Changes 2018 Part I

I recently quit my job. This led to a job search because I enjoy eating food and buying my son Legos. The job search included many technical writing, copy writing and horse riding positions. The last one I may have made up. I had interviews, some in English and one in German. I covered my applications with the requisite letters and crossed my fingers until they twisted up like ivy climbing a hope tree.

When I got invited to go further in a process I started envisioning myself at the company. How would it feel to work there? How was the commute? How does it feel to say that you work there? (Yes, I’m that vain, don’t judge me.)

In one recent hiring process I had to do an assessment. And a personality test. And a surprise assessment after a 3-hour interview. And a logic test. And a verbal reasoning test. And then talk about the results of these tests during a 90 minute interview. And then submit to a background check.

During the personality test I had to distribute six points to three statements depending on how truly I felt they described me. Too few points for too many statements.

—I am a good worker.
—I am honest.
—I am worth hiring.

How do I rank these? Do I go all in and boldly put all the points behind one statement and say ‘fuck the rest, I’m bold.’? Or do I hedge and meekly distribute my points equally because ‘obviously I am all these things—just kinda’. The testers were quick to explain that there are no wrong answers. But I know there were surely wrong distributions of points. It was hard to concentrate on answering earnestly and not playing the game of ‘what would they want me to answer’.

The results of the test were alarmingly accurate. Yet then again so are horoscopes. Very little convincing was needed to nudge one into agreement.

“Mr Brumley, we see that you are a hard worker with a desire to learn but not without the occasions where you need to be tasked with an easy win. Your go-getting attitude is underpinned by high ambition but can also be derailed by complicated situations. Salami sandwiches are your favorite but in a pinch roasted turkey will do.

Wull, yea, I mean, yea, duh.

No wrong answers. Just the HR guy opposite me asking me questions and then jotting down notes next to my name. Ask, smile, nod, jot. Ask, smile, nod, jot.

“I see here that the results suggest you are a sociable, interactive person, is that fair?”

“Yes, of course. I love society and interaction. Misanthropy and idleness are the names of the antagonists in my novel. Spoiler alert. They die at the end. Game of Thrones style deaths. But I mean the books, not the TV show. I don’t pirate TV off the internet. I mean I don’t have HBO, who has HBO? I don’t. I read. Books. Not internet TV. What was the question again?”

Nod and jot.

The whole process was exhausting. The whole process was exacting. Ordered and corporate. Purposeful and orchestrated. Things I never realized I appreciated. Call me old, Swiss, or square. Thoroughness never hurt anybody. It has just been a long time since I’ve taken such a test. A long time since I had to lay bare my personality to people in suits. A good actor or salesperson can sell him or herself in an interview, but the personality test gets around or through any slick talking.

I got the job. And soon I will be working at a large company. I will have a number and will be served a large cup of Kool-Aid. I wonder what it will taste like.

***Note: I wrote this in October 2018 during the process and after I signed the contract and all that. I have been working there now for 2.5 months and so far, so good. Definitely big. Definitely corporate. Lots to do and lots to learn. But this is definitely an opportunity I want to lean into.***


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One comment

  1. Pingback: The IN-dustry | roughly translated

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