We are not smart/savvy enough to work at a Walmart

I was helping my daughter apply online with Walmart. This would be her first real job. She was confused when she came to the part where you have to answer a series of hypothetical work-situation questions, as she’s never had job experience, and the questions are seemingly designed to be baffling. So I helped talk her through them. Big mistake. At the end of the 60+ questions, she was informed: “You have failed. Thank you for applying.”

Here are some of the questions.

After this, the questions got more and more difficult, with no good answers for many of them. For these, I think she answered
1 ? Honestly can’t remember. We were hopelessly baffled.
2 A
3 B
4 D
5 A
6 A

Why isn’t there ever an option that reads “I don’t know, so I would ask my supervisor what to do?” I guess I should be grateful that she’ll never have to work at a Walmart. OTOH, I was hoping it would teach her that she should do whatever she can to ensure she never has to work at Walmart again.[/SIZE][/FONT]

Those are some terrible questions. 4 and 5 both seem multiple correct answers.

Wow, those are some terrible questions (and that’s coming from the POV of someone who’s been in management with large retailers before).

I’d say the answer they were looking for in the first question was “B”- it’s about being a “caring” sort of person who “facilitates communication” and defuses a complicated situation, at least IMHO.

I’d agree “A” is the right answer for Question 2.

For question 3, I’d say “A” again- being proactive, trying to help the customer, asking how you can fix the problem, etc. It’s not really a “fair” question, though, since customer complaints do usually go to supervisors anyway, as floor staff basically don’t have the power or authority to do or fix anything for customers anyway.

There are multiple correct answers for question 4 IMHO- the “Most correct” is probably “B” (“Teamwork” is what they’re looking for, I’d say), but realistically it’d be a combination of B, C, and D- “Hey, Terry’s not really experienced at this sort of thing and has had a few near-misses himself, so how about I join in and help both of them with the training?”

All the answers for Question 5 are, IMHO, correct. Personally I’d go with “D” because that’s how things usually work, but “A” would be a fair alternative.

I think they wanted to see “D” as the “correct” answer for Question 6- you’ve got the whole “Teamwork” thing again, but realistically they’re all correct.

I suspect the test is designed to look for people who can “show initiative” and “think for themselves” and not go “bothering” the supervisors every five minutes with what management considers to be fairly minor problems.

The reality, of course, is that in a large retailer the floor staff have zero authority so anything more complicated than helping a customer pick out an item and taking it to the register is going to require a supervisor anyway, but that’s besides the point for these sorts of things, at least IME.

I had been thinking that, based on the caliber of staff I’ve dealt with at Walmart, they wouldn’t trust employees with anything more complicated than stocking and sweeping, let alone discerning interpersonal and intercustomer dilemmas, but obviously, I’m wrong.

The test is a lie. All that was being kept track of was how long it took you to complete it. :rolleyes:

Ok, here is the deal when working retail. As a regular associate on the floor, management assumes you know nothing and don’t have a brain the size of a pea. You are not entitled to an opinion, to emotionally help another associate, make any suggestions about how things could better work or take on tasks on your own. Your job description in reality is to answer the basic questions a customer has and do any mundane tasks your supervisor assigns. Period. They don’t want intelligent, analytical, thinking people. They want people who can show up on time when there’s 12" of snow outside and follow orders.

With that being said, you are on the right track when you mentioned that there is no answer that states “I don’t know, so I would ask my supervisor what to do.” Every question has an answer that relates to asking a supervisor. That is the correct answer.

Whoever made up this test needs to work on the floor at the lowest level for a while. And “a while” doesn’t mean a few months, it means at least five years, with overtime over the holiday season.

That’s pretty much how everything was answered. That’s what’s so confusing.

There were also a boatload of questions where you had to answer how strongly you agreed or disagreed with statments such as “It’s always wrong to steal from your employer” or “I always think through options very carefully before making a life-changing decision.” - these were actual questions. And then they asked the same questions again, worded slightly differently.

The correct answer to 3 is B. If they have already complained three times, then the best solution for both the customer and the store is to have them speak to a supervisor. Even if nothing is resolved, it helps the customer to feel better because they’ve spoken to someone higher up, and it helps the store because hopefully, the customer will stop bothering the staff.

I do Tier 2 technical support. When people make complaints or need to speak to a supervisor, we answer the phone as “supervisors”. Believe me, I know from personal experience (and that of having been a supervisor in the past) how well it improves things if people get to speak to a supervisor or manager, even if nothing happens as a result.

A is NOT the correct answer for 6. You’re putting someone on the spot and humilating them before a group and wasting everyone’s time. It’s none of their damned business and none of yours to attempt group discipline of this sort. The correct response would be either B or D.

For 4, I’d say B. You were told to help with her training, so volunteering to help with the safety training can easily be explained and difficult to push you out of. Then, if Terry proves to be in error during his demonstrations, you can gently correct him, which serves to re-train him on the procedures as well.

I’ve applied at tons of places online. Blockbuster, Fry’s, Target, Walgreens, etc. They’re all like that. If you were to apply to those places online, you’d think the same person wrote the questions for all of them. Each of them has 60 or 70 questions which are really only the same 5 or 6 questions being asked over and over again.

Actually, I think in a lot of situations they are not looking for “ask the supervisor.” Nobody wants to have to babysit their employees.

Here are my guesses:

  1. B- this is the least intrusive one. They want employees who pay attention to their own work, not a bunch of busybodies.

  2. A- customer comes first.

  3. A- it’s the only one that doesn’t amount to passing the buck, and the customer doesn’t want to be bounced around, they just want their problem solved.

  4. Tough one. I’d say B. You don’t want to be bothering your supervisor with small things, but you also don’t want important safety information to be missed.

  5. C- This seems obvious. If you can’t get all your work done, figure out how to budget your time better.

  6. D- it’s the least confrontational.

Now, where did I put Jose Mari’s phone number, I know I have Blanca’s email…

Oh yes, some supervisors do want to babysit their employees. Well, they don’t see it as babysitting, of course: their perception is that any employee who unzips his own fly to pee is “overstepping his boundaries”.

This may have had more to do with the number of other people applying to Walmart in the current job market than with your daughter’s score.

But that doesn’t address the fact that you are about to leave unfinished work TODAY that may affect the next shift. You can’t just walk out and leave it undone, you can’t ask the next shift to do your work, and you can’t say, “I’ll do better tomorrow”. You go to you supervisor and inform her. She may then ask the next shift to do the task, or she may assign someone to help you now. Or she may authorize an extra fifteen minutes to get it done. But you don’t just walk out without telling anyone. C is the solution AFTER you have done A.

Do they still have all the marijuana questions? I took it a few years ago and it seemed like every third question was a weed question: “Have you ever smoked marijuana? Have you ever been present while marijuana was being smoked? Have you ever purchased marijuana? Have you ever seen or smelled marijuana? If someone offered you marijuana would you accept? Do you know anyone who uses marijuana?” And on and on.

I finally got irritated and started answering every question “yes”. Funny, they never called me to schedule an interview.

The questions she failed probably aren’t the ones you listed here. Where they got her was probably in the “It’s always wrong to steal” section. In that section they want to see you say that you would never steal, you would rat out your coworkers for their infractions, that you are completely loyal to the company, etc. If she put Strongly Agree for “It’s always wrong to steal” but then put slightly disagree for, “I would inform my supervisor if I saw Lupe take $5 from the cash register” or whatever the next theft question was that would be enough to fail her.

This has generally been my experience in retail. Supervisors want you to handle all the problems, but realistically it’s impossible because they don’t give you the tools or resources needed to do so.

I would have answered them like this.

  1. B
  2. A
  3. A
  4. B
  5. A
  6. D

I’m not saying this is what would actually happen, just the results the machine wants to hear. It wants to know that you are a caring person who can work in a team environment while taking ownership of customer needs, without supervision. Realistically though, these quizzes are a complete waste of time.

I remember doing one of these for Pike’s Nursery once and it was so stupid I just ended up leaving. One of the questions was:

How much have you stolen from your previous employers?
a. 0.01-5.00
b. 5.01-10.00
c. 10.01-100.00
d 100.01 and greater

Unfortunately, there was no answer for “I do not steal.”

The other question that made me leave was about drugs. It was a true or false question and went something like this.

I only use drugs recreationally (at parties, with friends, etc).
a. true
b. false

There was no “I do not use drugs” answer.

Hopefully your daughter will be able to find another job that will allow her to keep part of her soul after she is done working there. Many smaller businesses have better hours and don’t make people take those personality tests.

pbbth is right. Those tests often ask a series of the same question, slightly reworded, to catch out people who are just answering what they think they should and not answering honestly. Disparaging answers on just one or two “same” questions would be enough to do it.

also, I worked at a Wally and it was the crappiest job, ever.

My problem is that, quite often, the reasked question is sufficiently different to warrant a different answer.

In particular on cmyk’s example: I think stealing is wrong, but there are plenty of circumstances where I would not rat out an employee. Granted, I’d do something to make it right, like putting an extra $5 in the drawer, and then telling the coworker that if he’s having money trouble, he can ask me for help, but not to steal from the store, and that, if he ever does it again, I will rat his ass out. In fact, I think the company would be better off, as they wouldn’t have to waste money finding someone else if that was enough to get through to him.

The only way to fill out those tests is to say what they want to hear. You have to be pretty stupid to be inconsistent.