This week, I had a great talk with a former boss who is now a founder of her own startup. They've recently closed a round of funding with investors including Bain Capital, and she's been spending the majority of this year building out her team to scale her business.
During our chat, I asked her how she's gone about recruiting the right people to join her small company. After all, the smaller the company, the stronger the applicant needs to be because everyone will have to wear multiple hats. In addition to being incredibly skilled, these candidates will also need to have the right personality to fit in to the culture she's trying to create. She ended up telling me that she knows one test that she uses to quickly filter out bad matches:
She said that before the candidate enters the interviewing room, she places a magazine on the ground. Once the candidate comes in, she studies their reaction. Do they:
- Ignore the magazine and say nothing
- Comment on the magazine but do nothing
- Pick up the magazine
The important takeaway is that it's the things that we do that best demonstrates whether we are the right people for a job, and in this world, there are many thinkers and talkers but not nearly as many doers. So, next time you see something out of place in an interview, some trash on the ground, or someone struggling to open the door, don't think or talk about doing something. Go DO IT. Help make someone's life a bit easier, and who knows, maybe it'll lead to a job at an awesome startup.