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Old 11-22-2012, 11:47 AM   #21
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Skill For Profiling Potential Recruits?

Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But as I said, I don't want to turn Psychology into the über-skill for dealing with all human relationships.
On the other hand, it is not an Influence skill and unlike most of the other skills that are candidates for use in pretty much any social situation, it's a Hard skill. So it's not as if it would be unbalanced if Psychology (Applied) could be used in a wide variety of social situations. It would be nice if it did more than occasionally adding +1 to social skills, as a complementary skill.

Reading over GURPS Social Engineering, I would have wanted to see a much larger role for Psychology (Applied) than it got. Rather than granting a +1 as long as the character can make an unmodified check, I'd have wanted to see it have a real impact on social engineering. With anything but a simple, short con, some knowledge about the target ought to be a requirement, with an attempt to proceed without any understanding of their motivations being equivalent to a techical task without any tools, i.e. at least a -5 penalty.

Using information-gathering skills to collect data and Psychology (Applied) to analyse it* ought to be an important part of the long task of actual social engineering, with good preparation removing the penalty and even allowing a bonus. But since most social engineering tasks in GURPS Social Engineering still boil down to just rolling a Quick Contest, against one skill and any additional skills counting very little, Psychology (Applied) is very rarely mechanically important to Face-type characters.

*Among other skills, of course.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:05 PM   #22
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default Re: Skill For Profiling Potential Recruits?

Speaking of the modifiers to a psychology roll, are there any published examples of modifiers beyond the few that are included in the Basic Set? There are a few, but most of them deal with the effect of certain traits such as advantages and disadvantages. The Basic Set also includes a modifier for "knowing your subject well" which seems rather vague.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Pyramid article on it, considering how many applications in games featuring lots of social interaction there are.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #23
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Default Re: Skill For Profiling Potential Recruits?

Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I'd largely agree with those choices, with a few extra notes:
  • If it's mental and emotional suitability (lack of disruptive mental disadvantages) that you seek, or if you're trying to identify an aptitude (presence of a Talent), then Psychology is definitely the front-line skill. It's the poster child for developing aptitude tests, intelligence tests, personality inventories, etc.
  • I might allow Teaching to assess aptitudes (Talents), but none of the rest. An important role of any trained teacher is recognizing students' gifts. Not being able to do this is a hallmark of somebody who is assigned to teach but not a properly schooled teacher.
  • Leadership would be useful for determining "Will this person fit into the team?" and "Will this person obey orders?" It wouldn't test for specific traits, just deliver Y/N answers to those specific questions. It may well reveal relevant Code of Honor, Fanaticism, and Sense of Duty traits, though.
  • The specific job skill sought is essential if you're trying to assess training (points in skill) rather than aptitude (Talent) in an interview or a test. A psychologist or a teacher could tell you "This guy is good at math," but not, "This guy is an above-average particle physicist."
  • Administration really isn't the go-to skill here if you're directly interacting with the candidate. It's the skill of checking references, reading résumés, and going through the reports of people with the above skills. If several of mental suitability, broad aptitude, team compatibility, potential loyalty, and specific training are desired, then this would become the primary skill used, as long as the interviewers had those other skills.
Detect Lies is a bit of an odd man out. Any direct interviewer using Leadership, Psychology, Teaching, or a specific job skill could roll against Detect Lies to determine whether they're getting the truth or a ruse, but I don't think it would be useful all on its own. If you're trying to assess general truthfulness ("Does this person have Compulsive Lying or Truthfulness, and if so, at what level? Does he have Easy to Read? None of the above?"), then that's still Psychology.
Thanks for your answers!
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:55 AM   #24
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lancashire, UK
Default Re: Skill For Profiling Potential Recruits?

I do a lot of interviewing in my job - I was doing it yesterday in fact, so here is the process I follow:
  • First, a CV sift looking for key skills / industry terms and the pattern of work - have they changed jobs often, for example? Breadth of experience is also important when I am recruiting, but for other situations focussed experience might be more important. The CV also gives an impression of written communication skills and attention to detail.
  • A telephone interview might be used in borderline cases, or where the candidate would have to travel a long way for a face to face interview. This addresses spoken communication skills and starts to drill-in to what they have actually done (most people exaggerate wildly on their CV). I will often ask motivation questions at this point too - why are they looking to change jobs?
  • At the face to face interview we assess the candidates demeanour and 'professionalism' as well as asking very detailed questions to really nail down their skills and experience. We also ask them 'what if' questions to see how they might approach new or novel situations that could come up. Interestingly, I have more confidence in a candidate who has experienced difficult challenges (and some failure) over a candidate who has never experienced a 'road bump' in their careers - the real world is very bumpy indeed! Finally, we stress the challenges of our work (lots of travel and long hours) and assess the candidates reaction to those factors - we have a significant drop out rate from new staff members who can't hack it.
  • Along side the face to face interview we ask candidates to undertake an hour-long written exam paper to further investigate their skills and knowledge. It also assesses time management and written communication skills in a more demanding way than the candidates CV does (CVs can be 'polished').
So what skills do I think I'm using? Definitely some applied psychology (NLP in my case) and some body language. Definitely my work skills to interrogate theirs, and also a variant on Interrogation which is (hopefully most of the time) gentle, supportive and acceptable to the candidate. If they have been lying, however, then the approach does harden up and the questions become more direct.

I work for a consultancy, so both technical and client-facing skills are needed by candidates. Interestingly we often find it hard to provide an interviewer who themselves has the right mix of skills to assess all those skills in an applicant!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:11 PM   #25
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Skill For Profiling Potential Recruits?

Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Exactly. That broadness makes Administration a plausible complimentary skill. But I'm totally uncomfortable with it stealing the thunder of such specialised traits as Psychology, Body Language and Empathy, whose sole purpose is understanding other people's minds.

That's why Human Resources screens the resumes for qualified candidates and then calls in the top dozen or so candidates for interviews.

The interview is where the candidate gets to use his Fast-Talk, Acting and actual job skills to impress the interview committee, and where the interview committee gets to use their Detect Lies, Psychology (Applied) and actual job skills to determine if a particular candidate is a good fit for their bit of the organization.
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