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 06-07-2012, 06:56 PM #121 grinder     Join Date: May 2012 Posts: 571 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question tfh - I don't think so. They are not testing that logical concept at all.
06-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #122
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan Interesting take - I definitely disagree with you. Someone "analytically-minded" is exactly the kind of person who can make good judgements based on limited data to come to confident conclusions, and defend them well with a clear rationale. Which means they have the capacity to dismiss data when it truly is inconclusive (Question 1), or leverage the data to defend the decision when there clearly is enough to go on (Question 2). (I feel, based on another post you also made ITT, you are somehow equating "analytical thinking" with "being good at number-crunching") People choosing "D" for Question 2 saying there is "not enough info either way" are, imo, probably not very strong analytical thinkers.
This. FFS it asks which is most likely, not which is a lock you'd bet your life on. If you assign probabilities to A, B, and C and you come up with 33.3% for each then go ahead and pick D. I suppose something like 40/40/20 would make D correct as well. But if you can assign one a greater probability than the rest, that should be your choice.

Making assumptions and bringing in outside information is implied. How much do others read? Nothing in the scenario addresses this, so does that automatically make D correct? What if the scenario straight up said they read 100 books per day? Does that make it safe to say they read more than others or do we still pick D because for all we know others read 1000 books per day? I think you have to take into account what you know about the world.

So given the second question, I think B is automatically ruled out even before we have any information. The range of B is just too narrow compared to A or C. You'd have to define "reading as much as others" to mean "reading somewhere between 33-66% of the population." Even if you want to assign some sort of small range to B, that's a ridiculous stretch. Unless we get some very specific information, which we don't, that will never be correct. So we're really just looking for any information at all to choose between A or C, and given the fact that people hardly read at all anymore, I think this is a clear A for the reasons already presented in this thread.

The first question is a lot more interesting. I'll start off by saying this though, and I'm putting it in bold so that if you read nothing else in this tl;dr post you'll read this key point: If you chose A-C for the second question, but D for the first question, your logic is most likely inconsistent. Because in either case there's hardly much information to go off of. You don't get A-C for the second question unless you agree that even a small favorite should be enough to justify an answer. The problem with the first question is that given what is true about most people's attitudes towards drinking, a huge range is completely unaccounted for in the possible answers. Most people are either indifferent towards drinking or approve of responsible drinking. But that doesn't mean one of the A-C answers aren't more likely. Even given no information we can assign probabilities to each of these. I would say at least a few % of the population discourage drinking. Followed by less than 1% of the population encouraging drinking (pretty much just college students). Also less than 1% but I think slightly less than encouraging drinking are people who straight up forbid drinking (super religious types or those with bad alcohol experiences). I'm not completely convinced A is less than C but I am convinced B is much more likely than both.

That makes this question even easier to answer though. It's deceiving because one answer is maybe only a percentage or so more likely than another, and that may encourage you to pick D, but that small percentage makes option B several times more likely. With no other information I think B is correct. In fact it would take a lot of information to make anything other than B correct. Clearly there's not a lot of information in this scenario.

B-A

 06-07-2012, 07:08 PM #123 Carpal \'Tunnel     Join Date: Apr 2005 Location: Lost In Translation Posts: 25,738 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question If I am a manager looking to hire someone, I am thinking to myself while reading everyone's answers, "is this the guy I want sitting next to me at the Wednesday morning meeting when I have a pile of work waiting for me to get back to at my desk?" In the case of DoTheMath, that answer is emphatically no.
 06-07-2012, 07:20 PM #124 adept     Join Date: Dec 2007 Posts: 853 They don't drink much themselves but aren't hugely against it. Buying booze as a gift suggests international travel and duty free, and since there is a strict limit on what you can bring back you wouldn't waste it on a gift if you were a serious drinker. On the other hand if you're massively anti-alcohol you don't buy booze as a gift. So I guess B. Then again I live in a small country with high alcohol taxes so this might be clouding my judgment.
 06-07-2012, 07:31 PM #125 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Apr 2009 Location: canada Posts: 4,668 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question i think they read less than others. if they were readers at all they wouldn't be admiring the book right now, they would have already admired it when they cracked it open to read on the flight home. and they probably discourage drinking alcohol since they aren't drinkers. if they were drinkers they would be pouring a drink after a flight home, not admiring a suit and book. and it wouldn't make sense for them to be drinkers but not have booze at home, they just got back from a place where they bought whiskey so they could have brought something for themselves.
06-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #126
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[QUOTE=JeremyLinFan;33168682]What if "median" = "Others"? Does A work for you then?
If you mean that A = read more then the median amount
B = read exactly the median amount, and
C =Read less than the median amount, then yes, A is obviously correct.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan Strange this needs to be emphasized... but part of the "analytics" in coming to a "correct" conclusion is taking the context into consideration as well.
Of course. That is why I think the inclusion of B as a possible answer leads to ambiguity that wouldn't exist if the only answers possible were A, C and D. There would seem to be almost no practical reason to ask whether the quantity of reading falls into one of two broad ranges or exactly matches the point between those ranges. Therefore we don't know the delineation between A and B, so we cannot tell which is more probable, hence D.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan Do you think in a job interview for what was this, HR? That if you brought up the "ambiguous definition of the word 'reads', could be amount of words, could be pages"... that this would be considered "strong, analytical" reasoning? You would look like a fool, and for good reason, as it would be weak analysis and misapplied reasoning for that context (falling squarely into the 'over-thinking' category).
Obviously that is not the ambiguty I would lead with in an interview, nor is it what I led with here. That particular discusion only comes up in a more detailed discussion of ambiguities.

As it happens, I have had some training in recruiting, spent some time as a manager with candidate selection responsibility, and most recently served on hiring committees for the Chief Executive and other senior management positions at a largish (annual budget in upper nine figures) corporation. My oldest daughter did her post-grad studies in HR managment, and now holds an HR position in the national head office of a large, well-known corporation.

IME, recruiters have to deal with a number of types of ambiguity. For any given position, the first ambiguity to look out for comes from the prospective employer. It is ambiguity about the sort of candidate being sought, and/or the duties/terms of employment. A good recruiter does not respond to such ambiguities by making assumptions, but rather works with the client to clarify the ambiguites.

The second instance of ambiguity comes in the initial material from/about prospective candidates. Depending on a number of factors, the appropriate response to such ambiguity may be to make temporary assumptions, which do not disqualify the candidate but which are noted for follow-up, to make assumptions that disqualify the candidate (generally, treat ambiguity in an application as a negative - a sign of poor communcations skills or an attempt to hide things), or to contact the applicant for clarification. A good recruiter must form impressions from the incomplete material in a resume or appplication, but must be careful to form that opinion from information that is actually present. One thing a recruiter must be on the lookout for is information that is intentionally implied but never explicitly stated. Such information is most often misleading.

Ambiguity from a candidate once they have passed the initial screening is always something to pounce on. Ambiguity in responses to interview questions can be a key motivator to augment standardized questions with targeted follow-up questions. Too much ambiguity from a candidate in an interview is a red flag.

06-07-2012, 08:07 PM   #127
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by gregorio 25% of people in US haven't read a book in the past year. Median # of books read is 4. Median # of books read by those who have read at least one book is 7. The bar is not that high to rad more than most. (For people who have recently purchased a suit for a son or daughter, that number rises to 11.)
Surely you just made this up, right?

06-07-2012, 08:33 PM   #128
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan DTM - I really want you to apply for the job OP did, get an interview, and go through this entire thought process with them, and report back!
LOL, I'd love to, but I haven't held a position that junior in about 30 years, and wouldn't want to waste the employer's time. However, If the employer wanted to do this as a fun exercise, I'd be up for it.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan I think the way the 2nd question is framed, it's forcing you to define both "as much as" and "Others". I think once you define these terms, however you choose to under a reasonable definition (I chose "median range of number of pages read by U.S. adult population")... you can feel confident in choosing "A".
If the exercise allows you to make and state such an assumption, that would be a good way to go. The impression I get from OP (I'm assuming something based on incomplete information ) is that you just give an un-commented answer.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan I think your concern over the ambiguity of the definition on the "units of reading" is, ahem, "nitty"
I agree.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan Or maybe a better way to put it, truly outside the scope of the context, and you can likely simply assume something that could be defended as reasonable .
If I were OP, the first ambiguities I would clarify is whether anything other than the letter of my chosen answer was going to be considered. Would I have a chance to seek clarifications? Could I state my assumptions? Do they want to know my thought processes?

Also, IME, a candidate who responded to such an exercise with such questions would be positively graded (assuming the responses were not present in the exercise material, or obvious from context.)

Quote:
 Originally Posted by JeremyLinFan (ie, some people might think "pages" as units, others might think "number of books", and hey some even might think "actual words", all 3 are fine imo)
I think you missed my point, and possibly don't have much of a background in statistics. Effectively, the granularity of possible values affects the meaning of the categorizations.

 06-07-2012, 08:38 PM #129 journeyman   Join Date: Dec 2011 Posts: 313 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question d c
 06-07-2012, 08:45 PM #130 old hand   Join Date: Dec 2010 Posts: 1,227 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question I love hearing all the geeks' "irrefutable" logic.
 06-07-2012, 08:46 PM #131 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: Northern Virginia Posts: 4,361 Re: What are your answers to these two logic/reasoning/personality question I would love to be able to tell the people my thought process behind these two questions. I can't however since this was sent to me and done online. Now I play the waiting game to see if I get called in for a formal interview. Seems that most thought D,A While I said D,C (read less) if i could, I would probably change it to read more. Another friend said that because I saw illustrated and shared book and automatically thought read less makes the most sense. It shows I am judgmental and somewhat critical of others. I really don't know. Are those good qualities if I am in charge of placing people in companies based on their skills and abilities? I tend to think so. I assume that each company who uses this test probably looks for people who answered the way that is best fitting for the position. Obviously, there is no right answer. Plus, there were about 50 other questions besides these two in the assessment. These were definitely the most interesting.
06-07-2012, 08:53 PM   #132
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by VoraciousReader If I am a manager looking to hire someone, I am thinking to myself while reading everyone's answers, "is this the guy I want sitting next to me at the Wednesday morning meeting when I have a pile of work waiting for me to get back to at my desk?" In the case of DoTheMath, that answer is emphatically no.
Strange. What I'd be thinking is "is this the guy who'd best improve the productivity of the company?" While whether you wanted him next to you at the Wednesday morning meeting would be part of the equation, it would be a small part.

06-07-2012, 09:15 PM   #133
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by DoTheMath Strange. What I'd be thinking is "is this the guy who'd best improve the productivity of the company?" While whether you wanted him next to you at the Wednesday morning meeting would be part of the equation, it would be a small part.
Obviously all these matter to company productivity and there is a huge industry based around figuring out what ones are more influential than others.

06-07-2012, 09:18 PM   #134
grinder

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 571

Quote:
 Originally Posted by DoTheMath Also, IME, a candidate who responded to such an exercise with such questions would be positively graded (assuming the responses were not present in the exercise material, or obvious from context.)
I think this is where you and Voracious Reader (and myself to an extent) are "bumping" into one another. The types of questions you've posted ITT have moved squarely imo into the realm of "unnecessary, counter-productive over-thinking" for the type of role OP interviewed for.

Quote:
 I think you missed my point, and possibly don't have much of a background in statistics. Effectively, the granularity of possible values affects the meaning of the categorizations.
Oh I think I got that idea and the conceptual point you were making about using very small units like a character as a reading unit (the bolded part) - I just think the fact your brain moved to that level of analysis is what's "outside the scope" of the interview question.

I mean, I think we generally agree for the most part - but we also would approach/answer the questions differently in an actual interview situation (for OP's job that is - all my answers are based on going for a recruiter type job).

06-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #135
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan I would love to be able to tell the people my thought process behind these two questions. I can't however since this was sent to me and done online.
If the two questions are part of a 50 question set, and uncommented answers to that set are only used as a screening tool which alone will be a candidate filter at a certain stage of the application process, then I wouldn't feel too bad about not getting a job there.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan Now I play the waiting game to see if I get called in for a formal interview. Seems that most thought D,A While I said D,C (read less) if i could, I would probably change it to read more.
I think C is the least justifiable answer to the second question. That question seems to want to test your ability to distinguish between relevent and irrelevant information when forming judgements. The fact that the book was illustrated is not significant to the question of how much John and Mary read, relative to others. The fact that the book was a gift to them is relevent, and indicates that they read more than some others. There are other socio-economic indicators that support this. What is uncertain is whether they read so much more that A is better than B. If we assume that the answers are intended to be mutually exclusive, and that otherwise they have close to their literal meaning, either A or D were your best bets.

There are good arguments for D or C for the first question.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan Another friend said that because I saw illustrated and shared book and automatically thought read less makes the most sense.
or you are quickly distracted by obvious red herrings.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan It shows I am judgmental and somewhat critical of others. I really don't know. Are those good qualities if I am in charge of placing people in companies based on their skills and abilities? I tend to think so.
When used as a description of a person, "judgmental" usually means making judgments that are critical, narrow-minded or unwarranted. This is not what is required for such a position. Clearly the ability to make warranted judgements is required. That means an ability to select relevant information, weigh it appropriately and not get bogged down in detail unnecessarily. Being overly negative or overly positive are both sub-optimal.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan I assume that each company who uses this test probably looks for people who answered the way they think is best fitting for the position. Obviously, there is no right answer.
FYP.

I'll agree that it is difficult to say there is a correct answer to an ambiguous question. Since they seem to be using these questions in a way that assumes one or more answers are superior to the oters, but do not seem to have a mechanisem to evaluate your decision-making process other than through the answers, they probably don't think the questions are ambiguous.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by WVUskinsfan Plus, there were about 50 other questions besides these two in the assessment. These were definitely the most interesting.
Any chance you could share the remaining questions with us, as well as any instructions that came with them?

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