Autozone Application Questionaire


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atblis
August 5, 2007, 10:35 PM
I know similar threads have come up regarding job application interrogations...

To keep this gun related...the obligatory gun question

69. I donít enjoy using guns.
True
False

The rest of the questionnaire is quite intriguing. I've uploaded it as a word file. Check it out here http://www.filebox.vt.edu/users/atblis/AZ_app_questions.doc

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Glockman17366
August 5, 2007, 10:40 PM
I've filled out forms like that before...it's just s half-assed pyschological test to determine if you have a tendency to steal...stuff like that.

I'd just answer the questions truthfully.

Xenia
August 5, 2007, 11:26 PM
those "psychological tests" are lacking in a lot of credibility and I think are really a violation of privacy. I wish ACLU would stop up on that one.

Autolycus
August 6, 2007, 12:11 AM
Why are they a violation of privacy? If you do not like it do not fill it out.

pdowg881
August 6, 2007, 12:22 AM
Those are some pretty obtrusive questions. They may think somethings wrong with you if don't fill it out. The expectation of privacy has changed.

Phaetos
August 6, 2007, 12:33 AM
Trick question. The correct way to read that is "I do not enjoy using guns." First instinct is to answer True. We don't tend to read the "not" into the equation. So for us gunnies, the correct answer would be False, meaning "Yes, I enjoy using guns". Now what is the definition of the word "use" in this question? Recreation or illegal?

Phaetos
August 6, 2007, 12:38 AM
And yes, that is one of those stupid psych-exam questionnaires they send off to some third-party company that tells them whether you will be a risk or not. I did one of these for Wells-Fargo when I applied to be a guard for them, it was 10 pages of that crap. I kid you not. I answered everything truthfully, but you had to watch the questions. They would ask the same question 3 different ways to get you tripped up and answer it diffrently. Then another set of questions would directly contradict the previous set of how you answered them. It was stupid. Needless to say, I failed. Go figure. They really don't want you to answer truthfully because if you do, then you are still a risk. Stupid :banghead:

pdowg881
August 6, 2007, 12:40 AM
Some of those questions are pretty ambigious. The answers you select can be interperetd as negative whether you said true or false.

IA_farmboy
August 6, 2007, 01:54 AM
I looked at the questionnaire and thought they are trying to find out if you are likely to steal from them, be rude to the customers, or not show up to work on time.

I had a questionnaire for a computer technical position. I found one question amusing. It asked if a printer plugs into the serial port, the parallel port, or ethernet port. I was torn on how to answer that since I knew most people plug their printers into a parallel port but I have never plugged any of my printers into a parallel port. I've had many serial port printers and not too long ago bought one that had an ethernet port. The questionnaire must have also been quite old since most people use USB now.

These questionnaires just allow the HR people to get lazy on their jobs. Rather than actually interviewing the person they have a multiple choice quiz do the job for them. Anyone with half a brain is going to figure out the "right" way to answer these questions to get a job. They are relying on the honesty of the applicant to screen themselves. In that case the dishonest are the ones most likely to get hired.

With loaded questions like "Do you play with guns?" it is difficult to defend ones position if only offered a yes/no choice. This is like another thread where a physician asks if there are guns in the home. If you answer yes then you must be a bad person. If you don't answer the question, because you feel it is not appropriate, then you are a bad person. If you lie and say there is not a gun in the home then you are a good, but ultimately dishonest, person.

I'm glad I've found a career and not just another "job" where they actually tried to get to know who you are with a face to face interview. I don't know if I'd have the patience to go through such an irrelevant and easily gamed filtering process like that questionnaire again. My only consolation is that companies that use these questionnaires undoubtedly spend a nontrivial amount of money to process these "paper interviews" and end up with sub-par employees as a result of relying on such a crappy process. They deserve what they get.

Cannonball888
August 6, 2007, 08:27 AM
69. I don’t enjoy using guns.
True
False

Edit the question to read " I don't enjoy using pricing guns" and circle false. You're sure to be hired. :p

buzz_knox
August 6, 2007, 08:29 AM
The question is designed to test whether you are likely to commit violence in the workplace. It's based off a study that "showed" that interest in firearms is one sign of a potential workplace killer.

Glockman17366
August 6, 2007, 08:55 AM
"those "psychological tests" are lacking in a lot of credibility and I think are really a violation of privacy. I wish ACLU would stop up on that one."

Xenia, unfortunately, the ACLU cannot do anything in this case...this is not a governmental issue.

I suppose if you didn't get the job, you could sue the company who devised the test. But you'd have to prove the test was the reason you weren't hired.

leadcounsel
August 6, 2007, 09:13 AM
I have a degree in Sociology and have studied the proper way to write questionnaires. It is problematic for several reasons; first it is completely irrelevant for a pre-employment question, unless the job requires the use of firearms (eg. store guard). It is also poorly written and leading. "I do not enjoy using guns." Well, it's pretty easy to tell the authors stance so if a person wants to answer what he thinks the right answer is, anyone can see that from the way the question is written AND the context (pre-employment application) you can guess the best answer is TRUE.

The point of questionnaires is to get truthful answers. This one will get only answers the prospects think the author wants.

SSN Vet
August 6, 2007, 10:07 AM
"those "psychological tests" are lacking in a lot of credibility and I think are really a violation of privacy. I wish ACLU would stop up on that one."

For cryin' out loud if you don't want to answer their stupid questions, tear up the form and tell them to pack sand......

Who said you had a "right" to force them to give you a job and cut you a pay check every week on your terms.

Here's your "civil liberty" .... you can spout off at the mouth and criticize them...you can picket their stores....you can boycott them....etc...

But stop trying to curtail the liberties of others in the private sector with the "rekin' frekin'" lawyers and thought police.

There is such a thing as freedom of association and if they don't want to work with "gun nuts" to heck with them.

The kind of abuse of government power your advocating will come right back at you.....and you won't like it one little bit when it does. If the government is powerful enough to curtail their liberties, you better believe they'll come for yours next.

I took one of those stupid tests about ten years ago when I was in between jobs and hard up enough to consider an "assistant manager" position at Woodworkers Warehouse. After all the monkey business, I must have passed the test because they offered me the position. And what an offer! When I back calculated the salary for all extra hours they expected....it came out to a whopping $9/hour....and then they wanted to take half of that back to pay for the lousy health insurance plan they offered.

I exercised my "liberty" and told them "no thanks".

And guess what? They went the way of the dinosaur via. chapter 7.

RoadkingLarry
August 6, 2007, 10:18 AM
I strongly agree with the opinion of my brother bubblehead.

If you don't like the terms of employment walk on down the street till you find one you do like.

Big Calhoun
August 6, 2007, 11:18 AM
I always loved this psychological tests, they can be manipulated so easily. For the most part, it's the same basic set of questions just worded differently. If you answer some in the set differently than others in the same set, then it's 'supposed' to show deceitfulness. A lot of the questions are also relational: someone who feels their life isn't fine, indicates they do lose their temper, does enjoy guns, and likes to do a lot of activities alone could be interpreted as a loner with some psycho tendenancies.

If you pay attention to the questions and think of it in relation to the job you're applying for, you can also use these things to your advantage.

TehK1w1
August 6, 2007, 11:20 AM
"I like to spend my free time outdoors" What does this have to do with anything? for that matter, most of those questions are absolutely ridiculous.

atblis
August 6, 2007, 11:24 AM
Those questions just left a bad taste in my mouth.

I thought all those questions about bars/parties were kinda odd. I like to sit on my couch and get blasted so of course I answered all indicating that I don't go to bars/parties.

They had several final questions that I didn't include. They were something like this.

Did you answer all of the questions T/F?

Did you understand all of the questions? T/F

Did you answer all of the questions truthfully T/F?

Then there was something that basically asked if you had a problem with the questions (basically did you think they were intrusive, prying, etc.). If you answered affirmative, they popped up a text box where you were free to rant about your right to privacy and the ACLU (which I did). So, they probably won't be calling me back for a job.

I wouldn't steal from them, but I tend to be a bit on the irreverent side towards corporate entities.

xjchief
August 6, 2007, 05:19 PM
My favorite question from a test that the FAA came up with 50 or so years ago and still administers to newly hired air traffic controllers:

I enjoy wearing women's shoes. True or False.

The women I work with were scared to death to answer that they enjoyed wearing women's shoes. :what:

Correia
August 6, 2007, 05:48 PM
I enjoy wearing women's shoes. True or False. Well, technically they may be women's high heels, but if they were custom made for a drag queen with size 15 feet, then they're still men's shoes. So False. :eek:

Tests like this are asinine. I had to take one like this for a police department. It was, I kid you not, 1,000 questions long. It was a scantron test, where you fill in the those little bubbles with a #2 pencil. By the end, my hand absolutely ached from filling in stupid bubbles.

"I like to burn things, like people's pets." True or False
"I have dreams about killing my coworkers with a Garden Weasel." True or False
"I find myself aroused by manatees." True or False.

On and on and on, until your brain turns to mush, and you really are trying to remember how you answered about that damn manatee 757 questions ago.

Who the hell thinks these things are a good idea?

ConfuseUs
August 6, 2007, 06:06 PM
Since the truly nutty are still getting hired I think the questionaires are of dubious value at best. Nevertheless, it looks like HR is "doing something" so they will continue to use them in the hiring process.

A couple of questionable responses will not mean much because the questionaire data goes into a multivariate model. (actually, a "perfect" is a red flag). This is presuming that all answers to the questions are honest. What HR will do with one or two such answers is ask a couple of follow up questions. A regular pattern of "bad" responses and HR decides you are not worth their time.

Autozone may have found that a correlation exists between employees who said they enjoy using guns and good job performance. OTOH, Autozone may have someone who is bent on eliminating applicants who own guns from their workforce. Such a person is not sharp enough to achieve that goal, IMHO.

I usually assume that telling the HR of a prospective employer that I own guns and like to shoot during the application process is a guarantee of no employment and color my answers accordingly. Generating a consistent pattern of gun/weapon related answers is not difficult, you just remember that the correct answer to any such question is "I am an unarmed sheep".

goings_51
August 6, 2007, 06:17 PM
The point of questionnaires is to get truthful answers. This one will get only answers the prospects think the author wants.

They've actually proven that if you're smart enough to answer the question "correctly", truthful or not, that you make just as good of an employee as someone who answered "correctly" and told the truth.

These tests are legal, but the bar is pretty high as far as the process the validation process. Most of the tests don't really meet the bar. Even with the best interviewer and the best tests, good hiring is still a crapshoot and they know it. They just want every edge they can get.

dralarms
August 6, 2007, 06:23 PM
I used to be in mgt at Auto Zone, that same "test" was around when I was there. The questions mean NOTHING. It's the answers. If you study this thing you will find it's a "honesty test" and that's all.

ConfuseUs
August 6, 2007, 06:47 PM
I guess so long as they can show a statistically significant decline in losses due to employee theft then yes, they are reducing the employee related loss risk and are thus taking less of a crapshoot than without. I think that the difference is marginal enough to make it not worthwhile for a $8.50/hr retail position.

When I worked in retail I saw enough employee theft and general employee nuttiness to believe that the test is a waste of time. Generally people will be on their best behavior prior to getting hired; that includes the "honesty" test as well. After about a month on the job the real employee (good or bad) starts to come out. The 90 day probation period is the real test of honesty, reliability, etc. unless you have numerous stellar references from reliable sources.

Henry Bowman
August 6, 2007, 09:13 PM
Maybe they just want to know if you have an aptitude for using that trigger actuated bar code scanner thingie.

Gudis
August 6, 2007, 10:05 PM
I just figured they wanted to know if the employee is honest; who the hell doesn't enjoy using guns? No one I would want working for me...

tinygnat219
August 6, 2007, 10:11 PM
atblis,

Something tells me you can do better than working for Autozone.

oldgold
August 6, 2007, 11:36 PM
23. Fishing is a lot of fun. .....This question really bothered me ............

Until I thought about shooting fish in a barrel.......

koja48
August 6, 2007, 11:45 PM
Now that's just sick . . . being an old Montana boy, well, sheep . . . now, they're somethin' . . . oh, & Correia, any good tips on how to clean a computer keyboard after soda has been sprayed all over it?

ArfinGreebly
August 6, 2007, 11:53 PM
I've worked with some of the goofballs that think up these tests.

Well, maybe not goofballs. Pretentious, narcissistic, egotistical poseurs.

I've actually sat and listened to them try to explain why such-and-such a question will discover hidden urges and reveal instabilities.

When asked about the pervasive and widespread failures of such tests to actually select desirable employees, they would blather on about "not yet an exact science."

What was funnier than hell was having two different "experts" -- neither of whom had constructed the test -- interpret the results of a given submission. The interpretations were at considerable variance from one another, to the point that you'd believe they were talking about two very different subjects.

Here they were, trying to predict the behavior of someone they'd never met, using questions invented from the preconceptions of a guy who'd set aside reality in favor of his personal hobby horse, evaluating the answers according to their own preconceptions and hobby horses.

Just wow.

Durruti
August 7, 2007, 08:33 AM
We discussed these types of questions a few years back when I was getting my psychology degree. They're designed to gauge different things, such as how well you'll deal with customers (30. It is easy for me to talk with strangers), how hard you'll work (39. I like to daydream when I have nothing else to do), if you're likely to steal from them (45. I understand how someone could get into the habit of shoplifting, without really meaning to), etc.

Of course, if you're paying attention, you'll realize that there are clearly "right" and "wrong" answers. To compensate for this, they put in questions designed solely to see if you're lying. These are questions like "I never lose my temper." Anyone who's being honest has to mark false. But if you're trying to make yourself look good, you might mark true. So if you mark all "correct" answers on the other questions, but then fail this honesty section, they'll reject your application.

As for questions like "I donít enjoy using guns" and "I enjoy music": if I had to guess I'd say those are throwaway questions. If they mix the real questions in with a bunch of crap, it might be difficult for you to decide what they're getting at. I'm guessing those questions don't mean anything.

Sometimes these tests can be hard to fool. Of course, on the other hand the test's authors might not really know what they're doing. Bottom line: be honest.

KD5NRH
August 7, 2007, 08:45 AM
"I have dreams about killing my coworkers with a Garden Weasel." True or False

Write in, "Well, not up to now, but since you mention it, get back to me in the morning."

Citroen
August 7, 2007, 10:00 AM
A number of years ago, when the polygraph went away as a part of the pre-employment process (Federal Law), my agency was commissioned to find an alternative from the many pen and pencil honesty tests that hit the market. One of the team was a former polygraph examiner (who was the very best I have ever worked with!!) so we did a pretty decent job reviewing the tests.

There was one test that we found quite good - weighed carefully for "false postitives" by asking the same general question several different ways. The best way to "fail" a well done test is to try to answer as you think the company wants. Best way to pass is to answer truthfully.

The best tests are not "graded" by the client company but are sent to the test "owner" for review. Client company receives a recommendation from the reviewer as to whether the person is "high risk" or otherwise - seldom does the review give a "hire or don't hire" statement.

Some companies try to avoid the fees involved and will develop their own tests. From what I have seen of AutoZone I would suspect that they did just that. Their shrink, by the way, is quite high for their industry.

A job interview, just like a first date, is the place you should really be honest and be yourself - if you want to be happy with the outcome!

John
Charlotte, NC

FieroCDSP
August 7, 2007, 10:41 AM
These questionnaires just allow the HR people to get lazy on their jobs. Rather than actually interviewing the person they have a multiple choice quiz do the job for them. Anyone with half a brain is going to figure out the "right" way to answer these questions to get a job. They are relying on the honesty of the applicant to screen themselves. In that case the dishonest are the ones most likely to get hired.

I think it was mentioned how these tests only seem to weed out the hard workers and honest applicants, from the ones we really want. The thieves and lazy bums. My company's test has the 5-spot answers for each question. Mostly disagree, slightly disagree, not sure/don't know, slightly agree, mostly agree. My last attempt at it was miserable. I was applying for a position in another store in the chain, for which I have to re-apply, and I went in with my usual open-mindset that I live with every day. I often consider both sides to a situation before deciding. Well, I scored a 9 out of over a hundred possible points. That's after 8 years and plenty of customers later. I answered the not sure for many of them, so that's what did it, as it scores -2,-1,0,1,2 or something like that, so most of my answers were worth zero.

Point is, this test is not effective, as I'm sure you'll agree when you think of some retail employees.

SSN Vet
August 7, 2007, 11:28 AM
When asked about the pervasive and widespread failures of such tests to actually select desirable employees, they would blather on about "not yet an exact science."

Way back when....I had to take a year of Social Science courses to "become a well rounded individual" before I could start crunching differential equations. I took the same prof. 3 times because he was fairly interesting and his testing and grading was straight forward. And Lord knows, I could really use a few easy A's to bolster my g.p.a.

Chief among the things I was privy to "learn" about {such as Oedipus complex, gang rape in mallard ducks, Australopithecus Robustus (still looks like an ape to me), and Australopithecus africanus (still looks like a chimp to me), etc...} was one little tid bit that wasn't even part of the syllabus.

One day the prof. admitted that all social scientist suffer from "physics envy". He went on to explain that the "hard" sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc...) are able to strictly follow scientific methods (repeatable experiments, repeatable measurements, etc...) that yielded solid conclusions and "proveable" laws. Where in the social sciences, they have to rely largely on speculation and the "interpretation" of statistical data to come up with theories that are difficult if not impossible to prove.

Now to make it gun related...statistics and speculation are the chief tools of the "social engineers" who draft up failed policies like the D.C. Firearms ban.

No offense to those who study the social sciences....I think their work is interesting and can be beneficial, so long as it is seasoned with a healthy sprinkling of humility and honesty, not calling speculation fact and conjecture law.

And I'm reminded once again how happy I am that I studied engineering. :)

DRZinn
August 7, 2007, 11:55 AM
A well-designed test is far from worthless. I had to take one for embassy duty, and the medical officer kindly offered to read back the results to anyone interested. I was interested, and he proceeded to describe me to a T - not with vague generalities, but described exactly what my personality was like, to the extent of "You're a little x, but try to appear more y."

win71
August 7, 2007, 03:23 PM
Maybe they just want to know if you have an aptitude for using that trigger actuated bar code scanner thingie.That's it in a nut shell. It's all about money and production. Anybody that can point and shoot would obviously be a pricing wizard. This opposed to the applicant who never even owned a John Wayne gun set. Can you imagine the company expense in his training..........
Actually those types of questioners are usually designed to weed out the really weird applicants and not necessarily to rank qualified ones.

kellyj00
August 7, 2007, 04:06 PM
autozone will also run a credit check on you if you're going into a management position.

A friend's wife worked there. As a general employee, nobody cared what she did...but when she was promoted to management she had to take a lot of exams, a drug test and sign off on a Credit check. She quit a few months after the promotion, maybe because she made an ok clerk to handle cash but didn't know the first thing about cars or parts...let alone retail management. She was 21 yrs old....she's a stay at home mom now.

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