Using a Pencil and Paper Test to Assess Soft Skills Or Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Bill walked into the HR office of Megaberp Industries. ?Hello. How can I help you?? asked the receptionist. ?I?m Bill Sharpe. I?m here to apply for the management position. I have an appointment with Hume Resorce.? ?Of course, Mr. Sharpe. Mr. Resorce will be with you in a moment. By the way, while you are waiting, would you please complete this short questionnaire before your appointment? You can use that desk over there.? Bill took the questionnaire, looked it over and thought. ?Gees, here?s another one. When will they figure out that I know all the answers they are looking for? Management job equals desire to plan, coach, set goals, help employees get better, and support the organization. Swell. I can?t remember the last time I actually DID that. But if Megaberp thinks they will sneak anything by old Sharpe, they have another thing coming.? Bill looked over the first item. You are walking down the hallway to the coffee machine when you see two employees engaged in a violent argument, do you: 1) ignore them and take another route, 2) walk up to them and politely inquire how you might help resolve their dispute, or 3) call security? ?Ringer!? thought Bill. ?They want me to take the interested, yet conscientious manager approach. Too bad the last time this happened, I ducked out through the side door and was in the cafeteria before they knew I was gone. Good thing, too. The argument got really violent and one guy punched the other. It shut down the whole department for the day. Let?s see. Circle number 2. Next question!? You know some expensive computer equipment is missing. The rumor is that one of your most productive salespeople, who is also a good friend of your boss, has been seen taking things home at night. Do you: 1) talk to your boss about it, 2) anonymously call someone in HR to discuss the issue for you, 3) turn the matter over to security, 4) ignore the whole thing and mind your own business. ?Baaaalll Two!? Thought Bill. ?If they just knew how many times I quietly let things slide so I would look good. Let?s just circle number 1. That way I?ll look discrete, but still concerned about the company.? Bill continued answering questions. Every so often the receptionist thought she could hear a few bars of ?Take me out to the ball game? coming from Bill. ?Gee, he?s upbeat?, she thought. ?We could really use someone like him here at Megaberp.? ?Here you go,? said Bill. ?All done. And a very difficult test, I might add. I just hope I did all right.? ?I?m not supposed to say this, Mr. Sharpe, but we put quite a bit of faith in that test. It helps us pick good managers. Excuse me while I prepare this for Mr. Resorce.? She quickly scored the test and walked a copy though the doorway to a private office. ?Of course,? said Bill as he sat down in the soft lounge. A few minutes later Hume walked out of his office. ?Bill?? ?Mr. Resorce?? ?Yes. I must say your test results are very, very impressive. Nice work.? ?Thank you, Sir.? ?Let?s go into my office and talk.? She wasn?t sure, but the receptionist thought she heard Bill humming ?Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks? before Hume?s door closed.

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