jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:25 pm

I know when you go in for a pilot interview, you are subject to a battery of tests, including "psychological tests". Could someone please enlighten me as to what these tests consist of? Thanks.
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bsergonomics
Posts: 458
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 5:07 am

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Sun Dec 01, 2002 3:55 pm

Psychometric Testing - The Tabloid Guide

Essentially, the purpose of the tests is to find out what sort of person you are. This is then compared to the results for the type of person who has the right attributes to be a pilot.

I can't give you the details as it's far too early in the morning and the coffee isn't working yet, but there are a whole host of different measurements that can be taken. The usual ones include, for example, Introversion versus Extroversion. The typical questions are of the type, "At a party, are you always the first person on the dance floor?".

The questioning is of the type, "What would you do in this situation?" and you get to respond "Yes" or "No". There is only rarely a "Depends". The science behind these questions (and companies earn a FORTUNE providing these tests) is that each answer provides information on more than one of your attributes. Therefore, be warned that, if you were thinking of answering how you think the ideal pilot would answer, the tests are designed to spot this.
Firstly, you have so-called "Liar tests", which are questions that weed out the downright dishonest and those people who have a 'rose-tinted' view of the world. An example that I've seen is, "I am never late for an appointment." Answering "Yes" indicates that you may be in this category, since it is assumed that everyone has been late for an appointment at least once in their life, irrespective of who was to blame for that tardiness. That said, you can get one of these questions "wrong" without affecting the results significantly. Get them all "wrong" and there may be a question mark against your name.

Secondly, since all of the questions are tests for more than one parameter, erratic answers (as would be found with someone answering for their "ideal" personality rather than themselves) will show up because the results do not fit the patterns for normal humans.

The tests themselves are based on years of research and experience. The size of the battery of tests that you will undergo depends on the company. They range from a 2 page test to 1-2 days.

=======================

Anecdotes

1. Having studied these tests in some depth, I was then subjected to them when I applied for a job with a large British Defence Systems Integrator (can you guess who the company was?). Even before the interview, I had to sit these tests. Lo and behold, the test I sat was 95% common with one specific one I had studied. "Hmm. Who shall I be today?" I got the job. Just wish I'd made the company sit a psychometric test.

2. I applied for a job with a helicopter company in the UK. It turns out that the MD believed deeply in "Scriptology" (is that the right name? It's been quite a while). This is determining your personality from your handwriting. So, part of the interview process was to write a 1 page essay on some subject. This was then sent off to a company to analyse your personality. I didn't get the job.

==========================

I'll try to scribble more when the coffee is working.
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Sun Dec 01, 2002 4:55 pm

Thanks Bsergonomics for your very informative answer. Just curious, If I happen to lean more on the introverted side (specifically, the Myers-Brigg test shows that I'm INTP), is this considered to be points against me if I want to become an airline pilot? I mean, I don't consider myself bad at working with people at all, I'm just a little more of a bookworm rather than Mr. Popular at a party. Most airline pilots I know I believe are ENTJ, but I know some introverts too. Thanks!
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Guest

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Mon Dec 02, 2002 1:40 am

ENFP here.

But aren't the tests just to make sure that you are not mentally unstable?

'Speed
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Mon Dec 02, 2002 6:06 am

I'm just curious to know how they can tell if you're mentally stable or not through some kind of "test".
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bsergonomics
Posts: 458
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 5:07 am

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Mon Dec 02, 2002 7:05 am

These tests are designed to tell what sort of person you are, not your mental state. They will be able to show that you can be erratic, but not that you're going to commit suicide using the company's aeroplane.

As for being introverted, this is not necessarily a problem. In fact, it can be a benefit. The extroverted may be too busy mucking around to notice that there's a fuel leak, for example (it has happened). Basically, you need to demonstrate that, although you're introverted, you can work as a team with one other person (plus ATC, of course). This is a skill that can be learnt, but is essential that it is applied at ALL times. If you're not sure about something, you HAVE to question it, irrespective of the person you are flying with.

It's a common question - who would you rather fly with? Someone who is good fun and you get on with like the proverbial house on fire, or the person who will stop you or the aeroplane flying into the ground at several hundred knots? The ideal situation is both, but not everyone is perfect.

By the way, sorry. The coffee didn't work. I'll try again soon.
The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
 
SkyGuy11
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:09 am

RE: Psychological Evaluation For Pilot Employment

Mon Dec 02, 2002 8:09 am

I'm an INTP. All types have strengths / weaknesses. No type is automatically disqualifying.
.

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