Today was kind of interesting…
Today I did an assessment for a long running job application with QR. As I pulled into the carpark in the Rockhampton training building, I heard on the news that most of the QR staff in the district had called a stop work meeting and were marching on the local members office to protest the sale of certain QR assets. Okaay.
I was relieved to see the training centre was still open, and that I hadn’t driven 120 k’s for nothing. As part of the assessment we did several eye/hand co-ordination tests, memory tests, and recognition tests.
The trick was not to panic. I didn’t panic. Neither did I get frustrated, or upset with myself for not doing better. In fact, I even finished first, something which I’ll take as positive.
It was actually quite a lot of fun when you got into it. On the way home I recalled the worst assessment I ever went through, the first time I ever did psych testing, many years ago in an interview which did not go well… and I still don’t know what actually happened.I”d passed all the assessments, the medical, had the thumbs up from the boss pending an interview with the company psychologist. I’d never had a session with a psychologist at that stage, so I was quite looking forward to it. 10 minutes later I was left stunned by what happened.
The lady psychiatrist, a young, well dressed, softly spoken woman, asked me some questions at the start of the session, which I answered honestly. Then she sort of surprised me by asking questions of a sexual nature, concerning my wife (at that time, my girlfriend). I hesitated, then asked, “Why are these sort of questions necessary?”
“Are you uncomfortable Greg?” she asked, “Does talking about sex make you feel embarrassed?”
“Um, no,” I replied, “but there are certain things I don’t talk about, and this is one of them.”
She took some notes, smiled at me, and asked another question about sex, a very personal question. At this point, I thought she was joking, so I said, “Well, what about you, did you get some last night? Do you want to talk about it?”
That was the exact point it all fell apart. She got very uptight, and basically said that we were here to discuss my problems, not her sex life. I reminded her that I wasn’t here to discuss any problems, that I was in fact, here trying to get a job.
She wrote some more stuff down, and I asked, “So, how am I doing so far?”
Then she started yelling, telling me to stop trying to control the interview, and that I should simply answer her questions. I actually thought it was part of the assessment, seeing how I react in unreal situations, and how I handle them, so I, raised both my hands, palm outwards and said, “Okay, let’s calm down, take a few deep breaths, and… “ And that was it. Her pen flew past my head, followed by her notepad, then her stapler, and pretty much everything else on her desk. She was a crap shot, because nothing hit me. She kept yelling her head off, and when she started abusing me I stood up and walked out.
Ten minutes later at my exit interview, the part where they officially say Yep, or Nope, the boss looked at me, shook his head and said, “Mate, I’d hire you in a flash, you’re perfect for the role, but Jesus wept Greg, what the hell did you do to the shrink, she’s still going off in the staff room?”
I shrugged, and said, “I didn’t want to tell her about my sex life.”
He looked stunned, “You’re kidding?”
I didn’t get the job. By that stage, I didn’t want the job. I wouldn’t recommend them in a fit… even though I’ve heard that they’ve since changed their employment assessment programme. So you can understand my reluctance to go through psych tests again! This was a woman who obviously had a very high IQ, and the emotional quotient (EQ) of a toddler. I’m sort of hoping those new EQ tests are weeding out the incompetents.
Anyway, today was quite a lot of fun, even though I don’t think I’ve done terribly well, but on the bright side, nobody threw furniture at me, so overall, I’m fairly happy with the outcome.