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The Assessment

I've just got home from The Assessment -- and I really don't know what to make of it, or how to rate my chances. It was hard...and it didn't help that I'd hardly slept at all, waking at 3:40 a.m. and spending the rest of the night staring up at the ceiling with my heart in my mouth. And I'm just now realising, perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned this to the psychologist who was assigned to observe me today. And observe me she did -- at times, it felt like I was a specimen of some sort. Anyway, the day started pleasantly enough when to my joy, both Mark and Marcel, the two young men I've been bonding with most during this whole selection process, turned up to take part in this assessment as well. Yay! They got this far, too! We had coffee and later lunch together, but we didn't see much of each other after that. Our individual assessment programme consisted of the filling out of a heap of forms designed to give an accurate picture of your personality; an in-depth interview about your career choices heretofore and the competencies you intend to bring to the job in hand; 2 simulations in which you were basically thrown to the lions - in my case, I had to pretend to be an HR manager who has to decide whether or not to continue with a research project re: women in management, and do a presentation on the fly on how to make a certain governmental department more cost effective as well as productive in the space of 3-4 months. Then, for me the day finished with the writing of a policy document about the financial support given to Al-Qaeda by muslim organisations posing as charitable institutions in the West.

I don't know how I did. I honestly have no idea. I'm not happy with the document I wrote: I had 2 hours to read all the information and write it, but of course I wasted too much time on the first activity and ended up not having enough on the latter -- and so I managed to write a quick introduction piece, but never got to any sort of conclusion. Which is a pity because unlike the other tasks I was set, the results of this test will be sent straight on to the service and judged on its content.

I think I did well in the interview and well on the presentation, but I can't allow myself to become complacent -- or I might very well be terribly disappointed next week, when she'll present her report to me.

I really wish I hadn't mentioned I hadn't slept well...it sounds like an excuse, doesn't it?


Aug. 22nd, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, it sounds like it was ghastly. There again, you can never tell how these things have gone, can you?

Aug. 23rd, 2005 07:11 am (UTC)
It does sound ghastly, doesn't it? And it is, but also...not. I found myself quite enjoying some of it, like giving the presentation to an audience of 2 very sceptic actors whose brief probably was to oppose all my proposals for change. Having had only 10 minutes to prepare my speech (and that included drawing up the sheets for the overhead projector and familiarising myself with the equipment), I think I did pretty well, holding my own and delivering a consistent, coherent message...and presenting it with a certain flair. I'm good at presentations. I often do them, though usually I know what I'm talking about.
Aug. 23rd, 2005 08:56 am (UTC)
I suppose the thing is they're seeing how you work under stress, aren't they, so it won't have been comfortable. *Shudders* I'd have dissolved in a puddle of tears... Well I'd not have got that far! :)

I'd cross my fingers for you but I can't type that way! ;)
Aug. 23rd, 2005 10:47 am (UTC)
I suppose the thing is they're seeing how you work under stress, aren't they,

Oh, of course! So it won't matter what I've said or how good a grasp I got of the situation, they just wanted to see me get on with it! Well, I did that -- so cheers, I feel a lot better about it now!