Monday, 23 July 2007

There's a horror movie in this somewhere

That interview was awful.

The first part of the test was nightmarish. I was put in a tiny room (doing a remarkable impression of a cubicle) and given brief instructions on what to do with information.

First, read through part of a report, bullet the most important points and answer detailed questions on what I thought of the quality of the information in the report.

I spent so long on the discrepancies, that I didn't have time to tap it all up on the Word document, I just kept it in pencil on paper.

Then, I had to manipulate data from an Excel spreadsheet. Draw graphs, interpret the data and then add equations to show 10% differences and so on.

I sat there re-learning how to use Excel. The Help function was a big help, but I only managed to draw one graph before the time was up.

Then the interview.

What appeared to be two relatively elderly academics and a young HR girl interviewed me after reviewing the data I produced from the exercise.

Female elderly academic (a tiny bird like woman with a receding chin) seemed to be worried about my lack of wordprocesssing ability. Did I know how to use Word?

Male elderly academic (complete with grey beard and tweed jacket) wanted to know about how I would demand information from the Environment Agency and Severn Trent regarding the flooding crisis in Gloucestershire.

I wasn't very confident - even though I had gone through all the information on the internet that I could lay hands on about OfWat.

I didn't think to look up "Environment Agency" or look at the impact the flooding would have on the work of OfWat.

I know I didn't get that job.