Predictive Index

Posted by jael on Aug 28, 2010 in Business, Education, Technology

Job applications make my Top 10 List of Hallelujah Breakers today.

Get this; my sister emailed me today to share the heads-up that she had decided to put her name in the hat for some part-time work.

As part of the application process, she was asked to complete a “Predictive Index.”

On page one, she was instructed to check off the words from a supplied list that she feels describe the way others expect her to act.

On page two, she was asked to check off the words from a supplied list that identify her expectations of herself.

I’ve pasted the word list below:

So, clearly, I’m no therapist, but I assume there is a psychodynamic inventory embedded in this check list, and I am intrigued on many levels.

I confess the title of the task really bakes my cupcakes.  “Predictive Index?”  Just like Silence of the Lambs, baby, the gallant and elegant sociopath, Hannibal Lecter, said it best, “Oh, Agent Starling, do you think you can dissect me with this blunt little tool?”

Come on!  Clearly this Predictive Index is meant to measure personality indicators that some company paid a puffed-up consultant a ridiculous wad of cash to build.  “Yeah!  Build me a matrix!  Write me a tool so I can hire someone who lives the mission statement and honors the code.  Construct me a Skinner’s Box so that we can weed out the weary, helpless, broken-hearted, faithless, and confused.   Let those lost souls cry out to Jesus, ‘cause we only hire producers who promote value and honor the company name.”

Really now, has our social code degraded to the point that a potential job applicant would assert that others should expect him to act fearful, self-centered, selfish and dominant?  Can you imagine any non-dream state that would compel you to say, “Hi, my name is Jael, I am a passive, audacious, worrying, docile, obstinate, fussy escapist who promises to add value to your organization.”

Usually people smart enough to participate in 12 Step programs know the difference between a job application and a meeting.

Certainly, there must be words that flag potential psychopaths and narcissists for the employer.  I respect companies must roll the dice as they throw development capital into the recruitment and training of talent, but come on!  This kind of exercise could produce clinically measurable anxiety.

It’s like a Bounce House for the Id, Ego and Super Ego to collide!  Do I check what I think they want me to say, or check what I think is right, or check how my kids would describe me when I go postal over spilled chocolate milk on the couch?

What does this Predictive Index measure?  What the potential employer expects?  What one expects of potential colleagues?  What one expects of oneself?  And those are just the not crazy-kind of second-guessing questions.  What if it somehow measures if I am insecure or if English is my second language or if I have some kind of cheese fetish?  What in the hell does resolute really mean anyway, and is it exclusively a good or bad attribute?

I’d say more, but at this point, I am afraid someone is watching me.

The Holy Dove ain’t ever tried to dissect me with a blunt little tool.

In fact, my God promises to prosper and not to harm me.

I did my best, it wasn’t much (not passive)
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch (not audaciously)
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you (trusting)

And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my blessedly employed tongue but Hallelujah!

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