On some client calls late last week and everyone wants candidates who are "fast on the uptake."
To try and figure this out on candidates, we're using an assessment that has a timed cognitive portion. Best way I can describe it is cognitive processing speed. It's not IQ, because you can score low on our cognitive portion and still have an IQ of 140. The cognitive portion we use throws a bunch of items at you, and it's timed.
It measures your ability to deal with a lot of incoming data in short period of time and make quick, accurate decisions.
Totally unscientific, but my observations about candidates, even great candidates, who score in the bottom half of the bell curve for cognitive processing speed are pretty consistent.
Those candidates usually:
1. Have a 2-3 second delay when a lot of data is flying in and they're a part of the conversation. Someone hits them with data and then stops. There's a delay. Their preference is to take their time on the analysis. The pregnant pause is noticeable.
2. They may have a form of conversational Tourette's, which I define as someone who's trying to process quickly (against their natural preference to take their time and come back later with analysis) blurting out conversational reactions that really don't match the conversation going on. They've attempted to do things on the fly and their response is just off - the contextual understanding isn't there. They needed more time.
Again, it doesn't have to mean low IQ. Fast on the uptake means you're just naturally wired to take in lots of data and make quick accurate decisions on the fly.
Remember the days when it was OK to take your time with incoming data?
Yeah - me neither.