I am a natural leader.

Always True. Mostly True. Sometimes True. Mostly False. Always False.

Pick one.

I am not affected by stress.

Always True. Mostly True. Sometimes True. Mostly False. Always False.

Pick one.

I am well-regarded by my peers.

Always True.

I sleep well at night.

Sometimes True?

It is acceptable to lie if it means getting out of trouble.

Always False. Definitely Always False. Right?

I am capable of love.

Always… wait. What? That’s a real question?

It is a real question, and anyone applying for a job in the 21st century is probably familiar with this process. You find a job online, you put your resume in, then manually re-enter all the information that’s on your resume into the company’s proprietary application system. You write a cover letter that drools over the company’s ego, you wait for a response, and …

There it is, two minutes out. It’s an automated email with a link to an assessment test. It’s an hour and a half long, it could double as an intake form for a mental hospital, and if you don’t do it, they won’t even consider you for the job. Realistically, they won’t consider you anyway, but you have no choice but to do it.

So you do. You carve out that long stretch of time from your day, and you give them all your answers. Stress habits? Check. Management style? Personal goals? Your relationship with your family? Your life satisfaction level?

Well, you can’t be that satisfied with your life if you’ll willingly sit through this process in a futile hope to change at least a part of it. But that’s fine, it’s easy enough to lie on these assessments. Nobody will know that you’re a real human with complicated emotions. If they knew that, they’d never hire you.

So you’re Businessman Ken or Businesswoman Barbie, made of plastic, absolutely perfect, with no rough edges or jagged points. You’re hireable, right? Right?

Maybe. But you’ll never know, because that company that you just jumped through hoops for will never email you back. Were you overqualified? Underqualified? Adequately qualified, but the department instituted a hiring freeze? It’s your best guess, buddy.

So you do it again. And again, and again, and again. And one of those times, the company you’ve applied to won’t make you take the Myers-Briggs to prove you can do data entry. They won’t make you take a 400-question psychology screen to be a waitress at Cheesecake Factory. They’ll just treat you like a normal person who’s looking for a job, and they’ll tell you when and why they decided not to hire you. If you’re lucky, they’ll end up offering you a job. It’s a long shot, but it could happen.

Someday, companies may realize that this doesn’t work – that you can’t quantify someone being a good fit for the company with a multiple choice questionnaire, even if you make the test three hours long. But I won’t hold my breath.

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