Tricky Job Interviews - Are They Necessary in a Civil Society?

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In some sectors of space...

The employment system seems an adversarial process, like playing Russian Roulette Chess with explosive chessmen, or Spy vs. Spy with deadly weapons but no cartoon resurrection. To the unemployed and the older job seeker, each new job application and pre-employment test is a little death or a forced march through the themed masquerade rooms of Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death.

At least in Moscow, you knew who the enemy was. - Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson.

Which Is it, Please?

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Interviewing may seem a magic act.Author's ersonal photo from a wall in an Ohio McDonalds(R) before a remodel. Always hiring?At least Star Fleet Academy has a job placement program; so do many WIA apprenticeship, internship, and Seniors placement programs - contact your local WIA office.
Interviewing may seem a magic act.
Interviewing may seem a magic act.
Author's ersonal photo from a wall in an Ohio McDonalds(R) before a remodel. Always hiring?
Author's ersonal photo from a wall in an Ohio McDonalds(R) before a remodel. Always hiring?
At least Star Fleet Academy has a job placement program; so do many WIA apprenticeship, internship, and Seniors placement programs - contact your local WIA office.
At least Star Fleet Academy has a job placement program; so do many WIA apprenticeship, internship, and Seniors placement programs - contact your local WIA office.

"The Workers are Angry"

"Are there jobs in America to be had, or not?"

The answer is "YES and NO."

Counties in some US States are seeing job increases. while other entire states are declining farther into poverty.

While some out-of-work citizens vent about there being no jobs, many jobs are listed and no one seems to be helping to match jobs and job seekers. It's like the puzzle pieces are far across the room form the puzzle and no solving the jigsaw picture. A Ministry of Puzzles might be in order.

The Workers are Angry shouted the headline of USSR's Pravda in 1963. Secondary headlines warned that many groups in USSR were angry during the Cold War. All the way through the 1980s, Siberian school teachers and railroad engineers did not even receive their paychecks! Extended families lived together and the adult workers were supported by the government pensions received by the grandparents and the in-school youth. US citizens fear a similar result in parts of America, provided government subsidy funds do not run dry.

American workers became very angry during the Recession of 2008 - 2009. Not only workers, but small business owners and larger employers became angry and frustrated - even despondent. The World of Work had become a side show hall of mirrors for both sides of the labor-employer balance.

As some companies went out of business, some larger firms received federal funding in order to operational. Tempers flared across the land. On the other side, workers were laid off at the same time that 1000s of job openings were listed on Internet job search engines alone (more job listings via offline sources). The new trend of creative-thinking employment interview questions created tension and outburst among applicants -- Tempers rose on this sides of the balance. Job seekers became desperate as employers became adamant that they take no chances in hiring undocumented aliens and applicants with false credentials, false references, and any of the conditions indicated by pre-employment testing for drugs, crime, and whatever else was permissible to examine.

The years 2009 - 2012 were a strong Employer's Market, because of the change of political party in the White House and Congress. At the same time, the ancient prophecies of many cultures marked 2012 as the End of Days. Hard-pressed job seekers and struggling and bankrupt small business owners were convinced that this might be so.

Discrepancies between jobs forecasts vs jobs listed, labor vs management, and job seekers vs potential employers skyrocketed to galactic proportions. All phasers were set on Stun and ready to go to Kill.

Rogue Personality Testers

Rushing to judgement?
Rushing to judgement? | Source

Personality Tests for Job Applications – Morally Right or Wrong?

In my first experience with an employment agency after college, psychological testing by the agency or potential employers was illegal. I had a degree and experience in psychology, but my agency rep did not read my resume. The first order of business was a psychology exam. I received a test and recognized it as one I had administered to others.

I noticed the agency director speaking to my rep, who ran to me, grabbed the test out of my hands, and rushed away. The director approached and stated that I, particularly, did not need that test. I thanked him and left, deciding that if one aspect of this business was questionable, then others were likely worse.

The misuse of psych testing can be deadly to careers mental health. Through administration and interpretation by certified professionals, the results can be invaluable. Who is giving psychological tests for potential employers?

In my state, only a trained and usually licensed professional or an officially supervised intern recorded with the appropriate State Board may administer psych tests.. Further the tests are permitted only at specific levels – PhD/PsyD (all tests), MA/MS (several specific tests), and BA/BS (very few). Self-administered “pop psych” tests can help job seekers begin to understand what type of career is for them, but they are not an endpoint.

Even Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences have been misused. Some 15-16-year-old victims here were forced to parade in a summer jobs program pageant, wearing their big labels of a single talent (a cluster of 3 is called for) and refused to do schoolwork in other areas. Next summer, the jobs program was cancelled and some were another year behind in school. And this was all paid for with our tax dollars.

Computerized personality tests provided by mega-companies are not very accurate for the individual, because they are made for the masses and miss individual talents. On the local level, unless a company has on staff a master's-level professional to interpret tests, that company may be using them illegally. Check with your State Psychology and Counselors Boards. Does the local Big Box have a certified counselor, LISW/MSW, BSN/MSN, or rehab professional at each store or every 5-10 stores? No.

If the test is computerized, how often is that computer and system serviced and the program checked for accuracy? Do staff just run off a report or receive one electronically from off site and accept whatever it says? Some hospitals in New Jersey were forced to do that in the 1990s for patient diagnoses – until many patients died from incorrect diagnoses.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Workforce Development research shows increasingly since 2005 that older job seekers 50+ years tend to balk at or refuse what they term invasive tests and those 18- 24 take them pretty willingly. Some companies think that the older applicants, therefore, are not the best potential employees. Who’s right?

So, if you complain about a personality test or the computerized Service Reliability Assessment or similar before taking it, does the Big Box rep write down that you are over 50?

More on this subject will be handled in another article.

The Lighter Side of Interviewing, per the BBC

More by this Author


Opinions & Experiences 16 comments

goolya profile image

goolya 7 years ago from Bay area, California

well written and compiled. thank you fo another of you wonderful posts Patty


Eaglekiwi profile image

Eaglekiwi 7 years ago from -Oceania

i will keep this simple = the more government or anyone strips people of their dignity the more problems society will reap.It is an insult to intelligance.I feel anyone who thinks they can get inside another persons head and tell them what they are thinking ,unless they are a brain surgeon, are no better than a fortune teller or false prophet.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

goolya - Thanks for reading and I hope you're enjoying the Hub Challenge.

Eaglekiwi - Brain surgeons do not determine thoughts.


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

After reading this hub, I am so glad my stint with getting a job is over. There is nothing like being self employed.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

cashmere - A relief isn't it?

Coke vs Pepsi? - One interviewer said he asked this question to see if the applicant knew if there were different ingredients in each one. Other interviewers tell me they ask it for other reasons, so it seems like an unfair question to me. Yes, where's the common sense? Sometimes, when employers are desperate for help, some or all of the weird questions disappear from the interviews.

No one determines another's unspoken thoughts, except those few people that can "hear" another's unspoken words, which are electrical impulses that can be received. Computer systems can be doing this soon, so no need to cut open a head for brain stimulation/activity analysis, or for personality tests after that --but putting electrodes around the applicant's skull for a pre-employment test would be a violation of human rights and the law, I believe.

Thanks for all the comments.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Some people seem to have total cognitive disonance when it comes to those who are less fortunate.It doesn't help when there are scammers out there either.I wouldn't mind being self employed,but I have no experiance in that direction.I feel a little intimidated by the accounting aspect of it.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Hello, someonewhoknows - If you want to work for yourself, see if a local college or university has a 'business incubator' center that helps new self-employed people with everything during their first year of self employment. The services are supposed to be free if their available. Other than that, the Small Business Association can help setup accounting procedures and timetables for completing forms and such.

I wish you every success if you decide to go this route.


philipo 7 years ago

Thnks


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I know they exist,I'm just interested in some accurate details as to how the procedure works before I even consider going that route.I'm Not ready to be self employed as yet.I would like to know all the facts before even considering going in that direction.I know you need to file for a federal tax id number,if you file as a corperation.I get the feeling that being self employment is something that is discouraged by big business because it was not taught in highschool when I was growing up.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

I forgot to mention one of the biggest reasons these computerized tests aren't very good: a lack of allowing for cultural differences and different learning/reading/understanding methods. Some people have dyslexia or need an image to look at, or lived many years in another country and are rightly offended or confused by the content of questions; some need to hear the questions, etc. I don't see how these things can be accurate.

In one of my large college classes, the white students took an IQ test written in African American slang. At 35 (profoundly retarded), mine was the number three score, under one in the 40s and one in the 50s. Most scored in the 20s. Then we knew what discrimination felt like. Man, even inanimate objects have an IQ over 10.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

someonewhoknows - we're not taught here about business unless the school has Junior Achievement attached to it. I have noticed, however, that when the newly-unemployed report for their Unemployment Compensation orientation, they are suggested to start their own businesses. They need food now, not 2-5 years in the future when the businsses usually begin to break even. So you may be right about discouragement if business is pressuring schools to not teach self-employment material.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I volunteered to go thru junior achievement when I was in high school,but my mother pulled me out of it before I recieved any really relevent imformation.She wanted me to get a job.I did learn a little about stock and selling shares in the company to family friends and neighbors.But,I never got far enough into it to see all they had to offer as far as all aspects of organising a business.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

It would have been great to have continued in JA, I think -- My school had none at all. It's too bad they don't have Junior Acheivement for adults.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

And I need to add to a previous comment - God knows everyone's thoughts; prayer can lead to the right job, where we need to be.


The Good Cook profile image

The Good Cook 7 years ago

Great hub!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Good Cook - Thanks for commenting; I'm glad to see some discussion about work, finally; a recession brought it all out. See you around the Hubs!

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