The corridors of power …

It’s not as wacky as it sounds. For years, SG Warburg insisted that job applicants submit a sample of their writing for analysis as the final stage of recruitment. The slant of your letters, so they say, can reveal whether you are a compulsive liar, have a drink problem or are suffering from depression.

Bache was sent samples of handwriting without knowing the identity of the author. She summed up her first victim as a no-nonsense, energetic individual, if a little moody at times, who mistrusts woolly thoughts. Why, of course! It could only be Bhs owner Philip Green!

A couple of weeks later, Green was ranting and raving at The Guardian for having the audacity to question his company finances.

About the next candidate, she said: ‘The writer is extremely adept at persuasively getting others to support them and see their point of view.’ That’s right: former Asda chief Allan Leighton, who quit to ‘go plural’.

Subsequent victims have included company doctor David James, and ICAEW president Peter Wyman, who is clearly a far more complex character than many of us assumed. Wyman said Bache was uncannily accurate in many respects.

Not everyone is sold on the idea. One reader wrote in to say that his former chairman had used a graphologist’s report to cast him in a bad light, forcing his removal from the company.

Few companies would hire someone on the strength of what their handwriting says about them. But as an adjunct to interviews and psychometric tests, graphology may not be such a bad thing. It has a huge following in France.

But then, that’s not saying much.

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