During the interview I always ask, " What was the last book you read?" I ask this because it gives me a sense of personality, which is important in our small team-oriented office, and it helps weed out the kiss-ass over-studying ridiculous-ness that is the modern college undergrad. Word of advice: if you answer with some obscure business related, or econ related or modeling related textbook or study, I will be disappointed, and I don't hire those who disappoint me in the interview.
Side Note: I also will NOT HIRE you if :
1. You show up to my company for an interview, insisting that you have scheduled said interview with Constance, or Emily or Brittney in HR. I am the only person in HR here. If you didn't speak with me, you are in the wrong place.
2. You show up for the interview wearing a "long" sweater and leggings. If I can see your pink underwear through your black tights, this is not appropriate work attire, let alone interview worthy wear. I don't care if it's trendy, it's tacky.
3. You cannot speak English. I speak English, my colleagues speak English, my boss and the owner of the company speaks English, our clients, while located in various countries do business with us in English. If you speak another language, more power to you, but I need to be able to communicate with you on a daily basis.
4. You give me attitude. While it is true that I perform Assistant duties for Tom, I am not ONLY an assistant. I am interviewing you, I will hire you, I will be your supervisor (among the many other things I do on a daily basis) DO NOT come into an interview with me and ask to speak with "someone who does the hiring". I will likely ask you to leave.
5. You answer or text on your cell phone during the interview. Really? Come on.Now, back to the point I was failing to make. Today's intern applicant answered my book question not only positively, but it made me think. His answer was " The Prince" by Machiavelli. A classic I have read several times and own. The interviewee expressed the following about this reading material:
Thus we are brought to the title of this post, Fear vs. Love. The thing I have noticed is, he is not alone in believing this. Several business professionals have adopted this principle. While they may be good people, on an individual level, they instill a deep rooted fear in their employees and clients. And, it works. Or does it?
Personally, I lean more towards being loved. I have managed people of varying degrees of education, social status in large or small groups. And, I have done everything in my power to remain friendly and approachable throughout my leadership role. To my knowledge, I have never been feared. Of course its possible I have not been loved either, but for the sake of argument. The thing is, I have stayed in touch with a majority of the people I have managed. And, better yet, they are reaching out to me. If I were feared, I doubt that would be the case... in fact I am fairly certain that I would do everything in my power to not have contact with a leader I "feared" after I left my position... and I would definitely leave my position after a while... you can only work so long under a reign of fear. My position: it is better to be loved than feared.
With any luck, my *new* intern will learn this valuable lesson.