Being Tested at an interview

Having been a member of the “12% club” for a while (exclusive club, limited to those who had their position eliminated or laid off or otherwise are not working…latest figures from Oregon Employment Department puts the unemployment figure at 12%), I have participated in many interviews.  However, I have never been “tested” whether I have the skills I claim to have as evidence on my resume (not that I would lie or otherwise expand the truth a little).   Well today’s interview, I was tested….not once but twice!!

One of the tests was a compensation analysis…for those in NOT in HR, basically this is an analysis of whether a salary is “appropriate” given the market conditions.   It involves a classification study, which there are several methods “classify” jobs in a company and then compare those classifications (and there are several methods to compare too) to other jobs via salary surveys.   One can use mathematical formulas, regression analysis and other complex stuff…and I was prepared for this “test”

But I was also asked to give a training presentation as one of my “tests”.  When I was informed of this test, I thought I would be given the training materials and I just simply present it to an audience.  Nope….it was more creative than that!  I had to choose a topic amongst a list, develop a training presentation, then actually perform that presentation to the panel (of 4 interviewers)…the topics were limited to ONLY these:

  • How to write/send an email
  • How to make a sandwich
  • How to shop for groceries
  • How to build a meeting agenda

I only had 15 minutes to prepare and I was able to use flip chart, markers, blank paper, tape if I wanted in my presentation (no powerpoint)!  My presentation of the  “training” was limited to only 10 minutes…so I was put in a room and 15 minutes later, I developed a training course!!  WOW, what a test!  I was to be evaluated on 4 factors:  (1) how well my thoughts were organized, (2) how I interacted with the group, (3) if I brought energy to the topic and (4) have a beginning, middle & end.

Can you guess which topic I choose?  I wanted to use a topic that I thought, not many will choose so I can be “judged” by itself (I was informed there are 22 candidates that will be interviewed for this position).  Hint:  the last sentence of the instructions I was given for this “test” was…”we hope you have some fun with this“!  So I did!   The panel of 4 people that interviewed me….they all laughed, were engaged and I felt that they all not only enjoyed the presentation, but may have actually learned something!

My tip for the day…always be prepared for the unexpected.  Many know I recently joined toastmasters organization and it has well prepared me for this “test”


One response to “Being Tested at an interview

  1. how to make a sandwich?

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