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Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?

Monday, November 16, 2009

New York Times business reporter Adam Bryant recently published an interview with Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc. whose businesses include the Home Shopping Network. He asked her a question about the type of people she hires, and she gave a very interesting answer:

There are a number of things that are really important to me. One — and people laugh that I have this philosophy — is that you only hire Tiggers. You don’t hire Eeyores. It doesn’t mean they have to be loud, but I need energy-givers and I have to get a feeling that this person is going to be able to inspire people. Are they going to be optimistic about where they’re going? Are they going to attract people who are like that? No. 2 is, will they be able to stand up to me when they believe in something? I’m very passionate. I need people who are going to be able to make me look at things in a different way. So, I have to ask those questions, like, “Give me an instance where you really believed in something and you were able to change the course and it was successful, whatever that was.” That’s really important, because you don’t want people telling you what you already know, or not telling you what you need to know.

In my time as Recruiting Director at Leo Burnett I operated under a similar philosophy, although I didn't word it that way. My guess is that most HR and Recruiting Directors and Hiring Managers do too. It makes sense. Given the choice between Candidate A who has a positive attitude and seems to be passionate about the position, or Candidate B who is gloomy and indifferent, which would you choose?

For all job seekers out there, the message should be clear: Be passionate at your job interview. Come in with a smile on your face and prove that you are a go-getter. Make sure that your demeanor, your answers to interview questions, and your non-verbal communication all show that you you would be a happy employee. This does not mean you have to be insincere or Polyanna, and please don't actually act like Tigger bouncing around your interviewer's office. However, showing energy and passion for what you do (or will be doing) is something that all employers are looking for, and something that potential employees should be mindful of.


Read the full interview at New York Times.

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