How to Use the Unicru Personality Test to Get Hired by Best Buy

(or similar Big Box retailers)

Timothy Horrigan © 2012; first posted February 13, 2011

This page used to be part of my main Unicru Test Answer Key page. I may regret splitting that page in two, since I don't know if people will actually click through from the other page to this one— but the old page seemed to be too long.

The main page can be found at:


The Unicru test is one of many HR-related products made by Kronos, Inc. of Chelmsford, Massachusetts

This page has some random thoughts about my past experiences (and other people's) using the Unicru test to apply for jobs at various employers. For some reason, Best Buy seems to the retailer that most of my readers are most interested in.  In 2006, a group of pranksters managed to start working at a Best Buy without applying for a job first, but it is still better to apply first— if you can get through the application process.

These big box retail workers presumably passed the Unicru test, perhaps with the aid of my answer key! This was taken by Daniel Olnick at the Wal-Mart at S.E. Military Drive and Roosevelt Avenue in San Antonio.

  [July 26, 2010] Two Accenture consultants, Susan M. Cantrell & David Smith, have put out a new book called Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization (whose title is a pun on the old military recruitment slogan "An Army of One.") Best Buy is one of their poster children, and if you are looking for a job there, it might be worth checking the book out.

Cantrell & Smith don't say anything about Best Buy's recruitment practices. Cantrell & Smith used The Container Store as their poster child. (This ubiquitous mall retailer uses Kronos's competitor HRSmart, and it has a recruitment program which relies primarily on referrals from incumbent employees.) We do however learn how Best Buy retains workers: it maintains a results-oriented environment where, in the words of the book's publicity brochure:

    • Best Buy sets a broad rule — "Get results" — and lets employees decide how to accomplish it.

For whatever reason (even though Best Buy is relatively flexible about where and when workers do their jobs) there are many more visible employees on that shop floor than on those of other big box stores. I don't think this is because Best Buy hires more workers: I think this is because the workers are actually selling stuff rather than merely scurrying around randomly.

See Also:

 [July 14, 2010] I recently got the following email from a dissatisfied customer (who by the way is entitled to a full refund of every penny he or she paid.)

I tried using your answer key to apply at Best Buy but I somehow failed the assessment.

What gives? Have these answers changed?

The answers definitely may have changed. I know the questions evolve (very) slowly over time.

If it is any consolation, I have applied to Best Buy and not gotten a job. The personality test is just one of several criteria an employer uses to screen you. Also, Best Buy, like most big box retailers, keeps their hiring portals up and running year-round, even when no actual jobs are available. It is easy to apply for a job opening which does not in fact really exist at the moment. Even if there is a job opening, a huge percentage of applicants get rejected: less than 5% of applications result in a hire. 

Best Buy uses a three-part process.  The Unicru test is part of an initial screening process.  This is followed by two interviews with store managers: the first deals with your qualifiications and the second deals more with how you would fit into the store's team.  Even though Best Buy ostensibly has a dozen or so different job titles which you supposedly must apply for separately, the interviewers turn out to be trying to fill a single pool of applicants which covers all those job titles.

Actually Best Buy really seems to have a four-part process.  Before the first of the two interviews, the managers knowingly ignore you for a longish time— more than a half hour past the interview appointment— while you sit on a bench near the Geek Squad area.  This is evidently a test of some sort.  (In my case, I got up and looked around the computer section while keeping an eye out for my hiring manager.)

I also recently took the test for West Marine. I am not a boater but I saw a listing they placed on I didn't get the job. West Marine added an interesting wrinkle: they asked some questions more than once.

I tend to be stubborn: I answer some of these questions truthfully even though I know the expected answers. For example, I am a state legislator who often deals with judiciary issues, and I have a lot of respect for the court system. One question you almost always see is "It is maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free ". I know I am supposed to "Strongly Agree" but I just can't, because I know there are often good reasons to let a "guilty criminal" go free: the prosecution may not have proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt and/or the defendant's rights may have been violated. I sometimes go down as far as "Disagree" on that question.

 [December 14, 2009] I have been through the Unicru process a couple of times myself recently. The test is the same as it ever was — although I am pretty sure new questions have been added.

    1. Best Buy seemed to be ignoring my application, even though I had an answer key and presumably scored well on the Unicru test. But then, out of the blue, they sent me an email informing me: "You recently completed an application for a store job with Best Buy Co., Inc. and that application has now expired. If you are in an interview process for a different position, please continue with that process. " Apparently, they never reject anyone: they just let their applications "expire." (It was unclear what I was expected to do to "continue with" the process for some different position: I did the only thing I could do, which was nothing.) Best Buy subsequently invited me to sign with some sort of omnibus Unicru application site called "AllianceQ." Best Buy is participating in AllianceQ's"Open Skies" program, whose motto underlines something companies forget: "Because candidates are customers too!" I am a little afraid to fill out an AllianceQ application because I worry that I would mess up the test and thus render myself ineligible for the whole pool of participating employers. I will take the plunge eventually, I suppose. In any case, Best Buy's AllianceQ link is:

    2. I got an actual face-to-face interview with Lowe's Home Improvement. It was the wrong gig for me, and I also messed up some of the bureaucratic details. (In particular, I applied in October 2009 for a "seasonal" job at a store whose seasonal season is in the summer rather than at Christmastime. Also, the particular store I applied to was a new store in Greenland, NH which wouldn't be opening till after Christmas 2009.) The first phase of their application process is the classic Unicru minus the personality test but plus a few added questions. You don't have to take the personality test until the HR people "unlock" your application, which they do at the same time that they call you to schedule the interview. I don't know what they do if someone gets unlocked and scheduled for the interview but then flunks the test. My interview didn't seem to be particularly structured or behavioral.

On a happier note, one of my fellow Second Life players featured this web page on his Livejournal blog. In First Life, he uses the pen names "Michael Timberwoof" and "Timberwuf."

I have reason to believe he was formerly a "Linden" named Wolfgang Linden (no relation to the Real Life scientist named Wolfgang Linden.) Timberwoof is an "elfwoof" furry, and I would not be surprised if he someday turns up in elfwoofen form at the weekly events one of my (human) avatars hosts at Lyoko's Code Underground.

See Also:

This page used to be part of my main Unicru Test Answer Key page. I may regret splitting that page in two, since most people won't actually click through from the other page to this one— but the old page seemed to be too long.

The main page can be found at: