Sunday, August 26, 2007


So I'm reading an article on the web about interviews for jobs. Apparently in a year or so's time 80% of vacancies in the UK will be filled using competency based interviews. You know the ones where you are asked the old "Can you give me an example of a time when you went out of your way to provide great service?" type thingys. One question for each of the competencies that go with the job.

It states that already across the UK almost every council uses this method to employ staff as do the majority of major retailers. Mmmm. Made me think did that.

What happens if the job you are applying for is, say, Lollipop Lady (which is obviously called something posh now like Childrens Traffic Safety Officer or some such nonsense). What do you do then? What competencies do you need to display?

Interviwer: "Can you give an example of a time when you have safely managed to stop traffic?
Candidate: "Well aye. I once went to a crossing, pushed the button and waited on the green man before proceeding across the road in a safe manner making it to the other side in one piece"
Interviewer: "Excellent. Now this job requires you to work in all weathers so can you tell us of a time you've had to cope with all weathers?"
Candidate: "Well I've lived in Scotland all my life so I'm used to getting four seasons in one day. I once went to Asda and it was sunny when I left, windy by the time I got there and it was raining when I came out and by the time I got home again it had turned to sleet but I still got my shopping in."
Interviewer: "Superb. You will appreciate there are skills required for this role, both mental and physical. What qualifications or skills do you have that you feel are suitable for this post?"
Candidate: "Oh I think I have all the skills required. Firstly I have a lot of experience in crossing the road and have been doing it since I was old enough to walk really. I learned my green cross code aged about 4 from seeing those adverts which had the boy who played Darth Vader in them and I've never been knocked down. I was a member of the Tufty Club at school and even got badges with Tufty and his pals on them. To this day I never cross a road without first saying to myself "stop, look, listen and think and never go between parked cars". I also know how silly it is to walk out from behind an ice cream van. In addition, I went to Blackpool once and got one of those really big loolipops and lifted it no bother when I was eating it so physically I think I'd be ok. I also really suit flourescent yellow."
Interviewer: "Great. Well thank you and we'll be in touch"

Or what if the job you are after is a wee part-time thing in a supermarket stacking shelves?

Interviewer: "Now organisational skills are very important to this job. Can you provide an example of a time when you've needed excellent organisational skills?"
Candidate: "Oh yes, I have 5 kids so every day is a fine display of organisation from me. I get them washed, dressed, fed and watered, schoolbags sorted, lunches sorted and out the door 5 days a week before 8:30am"
Interviewer: "I see. Good. What about visual display skills? Can you give me an example of a time when you have gone that extra mile to make sure something looked just right?"
Candidate: "Well you should have seen my Christmas dinner table settings. They were fabulous. All co-ordinated in Gold and Green and Red. It took my ages to get everything just right but everyone said how lovely it looked"
Interviewer: "Splendid. A major part of this role involves flexibility so for example, from time to time you may be required to go onto tills if it gets really busy. Can you provide an example of a time when you've had to be flexible and change your plans at short notice and how you dealt with this?"
Candidate: "I'm very flexible because I've done yoga for years and I used to go to gymnastics as a child. Oh I see what you mean! Silly me. Well yes I do have an example. Once I was supposed to meet my Sister outside Debenhams. We chose Debenhams becuase I wanted a new Lipstick and a fascinator for a wedding I was going to and they have loads in there, anyway my Sister rang my mobile when I was on the bus and said she could we change it to meeting outside Boots instead because her daughter had nits and she needed to get lotion for her hair. Of course being a flexible sort of person I said yes and I just got of the bus a stop earlier. We got her nit lotion and I got a Lipstick in there instead which was on offer and then we went onto Debenhams and I got a lovely pink fascinator to match my dress for the wedding."
Interviewer: "Excellent! Well thank you and we'll be in touch"

It's a bit daft really isn't it? I've done 2 interviews like this in my lifetime (I got the job both times I might add) but then in all honestly it's kind of hard to screw it up if you have the ability to think on your feet. I mean seriously 99.9% of people who go to an interview lie at some point and in competency based interviews you just lie a bit more don't you? Oh aye I once had to deal with a really bad customer who came in and pointed a gun at me and said he was was kill us all but I listened to his issues, spoke to him in a soothing manner and by the end of it we were best friends and I got a big promotion and a big bonus in my wages and everyone loved me and now I'm gonna come and work for you and do the same thing.

It's all bollocks and this is how we end up with fuckwits who can't read or write or who do not have the slightest grasp of grammar in positions of power in this country. Yes the fact you can lie your way into a job may help someone climb a ladder who deserves it and can do the job but it also aids the retards with smart mouths and nothing else to offer the same chances. It's all screwed up I tells ya!

Jenny xx


Divemaster Dad said...

Yes, it's all a bit fucked up, but that's cos you've got a system that rewards people for staying at home instead of getting off their lazy arses and getting something constructive done. As soon as the dole system changes (or disappears), there might be some improvement in the type of people that get the real jobs, and all those who are just working to prevent boredom at home will fade away into insignificance. We have the same in SA, without the dole system...many jobs filled by many fuckwits...

Mommy D said...

this system is used by City of Edinburgh Council, Contact Centre, which is why the place is a disaster zone.....