Posted by Lora on February 17, 2012

So about those surveys you took …

In the joy and uncertainty of being unemployed, you adopt a “yes, sir” and “no, sir” mentality to the things you are asked to do by a prospective employer. You send out resumes and cover letters filled with chosen words. In hopes, that someone with a pulse will at least touch your documents. For the lucky few, you run the gauntlet of tasks – the Phone Call, the First Interview, and for those truly lucky, the Mystical Second Interview. Lucky me!?! Then with blood, sweat, and tears, you receive the holy grail – an OFFER. They gather the blood, sweat, and tears for DNA processing while you sign the I-9, W-whatever they are, and a few other documents so they will own your soul and be able to tag and release you to the general population.

You show up for the interview spit, polished and looking your best. You attempt to appear positive, intelligent, and a great asset for their business. Every once and a while they change things up and throw a speed bump at you. Would you, could you, will you take these “magical surveys”? (Read take these damn things or we won’t consider allowing you to think about getting into Club Employed. Mwahahahahha.) Most are typical. Typing test to make sure you know how to type. Check. Logic test to make sure you can figure out how many reams of paper you need to complete 100 proposal documents and how much coffee you need to keep the office from withdrawals. Check. MS Office skills test to make sure you know more than a monkey about the products. Check. Oh and by the way, Personality test to make sure you are a sane and normal human being. Ummm, check.

Yeah, that last one makes you go … ummm, ick … ummm, ok … ummm, I don’t wanna. I know. I know. It is a tool. However, your life has been in “Fit Hits the Shan” mode for 3 years before the New Years Bonus of 2011. (That is my fancy way of saying pink slipped.) You find that your self is a “little” eroded. Imagine nerves beaten down to brittle and broken with the bubble gum and duct tape giving up. You keep plugging along, because by now, you are even running out of Monopoly money.

So at my last brilliant attempt at an 2nd level interview, one of the members of team Goon Squad …. err, I mean, Current Staff says, “You know those surveys you took. You did fabulous on the skills and logic tests. The personality test gives you a profile with incredible problem-solving skills, but you scored the lowest in self-confidence. That concerns us.” This causes the back half of my brain and front half of my brain to start arguing over how screwed I am while the left and right side try to come up a snappy come back. This causes multiple synaptic failures with complete system reboot stall.

Choices, choices. This must be the response of a mature, responsible adult. OK, here are my choices …

  1. Stand up and run like crazy out of the room – Yeah, this might not leave a good impression, besides we are only on question two of this interview. It cannot get worse, right?
  2. Completely ignore the problem while sweeping the remains of my confidence under the rug
  3. Tell them their test is bullshit and demand to take it again – “What the hell are you talking about? I have plenty of confidence! I know how to do shit and stuff!”
  4. Pretend like your cat took that portion of the test – “Yeah, I took a bathroom break and came back to my cat sleeping on the keyboard. I only remember doing the Logic and Skills test. Damn, cat always messing with computer.”
  5. Blame the zombies – yeah, that’s another post.
  6. Face it square in its ugly face – “Yeah, my confidence is under construction at the moment. I know there are issues, but I make sure they do not interfere with my work.”

After a short millennium, hyperventilating, passing out, and self-resuscitating (two maybe three seconds), I choose the last option. Nothing like facing some embarrassing facts about yourself just out of the gate, I gathered my courage and faced the firing squad. I gave it the best answer I can, “My confidence is under construction. Remember those problem solving skills, I am using them to fix the issues.” I try my best to drag everything back to the positive and “keep calm, carry on”.

Unfortunately, I did not make the final cut. I did grab my courage by the throat and emailed them asking for feedback. You know what, I presented well. They were encouraged by my answers. It just came down to years of experience and, as Alton Brown would put it, “the consistency of my hummus”.

Still seeking a paycheck,
Lora

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