Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Agency Culture, Creativity, Culture, Emotion, Empathy, Insight, Meetings
For reasons I’m not entirely sure, I am on some planner group on Facebook.
To be honest, I tend to ignore it because the last thing I want to do is cultivate even more of a planner bubble than there already is.
However a few weeks ago, I read something that I couldn’t ignore. It was this:
Anyone have any good interview questions (thought-experiments, creative challenges, brain teasers) that have helped you identify good intern/junior planner candidates?
To be honest, I was kind of alarmed by it.
I was even more freaked out by the responses some people gave.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own approach – but this person is looking for an intern or, at best, a junior planner – so using some kids quiz to evaluate potential seems a bit harsh when I believe the most important criteria you should be looking for is character and attitude.
For that reason, I responded with this:
Don’t ask questions about planning. Ask them about what their chip on their shoulder is. How long they’ve had their best friend. What have they committed to despite moments of hating it. Don’t ask about planner things, then you just get a planner.
To be honest, I ask these questions to everyone – regardless of their position or seniority – because I value honesty, openness and empathy far more than I do someone being able to solve the planning equivalent of some sudoku puzzle. Besides, if someone is sitting in front of me, they must have done enough to intrigue me or they wouldn’t be there … so at the face-to-face stage, it’s far more about who they are than what they’ve done.
Andy was the one who taught me the ‘how long have you known your best friend’.
At first I thought it was a bit bizarre but then I realised it revealed all manner of things, from loyalty, commitment, understanding and an ability to work through issues … and yet when I tell some people I do this, they look at me as if I’m weird.
Why is it weird to want to find someone who will contribute to the team, the culture and the possibilities of the future rather than someone who will just do their job and shut the hell up.
I appreciate everyone is different, but being smart doesn’t mean you’re always bright.
34 Comments so far
Leave a comment