I was catching up with a good friend last night over a couple glasses of wine (2015 Abstract by Orin Swift. Check them out here. They have a cool founding story.) He told an awesome story about his most recent hire at the FinTech startup he works for.
They’ve been looking to hire a talent recruiter for the last few months since they’re growing like crazy and have been unable to find someone that is worth getting excited over. A candidate finally made it to the final stage of the hiring process, but my friend and his colleagues remained unconvinced this candidate was the right fit.
Their main concerns were reasonable. The skepticism came down to the candidate’s lack of relevant experience. Nothing in her past work experiences made it obvious she could get the job done (ie. you’ve done this role before at another company) and there were things to like and dislike about her performance in the hiring process up to this point.
My friend went into the 3rd and final interview pretty sure they were going to continue the search for the role. However, he ended up immediately sending her an offer for the role after the interview and was more excited than he’s been in a long time about a junior level hire.
So what the hell happened in that interview? Simple. In her response to his second to last question, she owned the fact that she was clearly green and inexperienced, and made a quick argument that she was determined to succeed in the role no matter what. She made it clear that she was obsessed with learning new skills whether it be from someone with experience or by figuring things out on her own.
The cherry on top of her argument was that not only was the going to work her ass off to succeed, but that she was willing to do so at what some might consider a below market salary. This is key.
Her combination of having a little forward tilt/determination and her prioritization of learning over earning pushed her over onto the right side of the fence. Many times this is the difference between receiving an offer and being passed over.