oggi; cosa gli consigliereste di fare?

2) Il caso di e come il sito ha accorciato le distanza tra “emozione” e “azione”.

3) Per decisione del pubblico, e’ stato approfondito e in fine dimostrato che Nicolas Sarkozy fu molto piu preparato di Segolene Royal durante il dibattito presidenziale del 2005. (Articolo sul tema Presidential Debates).

Tutta la presentazione (2 ore) puo’ essere vista cliccando qui (richiede quicktime).

Vorrei ringraziare Brunella Devoti, il mio "tutor" a Cortona per il suo aiuto e professionalismo. 

Curiosités: Un Rond-Point en Angleterre

Un des plus fameux rond-points en Angleterre

Aprés s’être habitué à la conduite sur le “mauvais côté de route” il faut aussi se familiariser avec les certaines spécialités locales telles les rond-points. Ceci peuvent se révéler trés farfelus comme nous l’a indiqué une internaute nomée Pia qui nous a fait parvenir ce document en version pdf (cliquez sur l’image ci-dessou).

“Ils sont fous ces Anglais” comme dirait Obelix.

Ce rond-point se trouve pres de Swindon dans le Wilshire et est connu sous le nom de “Magic Roundabout”. Il a vu le jour en 1972 et, selon le Highway Insurance Agency, il est le septième endroit le plus apprehendé pas les automobilistes britanniques.

Voici comment il peut être négocié.


BBC Wiltshire Video: 1972 Points West TV report (Anglais)

BBC Wiltshire History of the Magic Roundabout (Anglais)

Magic Roundabout video on Swindon Viewpoint (Anglais)

Magic Roundabout, Swindon Web (Anglais)

The Magic Roundabout at Swindon (Anglais)

GPS Drawing tour around Magic Roundabout (Anglais)

Google Maps image par satellite

Highway Insurance Agency (Anglais)

Rondpoint en Angleterre (pdf)

Swindon, site officiel (Anglais)

Wilshire, site touristique (Anglais)