'Distraction test' developed for jobseekers

02-06-2007

'Distraction test' developed for jobseekers
Jobseekers could now be subject to a distraction test when going through the interview process with a potential employer.

Professor Nilli Lavie from University College London developed the computer-based test and said it would monitor participants' accuracy and reaction times when they are distracted.

In the experiment, 61 people had to select a letter that was among a circle of other letters - this took place while letters were flashed on the outside of the computer screen as a distractive measure.

Ms Lavie said: "People come away from our test thinking they've done really well and haven't been distracted at all when in fact their response times increase and they tend to make more mistakes; showing that they have been distracted. So the test is objective and there's no way of doctoring the results.

"This test could act as another form of psychometric testing for employers who want to know how focused the staff they are hiring are likely to be. Some jobs can be undertaken very well even if you are prone to being distracted.

"For example, you can be a great scientist or writer and still be absent-minded. But there are many areas where productivity critically depends on the ability of staff to stay focused, yet current psychometric tests do not measure it."

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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