From the Wall Street Journal:
According to the study, mathematicians fared best in part because they typically work in favorable conditions — indoors and in places free of toxic fumes or noise — unlike those toward the bottom of the list like sewage-plant operator, painter and bricklayer. They also aren’t expected to do any heavy lifting, crawling or crouching — attributes associated with occupations such as firefighter, auto mechanic and plumber.
Other jobs at the top of the study’s list include actuary, statistician, biologist, software engineer and computer-systems analyst, historian and sociologist. There seems to be a bias towards desk jobs.
Some of the low-scoring jobs were a surprise. Nurse? Well, there’s lots of stress and some physical exertion, but the pay is high. Is EMT a bad job while parole officer is a good job? If firefighter is such a bad job, why do so many people want to do it? Some people like to be active; some like stress.
In other career news, applicants for retail jobs are finding ways to cheat on personality tests, reports the Journal. Some take the test multiple times, get advice from a friend who passed, look for answer keys online or get a friend to take the test for them. In your free time, do you prefer to stay home or go out? Do you think other people’s feelings are their own business? Are you bothered when something unexpected interrupts your day?
I took a personality test in 1978, when I applied for a lousy job at a local newspaper. It went on so long and repeated so many questions that I got too tired to remember my lies. But they did call me in for an interview, so I guess I have a personality.
When I was hired by the San Jose Mercury News, I never took the personality test. My boss was too new to know he should send me through HR. Colleagues said they’d been asked whether they’d rather be a snake handler or a trapeze artist. I’m still pondering that one.