Thursday, May 19, 2011

"What is your Favorite Color?"



Blue, no Yellow...of course. Thank you Monty Python for being IBM lovers.

An interesting conversation from the other day about passion. In an interview they ask one about their passion.

While I thought this was an okay question, others believed it was intrinsic to defining someone and their space within the company. As a contrarian, naturally I disagreed.

It goes against my thinking that one would be hired solely for having a passion for IT, as an example. You can have all the passion in the world, but if you can't figure out why a server is down, what good are you in IT? Enthusiasm is good, inability to think is not. I prefer to interview people to understand how they think. When they will be working on a deadline or in the middle of the night I need to trust they can get the job done.

When hiring for sales, I want them to prove they can sell me something from my office. When hiring for marketing I want them to take a stand and back it up.

Maybe it is just me but I believe that a person is passionate about what they do or when they are applying for a job they seek what they prefer. Why would I apply for a developer job? It is not me even though I could probably meet the requirements in some shape or form.

And so if you saw a resume and decided to interview someone, I presume you would think they have a passion for the role.

I recognize this may not always be the case, but if I like IT and am a member of PETA, but need a job, and the only one open is with a leather clothing manufacturer, I may not have as much passion for my job. A bit extreme, but in this economy not unlikely either.

So how do you interview people? The manhole cover question is old.Yes technical knowledge is important but beyond the technical, how else do you do it? Psych questions are lame. Those of us in the social stream probably have enough footprints for managers to get to know us a bit, but many others have none, so you need to get to know them better.