I'm in the process of this lengthy job application that is pretty important. The questionnaire keeps reiterating whether or not I like to work "slow and steady" and perform "one job at a time" the answers are in this fashion.
In my mind, working fast and performing multiple duties with the same efficiency seems to be the best, but I don't want the questionnaire to read that I'm a person that rushes through their work. On the other hand, I don't want it to read that I'm a very slow worker (because I'm not)
ps. I know answering neither makes the most sense given my question but I was told never to answer neither.
It is a strange question. My instinct is to say neither because any given task could call for a different approach. I'd normally say I am not a "slow and steady" guy, but I may very well be on some things.
However you said you were taught never to say neither, so I don't know. Sorry I'm no help haha.
If it was just once or twice they asked this question, I wouldn't be so caught up in it. However they keep asking this question in different ways so they are clearly looking for the "right" answer. I really don't want to put neither for like 20 questions. (it's 200 long)
It's funny that companies stress multitasking when studies have shown that multitasking usually means that a person performs all tasks poorly when compared to doing them one at a time.
Our brains are actually incapable of handling more then one higher cognitive function at a time, so the best we can do is "switch-tasking" which slows us down. It doesn't matter if you are male or female either, multitasking decreases efficiency.
to add to the confusion, they throw you a soft ball.
"I am comfortable doing several things at the same time."
easy, of course I am.
then 2 questions down,
"I do not like to juggle several activities at the same time."
The word Juggling seems to put multitasking in such a negative light.
Because I am very good at performing multiple duties at once, however I wouldn't consider juggling them to be a good thing.
I know...but the way they are worded is strange. I'll give you an actual example.
They'll ask this;
I like to work on one project at a time.
then follow it up with this;
In my work assignments, I prefer to work on a couple of things at a time.
It seems like you could draw a negative from either answer doesn't it?
I could either be seen as a very slow worker or someone who rushes through their work.
This is a personality test, and I wouldn't stress out on it too much. It is going to produce a bell chart that shows how you appear on the graph vs. job criteria. I would answer however your initial reaction was to each question. However, if you don't want to "wing it" like that (as it appears through your asking your questions) think about what job, specifically, you are applying for. If it is a job that is going to be largely repetitive, lean toward the "one task at a time" thing. If it is a job with multiple responsibilities and deadlines, lean towards the "like to do several things" side.
There is no "wrong" answers on these things per se. They're just looking to see how you fit.
I think a questionnaire isn't going to be the deciding factor.
Unfortunately it is depending on where you are applying. For instance my mother is the manager of a Bank of America and fiance needed a job last year. She applied but was not eligible to even interview because she "failed" the questionnaire which is the same type of deal it sounds like you are filling out. Those things are so stupid.
To me it appears that they may be looking for consistency and not someone who is trying to answer with what they feel is the desired answer... My suggestion is to answer honestly and make sure that you don't contradict yourself over he course of the application.
If you do have a face to face then is the time to convey your thoughts and let them know your abilities... Obviously they want the biggest bang for their buck in quality work done correctly in a brief period of time, and most employers are now staffing minimum numbers and broadening the job responsibilities... So to me giving the impression you are person that has to stay on one project and is not flexible is suicide. I'd be honest now and sell myself later when I could explain my reasoning.
HTH... Good luck.
EDIT: I do realize that saying 'be honest' does not answer your question... so maybe I should have said be consistent... and go with he answers that show you can multitask while do quality work. Sorry to not zero in on one answer.