I was the only one who rated this person as a “maybe to a no.” Everyone else gave her stellar reviews. But I had to say what I needed.
“If the question is, ‘can she get the job done and is she competent,’ then I would say, yes, she is, and yes, she is qualified for this job,” one of my colleagues said.
This job is not rocket science. You do not need some advanced degree for it. We are not doing open heart surgery here. This is a customer facing role at a SaaS company that has a complex product. But we really are not looking for people who are going to cure cancer or bring world peace. This is not that difficult.
“I don’t think I’m questioning whether she is competent or can do the job,” I countered. “What I am really saying is — what is this person going to contribute to this team and to her customer in her potential book of business that is compelling? Because frankly, if I had to sum her up into one word and be really honest, the word is ‘boring.’ That’s what I took away from this conversation. My eyes were glazing over.”
That drew a lot of chuckles and laughter. The hiring manager grimaced at me, but eventually let a smile out.
And funny enough, I just finished reading Adam Grant’s book Outliers tonight, in which he argues that organizations should not be hiring for cultural “fit,” but rather “cultural contribution.” So exactly what I said — what is this potential employee contributing to our organization that is notable, or perhaps something we are lacking that we need more of or could benefit from?
She’s moving onto the next and final stage, but she has two other strong candidates competing against her. I really just do not want to talk to anyone who is bland and boring during an interview. Otherwise, what is this company going to become?