Sunday, August 17, 2014


Over the years, I've done my fair share of pre-employment assessments. The one I did for my last job was the most in depth by far. During this evening's job search efforts, I came across one of the most diabolical. It starts off easy enough with the standard "which of the two following statements best describes you? A) I like to lay naked on a fire ant mound slathered in honey and confectioners sugar. or B) I live to cauterize my intestines with Thai ghost peppers with a hot cinnamon schnapps chaser." As you would expect, they ask you the same questions a couple of different ways to calibrate your responses.

Then, they turn the knob up to eleven.

Math and logic word problems...against the clock.

You have three minutes to read, analyze and calculate the correct answer, you can use scratch paper, a calculator, an abacus or a three year old. No cheating.

Most of them I did okay on. I think. The one that killed me went something like this (not exactly like this since I don't want to get in trouble with someone for sharing their intellectual property).

"Your company has 5 employees that buy widgets. Beavis buys 450 widgets at a $1 more than Cornholio pays. Butthead buys 650 widgets for $0.50 less than Cornholio pays but $0.75 more than Gribble pays. Gribble pays $1.00 more than Boomhauer does but buys 600 widgets. Cornholio buys 500 widgets and pays the princely sum of $5.25 per widget. Who spent the most money buying widgets?"

I locked up on that one scratching it out on paper. By the time I had it set up and was making headway, the clock was down to 7 seconds. Doh!!! Pick an answer and hope it's write. I checked myself it wrong. Just another minute, and I could have narrowed it down. But, they are timing this for a reason. How does this monkey perform under pressure and deadlines.

This monkey thinks this is a stupid shell game designed by MBAs who think solving math and logic problems against a clock is a useful metric.


  1. I've had problems with similar ones because my answers were "too honest" and nobody would actually be that ethical.

    Take care man, are you part of any professional association? Those can sometimes be the best gateways.

    1. Ogysseus, that's kind of like my experience with the armed forces recruiters in high school. All of them except the Marines refused to believe that I had never tried drugs. I am not currently part a professional organization. The claims associations around here typically turn into vendor marketing opportunities more than anything else. So, I've typically avoided them. It looks like I will have to suck it up and go visit for the networking opportunities.

  2. Our daughter just completed one of these "tests". She says you are exactly right. She says they are testing frustration tolerance and b.s. tolerance. She laughs and says, I graduated from a university in the last few years. They should KNOW my tolerance for total BS has been developed to its maximum.

    1. Jane, my frustration tolerance is pretty high after dealing with The Queen's health issues, fostering children and going through the adoption process with M&M, commuting in Dallas traffic and working in the insurance claims industry for almost 20 years. I haven't shot anyone yet. So, that's a good indicator. I've never had much tolerance for BS though. It's why I don't do well in the office politics game.


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