Now that’s an interesting question. If hired, will this person you’re interviewing improve the people around him?
And what exactly does that mean? In what way should the people around him be improved?
As a fast note, especially if you’re reading the Hiring Tips for the first time, I move back and forth between the gender pronouns “he/she” and “him/her”. I can’t tell you it’s a 50/50 split, but a genuine effort is made. Some feel it’s an unnecessary task, others feel differently. I believe I understand both sides of the discussion, so there it is.
Back to this question of should a new hire improve the people around him.
Well, it would certainly be a strong quality if a new employee comes to work and the following changes are seen in the people working in his area:
- They are more energetic.
- They are friendlier to each other and your customers.
- They take more pride in their productivity and actually produce more.
Is this asking too much of a new hire?
But I don’t think it’s an inappropriate question to ask. It could go like this:
“Mary, if you’re hired to the accounting section, how would you improve the work life of the others in your section?”
If Mary needs to think this over a great deal, then I’m not sure she has experience having done this before.
Then again, Mary may answer immediately with, “Oh, wherever I’ve worked, people seem to enjoy their work more and don’t mind going the extra distance to get things done.”
The person that has difficulty answering the question or delays quite a bit in answering versus the person who knows just what you mean—those are two fairly different candidates.
All in all, you’re looking for someone who possesses the skills the position demands, but it couldn’t hurt if this person also also has a positive effect on those around him.
That would be a very nice bonus indeed.
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