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Psychological Evaluations for Employment

Posted by Margaret Donohue on September 5, 2014 at 11:15 PM

I received a phone call from someone that had failed a psychological evaluation for being a police officer.  "Do you do those kinds of evaluations?" he asked.  "Yes of course we do."  I answered.  But not just evaluations for police, but for all types of employment--social worker, border patrol, customs, CHP, LAPD, LA Sheriff's Department and even out of area police departments.


People fail psychological evaluations for lots of reasons and it doesn't mean they aren't fit for the job.  It may mean they missed a question and the responses on the test became incorrect, or they missed a page in the 20-30 page application form, or test packet bundle, or maybe there was an issue that needed to be addressed but there just wasn't time to adequately address it.  


So what do we do differently than the department?  First we review all the records the department sends us.  If there is a substantial issue, and I would have problems sleeping nights if I knew I had put someone in a position of authority and didn't think it was a good idea, then I'll refuse the case and here's the good part...I'll tell you why.  The department can't do that.  I can say things like look, you've been really reckless in the past, and your judgement looks like it's impaired and now I have test data to make that opinion have greater weight, so I think giving someone with poor judgement a weapon is a bad idea, so I'm not going to approve you.  The converse is also true.  I can say I don't know why the Department psychologist decided you weren't a good candidate.  I don't see anything in your background, history, personal statement, or any of the documents that were submitted to suggest you wouldn't make a fine candidate for the position you're applying for.  There's nothing on psychological testing to suggest otherwise.  That information is comforting.  It's not a letter a few days or weeks after the evaluation to find out how you did.  It's immediate.  


To ensure someone doesn't accidently miss a question on a test, it's computerized.  The questions are presented one at a time, and at the end if any were missed it lets you go back and answer them.  That also helps.  If you left a page of a form blank I can see it and have you complete it.


If you pass a psychological evaluation from us but failed the one from the department, then you get to have a tie breaker type of an evaluation from the Department.  The Department has the final hiring decision, but a positive evaluation holds some weight and might be able to address issues that the initial evaluation raised. 


If you failed an employment psychological evaluation and want to appeal that decision we can do that.  If you just want information on what they found and why you were rejected and want to take the test again, we can do that too.  Feel free to contact us.


Categories: General Psychology

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