Job interviews: the final saga

Thursday dawned for my job interview. I had a 7am Pilates lesson, a duo, which was lovely: whatever else happens, I will always have a warm and loving relationship with spinal extension. Few things in life are not improved with a backbend, don’t you find. Following this, I watched my boss having a lesson, and then I taught a newish client.

So far, so good. I had to wait a bit for a bus, and I had to catch the Mairangi Bay one, not the Windsor Park; that meant I had to hasten up the hill on my feet once I got there, which was inclined to leave me pinkish in the cheeks of my face. Fortunately, all three of my interviewers were stuck in traffic, so I got to sit peacefully on the couch for a wee while.

As readers are aware, the interviewers know me quite well, and so it was not necessary to discuss my personality defects or perceived or actual intelligence in any depth; I breezily described a few scenarios in which I have recently (a) forced someone against his will to do something unpleasant, such as eating vegetables or washing, (b) worked in a team, (c) used my perceived or actual intelligence to accomplish some important task, (d) withstood mind-altering boredom, and (e) other things like this. They delicately inquired after any warning signs I am likely to display just before I asplode from stress, and then we devolved into chatting for a moment or two.

Then I walked home, and on the way I discovered the Milford mall, which has quite the reputation as malls go around here; so I went in, and found it was dimly lit but well-stocked with swanky shops, which I did not peruse; I was making my way out when I received a call from the alpha interviewer, who offered me the job.

So there it is. Betty has a job. Onwards and upwards.

Gettin’ Wiggy with it

Rather lyrically, the Auckland bus system decided to solve the dilemma of my trying to leave work at eleven and get to the psychologist at eleven-thirty by having a strike. If I were merely, say, the drummer in a band, I would simply have suggested that the others record their album without me, but as it was, I think the psychologist would have been likely to notice.

Fortunately, my useful friend Alan lent me his car. I had not driven for months, but what of it? I made it safely to the potential workplace, which, incidentally, operates from a rather expansive church complex with a snazzy cafe filled with young mothers and upmarket strollers; it appears to serve very good coffee. I made a slight bish with the psychologist by taking his opening remark, a breezy yet avuncular “Who is this Betty? Why is she here? What makes her tick?”, as a rhetorical comment. While I sat politely waiting for him to put the tips of his fingers together, it turned out he was waiting for the answer.

No matter. He’d pretty much only just sat down when he got up again to draw bell-curves on the whiteboard, indicating my perceived and actual intelligence with asterisks, and then he went through the crannies of my personality in detail; nothing scary, he was careful to say a few times, although if I’m even triple as tense as I said I wasn’t, I’d still be dead on the floor, apparently. I am not of a clerical bent, should stay far away from accounting, have no particular interest in being a travel agent, and am highly sensitive, aesthetic, and sentimental. Most importantly, I have the requisite V pattern on the Kodus and don’t appear to be, as he delicately put it, “too screwed-up”. I’m still in the running toward becoming Auckland’s next top support worker with the stars.

Science vs Betty’s Brain

So after I spent a few pleasant hours doing psychometric testing for this job I’m after, they called me back and said that their psychologist wants to see me. For an hour. He, or perhaps she, is only in two days a week, so I have to wait until next week to get the detailed explanation. Agog, once again.

You know the feeling when you realise, only too late, how awful some situation might have been, had not the fates intervened? I remember getting it once after getting back from Brisbane, where I’d been for a week or two doing some training. I had been walking to the studio and had stepped out to cross a one-way street when a taxi, going the other way (note well: he was going the wrong way), drove over my foot. It was the tyre marks on my shoe that gave me pause. But only when I got home. I was over it by then, of course, but there it was: my tibia had avoided a taxi by a matter of less than an inch.

Well, I had the same kind of feeling after getting home from this here psychometric test. During the first section, a thirty-minute intelligence quizzo, there were a few questions next to which I put a tiny dot, that I might go back and make sure. The one that gave me the most trouble went something like this:

One of these words is not like the others! One of these words just doesn’t belong!

A. Steal. B. Cheat. C. Extort. D. Sell. E. Loot.

I had another look at it, quizzled my face all up to one side, and then thought, “Aha! Selling, it is not morally wrong!” and put D. However, this took me a moment or two. Should I worry?


I spent a fascinating afternoon being psychometrically tested in the hopes of getting a rather perfect job. It was fascinating. I answered about forty trillion fascinating questions: some putting letters in order, intuiting the next number in a random sequence, locating the intersection of the square and the circle, pricing lengths of string, and pairing up related words, and some revealing my secret desires for a career in zoology over vivisection. I was asked repeatedly whether I would really, if money were no object, make pottery, or would perhaps prefer to party with friends.

The test was, naturally, designed to be impervious to devious nutters wishing to skew the results, and therefore I will have to wait until early next week to learn my fatal flaws. Agog.