Sunday, August 28, 2011

Andy Lansing isn't kidding when he's asks the interview question, "Are you nice?"

Job Interviews Lead With 2 Big Questions (online headline) / A Deal-Breaker Question for Job Interviews (print headline). (The New York Times, 8/28/2011)

Q. Let’s shift to hiring. How do you do it? What do you look for?

A. I have a pretty nontraditional approach to hiring. I hire for two traits — I hire for nice and I hire for passion.

If you sit down with me, no matter how senior you are in the company or the position you’re applying for, my first question to you is going to be, are you nice? And the reactions are priceless. There’s usually a long pause, like they’re waiting for me to smile or they’re waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and say, “You’re being punked.” Because who asks that question? And then I say, “No, seriously, are you nice?”

Q. What do people say?

A. It’s a question that you don’t prepare for and you’re not used to answering. And quite honestly, who is ever going to say no — nobody is. So I let them talk for a little bit about it as they try to figure out why I am asking that question. Then I stop them and I say, let me tell you why I’m asking that. The reason is that the most important thing to being successful at this company is to be nice. And if you’re not nice, this is the wrong company for you. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you, it just means that our cultures don’t align, and there are great places out there for you, but this is the wrong one

Because if you get in this company and you’re not nice, I’m going to get you. It may be a day, it may be a week, it may be a year, but you will not have success at this company long term if you’re not nice.

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