The only reason I laugh about this is because a.) it’s kind of funny looking back on it, and b.) the only other option is to cry, which admittedly, I’ve already done.
Anyway, the job search has improved in the sense that there haven’t been anymore HR-Ashleys (maybe a breakthrough?), but for the most part it’s stayed relatively stagnate and unsuccessful. Then I applied to The Organization. For those of you who watch Sherlock, it’s sort of like how Sherlock refers to Irene Adler as “The Woman,” but less endearing and more like reducing 20-something year old women to tears.
Anyway, I applied for a Writing position with The Organization. For a few weeks I’d been going back and forth with them in the interview process– a timed written assessment, phone interview, and then the timed skills assessment. And when they said skills, it was basically a glorified MATH test. Four assessments: a language section, a timed 2-minute math test (which I answered MAYBE 5 of the 10 questions), a technical section which was glorified, impossible math/programming questions. Impossible as in: If T$<E and BV!>A% are true, then which of these are false: Z@U=C%, or WTF=?!?!. Naturally, I would have picked the last answer if that were actually an option, but of course it wasn’t.
The math section was more or less the same as the technical portion, asking about 20 questions that made me question every ounce of intelligence that (I think) I possess. They were all open-ended, too, which meant that I didn’t have a prayer for even guessing and getting it right. For one question, I had to guess what a person bought from a home improvement store based on how much money s/he spent ( for example, “The person needs 30 million of this item, here’s $8.67. What did this person get?”), and I wrote “nails?”. I actually included the question mark because I was THAT unsure. The rest of the assessment went more or less the same, which means I’m picturing those who work at The Organization sitting at a round, mahogany conference table having a good laugh. (“OMG, Bob! Did you see this girl put nails! With a question mark?! This is too GOOD!).
But it gets better, because I didn’t just take an online assessment. I had someone from an online proctor site watching me while I took it. Like, Skype, except more awkward. They made me shift my desktop around so they could see my test surroundings (I should have said I was in a jail cell, just to see their reactions), which resulted in a whole slew of issues. Once those were resolved, though, I was able to start the assessment! I found myself throughout the tests getting really close to my screen while reading questions and concentrating, and then I’d snap back from the screen. You know, because I forgot that someone on the other end of my webcam was getting an extreme close-up of my left nostril and flaking skin cells. They also witnessed my “You-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me,” and “This-is-so-difficult,” and “WTF?” expressions, but I like to think those are my more attractive faces, anyway.
I had a difficult time understanding the logic of having someone who’s applying for a WRITING position take a MATH test. It’s a general hiring practice for The Organization, an assessment that all applicants take regardless of the position for which they’re applying. I get that, but still, it’s math….
Needless to say, I didn’t get the job, but I’m surprisingly okay with this (now). The moral of this little post is that a math test might prevent you from getting a job (or if you’re good at math, then you might get the job. Good for you!)…
…but it makes for a good story.
To the three readers out there–do you have any job search scars? Maybe we can make the comments section like support group.