If you were told that part of a 3 hour interview, you were required to write a 20 mintue “gmat style” arithmetic test ( calculus, algebra type questions), but you never actually took algebra, calculus in your life ( not even in high school), would it be fair to tell the hr recruiter that you refuse to write this test since it is basically not fair or in other words " not representative of my skills and abilities to perform in the job" etc. I am a level 3 candidate who majored in finance. I took finite in high school, but not 1 calculus or algebra. what are your thoughts to refusing to write this test?
See you L8R job
you can tell them whatever you want, i don’t think you will get the job though… that is the requirements of the job…i actually can’t believe you havennt taken albegra or calculus…that is bizarre
I don’t think it’s unfair at all. It’s like me interviewing an analyst who doesn’t know the difference between a BMO Small Cap Index and something broader like an ALL cap index: it’s directly relevant to the job and while you do not necessarily need to know the intricacies of the indices themselves, you should know the key difference between a Canadian SMALL and ALL Cap weighted index from the perspective of managing a PM. Clearly the manager at that role felt that Calc. was relevant to the position. Now keep in mind, many roles have “ideal” mandates, which specify things as ridiculous as “…a Masters or Ph.D. degree in finance”…which makes no sense to things like General equity funds, but might make a lot of sense to things like certain quantitative H-Funds…so the key is ascertaining whether your manager has the mandate correctly articulated to the candidate pool, as well as, correct grading that pool on their ability to fill the mandate. Willy
never did, only took finite. so no way out huh? thats not fair. Level 3 candidate but wont get job because i wont be able to learn calculus /algebra in less than a week. damn
but willy, this is for a consulting position, not a technical/analytical position
I don’t think that distinction is relevant whatso ever. Consultants who don’t know the technical aspects of the job are, in my view, worthless. For instance, we recently paid a well known Toronto Pension consultant $4,000 to do an “Audit” [note quotes] of some of our portfolios only to be told by these “Consultants” what we already knew. In my view, they did not provide us with 1 Oz. of value add. I got news for consultants: just because you have a high priced MBA and a decent pitch from a recruiter, doesn’t mean you can tell me what to do…errrr. Like - honestly - I could have…and SHOULD have spenet $4,000 taking a few key advisors from my sales force golfing. That WOULD HAVE increased my AUM and lead to more money for my firm. This audit did, quite truthfully, nothing. My bad…live and learn. Willy
But IH8, this is an employer making the decision, not you! Try hard, really hard, to take yourself out of your shoes and into theirs. What would you think? You just look defiant by not taking the exam. Not going to get hired.
In fact, the best corse is to be honest an say “To be honest, I can’t answer this because I haven’t taken Calc. But, I’m a CFA Level III, very quantitative, and have the requisite skills to exceed your expectations in this role because…” Hired
I think an arithmetic test doesn’t have calculus or algebra on it as those are three distinct fields.
BosyBillups Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > In fact, the best corse is to be honest an say “To > be honest, I can’t answer this because I haven’t > taken Calc. But, I’m a CFA Level III, very > quantitative, and have the requisite skills to > exceed your expectations in this role because…” > Hired Hey Bosy, thanks for the support, and thanks to the others for their unbiased feedback. the quote you said was exactly what I wanted to say, just to be totally honest with them but it doesnt look like such a favorable option from the other posts. I guess I am going to take the test and do some guessing and hope for the best. Maybe in a follow up email I can indirectly throw in a “wow, i wasnt expecting calculus/algebra type questions” or " i never expected to see algebra/calculus considering i never even took it it in high school" or some other comment that indirectly might shed some light on the issue without looking like a pest from the beginning.
Go get a GMAT algebra book and start studying. If you can pass level II, you can probably teach yourself the basics of algebra in a week. Then at least if you decide to go the route of making excuses you can indicate some effort on your part to correct the problem rather saying “nah, I don’t know much about all these fancy algebra things and such so I did nothing to improve my chances on the test” I actually think if you get a book and start studying you won’t have to make excuses.
The manager thinks the test is relevant and therefore gave it to you. It’s really their choice. You can tell him or her that you want them to be sure to remember a lot of other good points you have that your competition won’t have. After all, maybe the HR policy is to have everyone for a certain type of job take this, and so they won’t care about the results too much. However, I would also use this as a cue to brush up or learn a few things that maybe you didn’t learn at another time in your life. There’s nothing to be ashamed of… just go out and do it. I had an interview where someone asked me to multiply matrices together by hand. I hadn’t done linear algebra in 15 years and bungled it up. So it was clear that I wasn’t going to be a top contender for that job. Four weeks later, I had much of that stuff down pat (though, I must confess, I could never figure out what the characteristic polynomial was supposed to tell you).
I’m not saying that this test is relevant for the job you want, but if I were the guy doing the hiring and a candidate told me they didn’t want to take a test I wanted them to take, my first thought would be “Problem employee”. If a candidate won’t follow instructions and stay with the program when they’re on their best behavior and trying to impress me, what chance is there that they won’t be a pain in the a$$ once they’re hired? The guy who doesn’t want to take the math test because it’s not relevant is the guy who’s likely to tell me that he doesn’t want to write quarterly earnings memos for the companies he covers because it’s not relevant for all of them, or something. Just to be clear, IH8FSA, I am not saying you are a bad person or that I think you’d be a bad employee, I’m just saying that when job candidates don’t want to do things my way in the interview process, it’s a red flag. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that. So in general, I would recommend that job candidates just do what interviewers ask, and if what interviewers ask is intolerable, that’s a sign that maybe the job isn’t a good fit for you. To repeat: I am not criticising IH8FSA, this is general advice.
whitecollar, i know what you mean, no criticism taken, but its not that i dont want to do it or dont feel that the test “in general” is relevant. I want to try and make a point that in MY situation, i dont feel its relevant since I dont have experience in those subjects, that is my point. I am not knocking the company policy of administering my test, i just want to shed some light that in my particular circumstance, i feel that this test will not fairly represent the skills and abilities I have to do this job, thats all. I have an official guide for gmat lying around here and have started to try and study, but i am not grasping anything, i think i will hope for the best and try and sneak in a comment before or after the test like “wow, my first time ever trying calculus/algebra questions, i wonder how i did” etc… insert comment here____
IH8FSA Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > i dont feel its relevant since I dont > have experience in those subjects, that is my > point. That’s what they need, a guy with feelings. Cry me a river and go apply for a position in HR.
I would never apply for a position that unconditionally required a “gmat” style arithmetic and calculus test. Carrying a degree in Financial Economics and a minor in Math with a GPA over 3.5, frankly, its insulting that they would waste my time and theirs with a test like that. They should trust my and *your* ability to do basic math.
volante99 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I would never apply for a position that > unconditionally required a “gmat” style arithmetic > and calculus test. If you wanted the job enough then you would. Otherwise that’s a pretty silly reason to screw yourself out of a position you may really desire.
“I won’t take a Calculus/Algebra test for your enjoyment. However, I will take this test competitively with your current company champion and bet $10,000 on my winning”.
Just make sure that they aren’t all word problems written in Swahili or something…