SF VC company asked job applicants to take an online IQ test

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The owner of a San Francisco-based venture capital firm has apologized after his company faced backlash on social media for requiring job applicants to take an online IQ test.

Aneel Ranadive, the founder of Soma Capital and the son of Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, posted the mea culpa on Twitter after screenshots of a Soma job application with the IQ test requirement circulated online.

“Someone on the team recently posted a job posting with digital testing which was horrifying for me to see and counter the mission and doesn’t indicate how I want to build Soma,” Ranadive said in a post. tweet Tuesday morning. “I found out yesterday and we took it down immediately and will work 10x harder to be clear on the culture.”


Vice reported that a New York investor posted a screenshot of the online application, which required potential applicants to take an online IQ test at IQTest.com and a Myers-Briggs personality quiz at the 16 Personalities site, tweeted Monday.

The former is illegal under a 1971 Supreme Court ruling that ruled that IQ tests and other non-work related tests violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Their effectiveness in fairly measuring the intellect was also questioned.

The Myers-Briggs tests, by contrast, have repeatedly been shown to be “meaningless” and arbitrary – with classifications that fail to capture the complexity of human personalities.

In an interview with Vice, Ramadive attributed the test to “growing pains” and “immediately” erased the question from the applications. (Job postings on the Soma Capital website no longer display the IQ test requirement.)

“It’s literally awful for me and the opposite of everything I stand for and how I want to build [the] team and how I know how I invest in the founders as well,” he told Vice in an interview.

The company touted its investments in self-driving car service Cruise and grocery delivery service Misfits Market, among other so-called “unicorns.”

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