Every so often you run into someone who considers there is nothing new to learn about a subject. And that subject may be the very thing you’re hiring for.
It could be how to sell; how to promote for new customers; how to do collections or really any subject in the workplace. It could even be how to properly stock a shelf. This person just believes he knows all there is to know about a particular subject. Or worse, they feel they know all there is to know on just about every subject.
And yes, we do enjoy working with people who are very certain of their job and their craft. But there’s a key difference between the person who is confident and certain and the person who “knows it all.”
That key difference is the willingness to learn something new.
If your candidate is so sure of himself that he conveys there is nothing new to learn, this is not a positive indicator.
So, how would we find this out in an interview? Well, you could conduct this brief Q&A:
“Frank, what subject in the workplace do you feel very certain about?”
Frank gives you a subject (hopefully).
When you ask this next question, be sure to watch your candidate closely when he gives the answer.
“That sounds great, Frank. So tell me, how eager are you to learn something new about (fill in the subject here)?”
If your candidate answers that he’s very eager to learn new things and his answer is given quickly and without any discomfort, that’s a good sign.
If he hems and haws a bit with his answer, that’s not the very best indicator.
If he tells you outright that he knows all that there is to know about the subject, well that’s a revealing answer as well.
I realize this next statement may date me some, but I recall what Popeye said many times in his animated cartoon show, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.”
If your guy feels he’s got it all and there’s no room for new ideas, a new perspective, a fresh way to go about things, then keep that in mind when making your hiring decision.
And for those who haven’t a clue who Popeye is, here’s a seven second video for your viewing pleasure:
Well, it’s not every day you see a short Popeye video in a Hiring Tip, but I hope the visual was helpful!
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