Norman Allan, 35, pointed the blade at a female disability analyst at the company's Edinburgh office in July 2012, the city's sheriff court heard yesterday.
Depute procurator-fiscal Karon Rollo told the court Allan turned up for an interview to see if he was eligible for state benefits, but did not co-operate with the woman who was interviewing him. Ms Rollo said: "He became very agitated and aggressive and refused to answer questions in relation to the assessment. This culminated in him producing a knife – which is described as having a six- inch blade."
However, the staff member – who was not named – did not panic. Ms Rollo added: "The disability analyst was aware that she had access to a personal attack alarm. But she did not use it for fear of escalating matters. She managed to talk to him and he eventually left."
When he was arrested by police, Allan said: "I brought the fishing knife to show her how much fear I am in."
Allan yesterday pled guilty to carrying a knife without having a lawful excuse. He will be sentenced on March 20.
Atos assesses whether people are fit enough to start working and stop claiming benefits, but critics claim its assessments are too harsh.