My Scary Post Aptitude Test True Life Story

My scary post aptitude test true life story - How I almost missed my invitation for a hot job interview and what you can learn from what happened to me.

This happened back in 1997 . . . a few months after I completed the mandatory one-year national youth service corps program in my country.

I applied for management trainee job position advertised by a multi-national beverage company. The company has its roots in the UK and was among the most respected companies in my country.

I was excited when I was shortlisted for the aptitude test scheduled to take place sometime in December 1996. I read every supposedly relevant material I could lay my hand on and prepared like my life depended on it.

The D-day came and I sat for the aptitude test.

I have always known that I was not born a genius. And I didn't plan to be one either. But when I finished the aptitude test, I had a strong feeling that I was going to pass the test.

The Nerve Testing Waiting Game

The company representatives informed us that the results of the aptitude test will be out in about 3 weeks.

We were told that the list of successful candidates will be displayed in the notice board outside the company premises and in the notice boards in the company's depot across the country.

That was great. So, the waiting started.

Boy! Those were the longest three weeks I have ever known!

A Rude Shock. My Name Was Missing From The List!

I was pretty confident I performed well in the aptitude test session that consisted of three subjects. So, when I went to the company's depot in the state where I lived, I was pretty sure my name will appear in the list of successful candidates.

Three weeks had passed rather slowly. Now, I was in front of the list of successful candidates for second round of aptitude test.

My heart was racing.

I scanned through the list and . . . my name wasn't there!

That was a rude shock. I couldn't believe it.

I ran through the list once more to convince myself that it really wasn't there. And again, I couldn't find it.

This was disastrous!

I looked up and down, back and forth. This can't be happening to me!

After hanging around for awhile I went downstairs for a breathe of fresh air.

I really needed this job. I badly needed this job. And since I wasn't in the habit of failing exams, this really hit me where it hurts.

After brooding around for a couple of minutes, I decided to take a look at the list one more time.

I went step-by-step this time. I took my time. Well, what could be worse than the fact that my name wasn't on the list. That thunderbolt had hit me already. What could be worse?

I still couldn't find my name.

For the fun of it, I decided to look at the category of professionals shortlisted for the next stage. I suppose I was trying to understand why I didn't make the list even though I rated my performance high in the aptitude test.

A Light Comes On. The Heavens Opened. Showers of Blessings Flowed. God Heard My Cry!

As I went through the list of shortlisted professionals, I saw the names of sociology graduates, mechanical engineering graduates, graduates of economics, and a number of other disciplines.

Then I ran into one that was odd.

There was someone in the list with a Bsc In Production Engineering.

I have a B.ENG. (bachelor of Engineering) degree in production engineering and I knew at the time that only two universities in my country offered production engineering as a separate discipline from mechanical engineering.

A BSc in engineering?

That title was strange for engineering in my country. Graduate engineers from Universities in my country were usually awarded a B.ENG in engineering.

So, I looked down the row to my left to see who the individual was.

Guess what?

It was my name in that row!

How did I miss it three times!

I was ecstatic. I was overwhelmed with joy. I was enveloped in unbelievable unspeakable emotions. I didn't fail after all.

My spirit came back with a bang!

What Went Wrong? How Could I Have Missed My Name?!

I realized my name was written as "Samson Itoje". I was accustomed to seeing my name written as "Itoje Samson".

Every major form I have filled and everywhere I have seen my name appear prior to that time, my name appeared as "Itoje Samson" . . . surname first.

I guess my brain was tuned to searching for my surname instead of my full names irrespective of how it was written.

Was that sufficient reason to miss my own name in a pre-employment list three times?

Honestly, I don't know. Perhaps it was a combination of my emotions plus uncertainty and anxiety.

Whatever the reason, it happened to me.

To cut a long story short, I went for the second aptitude test and then three other interviews and finally got the job in July 1997.

Guess what?

I ended up working for the company for over 10 years.

The lesson?

1. Never give up

2. Follow your heart

3. Be thorough. Analyze a problem from every angle conceivable. There is a solution somewhere.

Thanks for listening to my 'scary' post aptitude test true life story. I hope you learnt something that can help you somehow.

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