The interview went… well. I hesitate, because it was so completely over-the-top exhausting, and so beyond the scope of what normally typifies a job interview. There was a strength assessment, a medical examination, a written test on physics, math, and English, an interview by a four-person panel, and finally an entire day of trades-related tests which was lovingly referred to as “boot camp”. My friend Pball, who treated me to an evening of friendship and good food between the two days of testing, said that it should more properly be described as a screening. Yes, I feel very screened.
There were 19 of us applicants, and another 18 or 19 had been through the week before, making a total pool of 38 or 39 candidates. They are hiring for 12 positions. Around 450 people applied, of which 150 were actually qualified, and three of the people in my cohort had been through the entire screening process the year before but not been hired.
The acceptance letters start going out mid-March, and the introductory safety program starts mid-April. After all the positions are filled, they’ll send out letters of regret to the rest of the candidates. I was shocked to talk with other applicants and hear that they were ambivalent about the job: Several said that they weren’t at all sure they’d take it if it were offered. So, there could be people who turn down the job, which means there’s a chance of acceptance all the way until that intro program starts in two months’ time.
I passed the physical assessment, which was tiring but not difficult: A lot of carrying weights back and forth, and holding a weighted pole above my head for specified amounts of time. Medically, I’m fine, though the doctor wouldn’t let me leave without a prescription for an inhaler, just in case my asthma flares up, though I assured him that it hadn’t been a problem in a while. “You don’t have a family doctor,” he said in a very concerned tone, “You need to let me give you this.” Okay, Doc, thanks.
I’m glad I did all that studying in math and physics these past weeks, though the test wasn’t nearly as difficult as I was expecting. It was more trigonometry than algebra, and more electrical theory than vector forces. The English portion was fun, though I ran out of space for the writing assignment… Typical long-winded blogger, expecting the text field to continuously expand to fit my rambling words!
The interview was intense. I wasn’t expecting half the questions they asked, and was much more intimidated by the panel aspect of it than I’d thought I’d be. It’s a lot, to have 4 people asking you questions. I don’t feel it went as well as it could have, but it certainly wasn’t a disaster either. Talking with the other candidates, I learned that just about all of them thought their interview went badly. Egads.
In contrast, the second day was fun: Also intense, hence the whole “boot camp” moniker, but thrilling. I got to operate a bucket truck, riding in the bucket while using the joystick to raise it a halfdozen metres into the air and then swing it out over the training yard! That alone pretty much made the entire venture worth while.
More than anything, the screening process reminded me that I love a lot of things about the trades, and that there’s a place for me in that sort of work. So, I’m making plans to move on from my current job, regardless of how this opportunity with Hydr0 pans out. Also, I learned that due to many impending retirements, Hydr0 needs to double their intake of apprentices this year… Which means that they’ll be running their next competition in only 6 months, as opposed to the usual 12.