Hire for attitude

Never being part of HR team, I’ve been involved in interviewing people for many years. I wish I collected some data over time, but well, I didn’t. The fact is – I’ve learned a hell of a lot about people (and myself) in this process.

What I was looking for in a candidate years ago is different to what I look for these days. Yes, I still look for skills and experience, they are important, but it’s not the full recipe for a great colleague. The world is changing so rapidly, that something you excel in technically today might be worthless in 5 years time.

Most of all, I am looking for the right attitude. Someone who happily checks their ego at the door (work is not a competition!) and puts their whole hearts into the job. In other words – if you are at work – truly be there, not just sit there. It’s not even coming to the office that matters here – wherever you are – are you mentally at work or would you rather be somewhere else?

Part of the right attitude is proactivity. A lot of people simply wait for permission (many never even ask, just assuming the answer would be no). If you are passionate about what you do, mature enough to understand the consequences and truly believe it’s the best thing to do – just do it! Apparently, it’s proven that in the long term we regret more the things we didn’t do rather than the ones we did! So – if you believe it is the right thing to do – ask for forgiveness, not permission (some of my colleagues hear it a lot from me!).

Now, something essential that is a result of the right attitude and proactivity (or maybe it’s the other way around?) – learning. How do you educate yourself? How much time and/or money you invest in your development? How hungry (for knowledge) are you? And what did you learn from your own career so far?

Part of the learning process is sharing what you learned with others. Some people say there is no value in it (!) and it makes me cringe. It’s a short-sighted view in my opinion. Education is not an instant coffee, the benefits will not always show up the next day. We learn by doing and teaching is doing.

These are of course my values, based on my own experience with candidates. I am not an HR person and I probably missed some other important aspects. But well, I am still learning! And sharing: here is an excellent video about behavioural interviews by Jackson Gabbard. It’s one hour long, but worth the time.

Now – teach me something!



One thought on “Hire for attitude

  1. Andrzej July 31, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Well noticed!

    A proper (expected) attitude is one of fundamentals. But many times we need a strong competence firstly, so – as all within a life – it all depends on circumstances. We can design our world (both private and professional) on basis of our principles, however, the reality surprised us, usually in the least expected way… 😉 Then the most important thing is our own attitude.



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