Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Government Technical Difficulties, Local Edition

I am currently completing an "exam" for a research/analysis job with a public school system.  It's like a phone interview set out in written form, but damn, this thing is taking forever to complete -- it counts for 70% of my total score and the "oral exam" (in person interview, I assume) counts for 30%.  (They don't state this explicitly, but I assume highest total score gets the job.)

Anyway, I've been at this for a good while now and I've finally gotten to the last question.  I'm supposed to lay out two different analyses I might do with some particular data, and the exam links to 3 different online sources where I can get information about the datasets.  2 of them return errors that the page is not found.  The other requires a secure log-in with password to access the page.  Thanks, guys!  I guess I will be using the power of Google and my friends at MSU (making shit up) to answer this question.

It occurs to me that this could be a very devious and mean way to subvert the whole fair, open, objective selection system.  Amazingly, only one candidate (an internal one) came up with a really nice proposed analysis -- indeed, it seemed like she was the only one who really understand what the data were.  But when it comes to government flunkies, in my experience it is best to assume incompetence over maliciousness unless you have good reason to think otherwise.

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