I recently asked some friends their views on interviews and recruitment. They are all senior managers in a variety of businesses with great experience at both interviewing & being interviewed.
They’ve all kindly answered in a personal capacity, so with a quick change of name, allow me to introduce the panel:
Over the next few posts I’ll share their views.
In our interview courses and coaching sessions, we frequently hear people saying that they haven’t got the exact skill set out in a job description so I asked…
“Skills or Attitude - which matters most?”
The panel were unanimous on this one, with Gloria saying "Attitude! There is lots we can teach but we want people who live our values. People who are curious, take care, act courageously and have pride in what we do.”
Mary agrees “Always attitude. There are of course roles where you really need the skills, but not at the cost of attitude.” She adds some advice for interviewers too “But importantly, this isn't the euphemistic 'culture fit' which limits diversity. It's important to recognise the attitude you want doesn't wear the same clothes every time.”
Matt continues that theme “Personally, I go with attitude. Obviously if the job is specialist then a certain skill set needs to be in place but if you are able to offer training to the individual that will mean they can do the role, then if they have that attitude or appetite to learn and you can see they will fit into your team, then they are worth a shot. Some of the best people I’ve employed have had zero experience of the role but they learnt everything we taught them and blossomed as a result becoming great at the job and earning advancement as they progressed.”
Tony is also happy to take that risk “In my view skills are important but attitude is critical! That doesn’t mean that you would employ someone with no base skills for the role but I would much rather take a calculated risk on someone with less skills but a great attitude – that is something you can’t teach someone.” He also offers this advice to any recruiter “ Recruit an attitude, train on skills.”
In further discussion, all of the panel emphasised that not only had their companies recognised the need & invested in training, they were proud of the development they were able to offer.