Thursday, July 1, 2010

How many circus acts does it take to get a job?

Having recently performed the big top acts of finding a job whereby I have jumped through the required hoops whilst standing on top of a horse swallowing a sword and smiling at the same time, I thought I had come to the part where I take a final bow and sign on the dotted line until it hit my inbox. The psych test. Personalty assessment and numerical reasoning (pahh!!). The first 100 questions of repetitive 'do you prefer to be alone or be with friends' questions gets regurgitated and presented again in the next 100 questions only to find you are so bored by the whole exercise you start to develop a twitch and begin answering questions that infer you are either trying to skew the results or actually do have the personality of a body snatcher. After 50 minutes of a) prefer to be alone b) prefer to be with people c) like conflict and d) have an extensive collection of surface to air missiles in my garage, the end can't come soon enough and your personality is now only a shadow of its former self. The numerical reasoning provided a mere curiosity for a short time where I would ponder the scenario of 'if Nigeria's current monthly rainfall for November exceeded its GDP then how many tonnes of grain does it take to change a light bulb?' but only briefly as I selected 'b' for all questions to be followed by Next, Next, Next and Finished. What a waste of time. Suspecting that Nigeria has probably been in drought for years I put as much credence in these assessments as I would my horoscope. Psych tests tell me more about the interviewer than the candidate. Make a decision or just line up the candidates and paint letters on their foreheads from a to d or none of the above. Next.


  1. Ah yes, I've done my fair share of those.

    It harks back to my matriculation biology lessons where multiple choice tests were given every Friday, but instead of A, B, C or D it was J, K, L or M.

    If in doubt (which I was at least half of the time), I chose K. K for Kath!

    ....and I ended up passing, too!

  2. The only time I ever did a psych type test was when signing up with a job network. Total waste of time as they never did find me a job.
    Usually, to get a job, (in a factory),I see an ad in the paper, phone for an interview, (can you come in at 4pm? Heck yes! frantic search for bus timetables), tell the interviewer that I'm available to start tomorrow and get the job. Getting the Coles job was a little different, the interviewer walked me around the store and eventually asked questions about how I would handle different customers. My reply of "it all comes down to people skills, be polite, don't judge, smile etc" seemed to please her and I was a Christmas Casual the next day. That was almost 8 years ago and I'm still with them...although at a different store now.

  3. Ah the hoops. I've been psychometrically tested more than I've had hot dinners and still get "not quite the right cultural fit" which these days is a euphamism for too old! I've got a job for the time being but in an upcoming 'team' building exercise, guess what, oh yes, the old Myers Briggs is coming out to haunt us all. Now if it was a trivia quiz? That would be fun.

  4. Myers Briggs would be interesting if it came with drinks.