Thanks to Scott Graby and the folks at Tennessee's Hearthstone Property Services I have decided to continue working at Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction. As an article in this month's issue discusses, Hearthstone has an innovative and very effective approach to its hiring process -- an approach that involves a pre-employment "personality assessment" that helps determine whether an applicant is suited to the rigors and unusual nature of being a sweeper operator. Figuring that there's nothing wrong with having a backup career plan I asked Scott if I could take the test. It was straightforward, easy, and I thought when I'd finished that Hearthstone would soon be calling me for a ride-along before making me a job offer. Not so fast. While I did score well in Steadiness, meaning I don't care for too much change (Scott and Tiffany Pasquale say I aced this category) and the results in the Diplomatic category indicate I might be able to relax more as a sweeper operator -- those positives weren't enough to overcome apparently glaring concerns that would make me, at best, a risk as a sweeper operator prospect. * In the assessment's Interactive rating I rated too high "since our guys work solo all night and normally prefer it that way," Scott wrote in my evaluation. "You like interaction, and would probably become bored, and be looking to bail out after a while." * But I really didn't make the grade in the Contentious assessment, scoring "a lot lower than we prefer for sweeping." Scott says a high score in this quality means a perfectionist, "so although we don’t want a 100% in this category because they would spend too much time trying to get the last bit of dirt, and never complete their route in a timely manner, we like to see about 80%." Okay, but there is good news in this category too: Scott says, "A low score would make for a good salesman or magazine company editor and conference coordinator." (A good thing to know since I'm sure my current employers are regular readers of this blog.) "Hope this helps," Scott wrote when he sent me the results. "Your dreams of a sweeping career with us are probably not going to happen." As I said, I'm keeping my day job. You can read more about the assessment (not mine) and see a sample chart of results (not mine) by clicking here.