There is a lot of things you hear about personality testing, profiling, talent identification and character traits that presumingly tell you whether you are going to be successful in your career – or not. When stumbling across Capacio and their offer to do a free assessment, that is based on neuropsychology, regarding my cognitive and executive capacity I was agreeing to run through their so called “GAME Analysis” being curious but honestly did not expect too much in terms of exciting results.

Having gone through many assessment centers and recruiting procedures with a lot of logic, math, leadership, capability and skills testing I honestly thought I knew it all. I know I am not the very best and fastest when it comes to numbers but above average in terms of data analytics, I am outgoing with leadership traits willing t0 take responsibility and ownership and am equipped with strong social and intercultural skills making me a well-functioning team player especially across hierarchies.

Snap – yes, I was (mostly) right, but was missing a hell lot more about me! Here is the short story of my very own Game Analysis and its cognitive functioning assessment, how I took the test and now know a lot more about myself than I did before.

My expectations were not too high. But what did I have to lose?

My name is Pascal, 27 years old, and I am currently enrolled as a Business & Management Master Student at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). Hoping that people will never stop learning during their life, I currently find myself in a phase of my mid- to end-twenties (yes, slowly approaching 30) willing to take very steep learning curves professionally along the way but most importantly personally as well when it comes to my character, behavior, performance and capabilities.

The acquaintance with Anders Norén (CEO, Capacio) through SSE, was the trigger for me to get curious about Capacio, their offering and their Game Analysis testing, which promises to reveal an individual’s executive capacity, brain processing and functioning abilities and cognitive profile. After informing myself a bit more on their website about what they do, I volunteered and was curious to take the 90-min face-to-face testing. My curiosity was ignited. Expectations not too high. But what did I have to lose?

Testing Day

The test was to be hold face-to-face with a licensed psychologist here in Stockholm and was going to last 90min. Quite a long time for such a test format but not necessarily longer than any other recruiting or personality test I have done before. Given the prior promise of delivering extensive test results the timing seemed to be reasonable.

We were seated on both sides of a small table facing each other. I did have no supporting material on me. No pen, no paper, no calculator. Nothing. This was a bit strange in the beginning, but I accommodated rather quickly once we started.

My tester made sure to slowly explain me everything upfront about the test, what kind of different tests to expect (reading, information processing, creativity, etc.) and what I would have to do in every sequence. If I needed a pen, he would give it to me and so forth.

The tests were as diverse as they could possibly be. Starting with having to read out different given words loudly in a given time frame, eventually having to connect dots in the fastest way possible to naming as many words related to a specific topic in one minute. They all were modified along the way with different levels of difficulty, engagement and interaction. For example, I had to remember and repeat number sequences that the tester would read out loud once. Starting easy with a few numbers, finishing off super difficult with up to 9 different numbers in a row. Sounds challenging? Super challenging!

The tasks were challenging but extremely exciting after all. It did not feel like a stressful recruiting test but rather like an actual GAME

Was it fun? YES! As I have done a lot of recruiting and screening tests in my life, this was the first time I did exercises like this and honestly, I have to say, they were challenging but extremely exciting after all. It did not feel like a stressful recruiting test but rather like an actual GAME. Super fun and always making me want to run another round!

Also, what I found really interesting was the fact that after every exercise I was asked to judge my own performance in comparison to others on a normal distribution chart. Obviously super hard to judge and I had the feeling I just blindly put a mark somewhere, yet, I realized I never dared to judge myself in the top chunk but rather a bit above average thinking I could not have it done the best way possible. Probably because of my prior experience with results from other profiling tests.

Test Results, my surprising learnings and 3 “wows”

One week after the testing, I met with two licensed psychologists again actually who would guide me through my test results. I honestly was a bit nervous when I entered the room. On the one hand telling myself whatever the test results will be, they will not change me as a person. Either they are crappy with low validity, then I will just forget about them or they are somewhat reasonable, justify what I know already, and I will just take them as a high-level confirmation of my abilities.

However, what happened then was really eye-opening and well exceeded my prior expectations. 3 things generally amazed me already within the first 5 minutes of the test result reporting (see graph below). Since thes3 take-aways sustainably impressed me, I would like to call them my “3 wows”.

Here they are:

1) The detailed qualitative feedback given by a licensed psychologist about my cognitive abilities based on my own, tangible test data.

I was truly amazed, how the psychologists analyzed my test results and qualitatively assessed my test data. Why? They not only interpreted in a very professional way how my brain works, but also translated these findings to my own behavior and potential performance by even daring to predict my future and current management abilities that which were strong in leadership and team building. Something I actually really like to do and what I feel comfortable with. They put so much thought in their assessment and have been extremely detailed and precise. I felt like I was being read out loudly in a very positive way. In the end I was even a bit sad I did not record the feedback because I could have used it exactly in any potential job interview. It had all the answers and statements about me I was always looking for.

For example, that I am an extremely strong strategic thinker that is capable of assessing problems and situation on a meta-level by keeping high cognitive flexibility in a given set of rules. I perform recognizably well with very challenging tasks while being only a bit above average when it comes to daily “boring” problems as my cognitive capabilities basically grow with the size of the problem. How awesome is that? I mean I kind of knew that I get bored easily and lose focus with “no-brainers” like setting up a short excel file about the company’s organization but could dig into questions such as “how should our company look like in 10 years?” for hours without losing track or excitement.

2) The confirmative nature of how precisely the test actually measured who and how I am as a person.

The examples mentioned above have been also the trigger to list my 2nd wow. I am still amazed and excited about how extremely accurate the test results and subsequently the psychologists were able to describe me. As I wrote earlier, I reflected a lot about myself already and know where I am strong and where not. Given, I only fulfilled a few tasks over the course of 90min, the Game Analysis was able to define me just as good as I could after 27 years.

It identified that I am just above average when it comes to multi-processing as I rather enjoy and feel comfortable about delivering 1 or 2 projects to the best extent possible than working on 100 things at the same time not being able to fully put my mind and heart into it. Yet, it assessed my strategic abilities and creative, cognitive flexibility accurately. It even analyzed that I have the maximum potential in these two categories which lies roughly 2 standard deviations above average test results. It also confirmed my process and scanning speed when it comes to analyzing problems, which is also something I got in all of my prior professional feedback sessions. And trust me, even though I’m only 27, there were many!

3) The additional, deep analytics and interpretation as well as different dimensions and angles that the test uses to describe my cognitive profile.

Lastly, and probably this is now the greatest take-away from the results and testing I did with Capacio, the interpretation of the results opened up completely new angles and perspectives in regard to my abilities, cognitive profile and executive capacity I haven’t heard before. Unlike many other tests that only take at the look at a person’s surface aka “yeah we have an extrovert here who likes to take risks”, the Game Analysis really goes deep and revealed way more things and behavioral traits about me that I never knew I wanted to know.

For instance, it showed me that I have a rather average short-term memory, which is true because I sometimes really fail to recall some individual numbers or sentences from a meeting that just happened. But at the same time, it identified that my working memory in comparison is clearly above average. This was interpreted as that once I processed information because I might find it more interesting, appealing or challenging as already described above, I am extremely good in actually working with this information for a long time. The test correctly identified that once I warmed up, nothing can really stop me in terms of productivity and quality. I reach high workflow levels with great abilities to maintain high performance.

And you know what? It’s true. This is exactly how I function in my professional life. I recall days where I started slow, but after half an hour for myself into a problem I did not want to stop and just took more and more of the problem apart ending up with a truly unique solution. Knowing about strengths like these really improves my self-awareness now as I can focus on optimizing my strengths while making sure to compensate more on my weaknesses such as paying more attention to “not-so-important” information pieces. The best part about this? It is evidence-based and proven – scientifically from neuroscience and neuropsychology.

Yet, these were not the only things I learned about me. There were many more such as my high speed, productivity, strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities in times of pressure but in a given set of rules. However, going in to deep would exaggerate this post.

After all, I can say I had prejudices towards Capacio and the related Game Analysis but got proven extremely wrong. Never have test results about myself, my (cognitive) profile and my functional abilities been more useful than this time.

And if you are still in doubt, why don’t you give it a chance and try it yourself. I am sure Capacio will be happy to help!

– Pascal Fischer (27), Stockholm School of Economics (MSc Business & Management)

on May 14th 2o2o

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