Re. Testing: how long is too long?

Subject: Re. Testing: how long is too long?
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 12:40:16 LCL

John Bell asked "how long is too long" in the context of
pre-employment tests or interviews.

As a past test subject ("testy" if you prefer), and the
related fuss of travelling to interviews in distant cities,
I'd have to say "any test is too much". I'd dearly love to
have been employed based on my record or at least paid for
the paid time I lost in travel; the best I ever got was
paid airfare, not a small consideration by any means.

As an employer, I would love to grill a candidate for hours
to determine every minute detail of their strengths and
weaknesses, but that's not likely to be a good use of my
time or the candidate's... particularly with multiple

So what's a fair balance? As an employer or a prospective
employee, I'd lean towards two hours, perhaps divided
equally into interview and test. That's manageable for the
employer, and the sort of time loss you can make up over a
week or two of overtime if you're an employee.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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