The Four Things I Look for in a Prospective Employee | Interviews

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A new leader recently asked me, “What do you look for in a new hire?”

It’s a common question that I’ve asked myself repeatedly over the years. About a year ago (ironically when I least needed it as I wasn’t anywhere close to hiring anyone) I finally figured it out.

What to look for in a prospective employee

I never formalized it, but as I progressed as a leader, I realized I always looked for the rare combination of four things in a prospective team member. I call them the 4 ‘ations’ of a job prospect.

A prospective team member must display all of these to be considered:

Education

This does not mean “school.” Yes, generally speaking I wouldn’t hire a thirty year old without a high school diploma, but beyond that, formal education means very little to me. What I do care about is what books she’s read and what she’s learned from them. Is he attending workshops or seminars? Is the prospect meeting with a mentor or work study group? Is he listening to podcasts relevant to the work?

Childlike Persistence

Average people use fatigue as an excuse to give up. Don’t be average! Perhaps you’ve set a goal and it seems so out of reach, it is impossible to conceive of achieving anymore. Your attempts to reach your goal started bad, got worse, and now you just want a fresh start. Maybe it started of great […]