The term passion is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
“Intense, driving, or overmastering feeling of conviction.”
On the surface that looks like a pretty powerful thing. More importantly, it looks like something you want on your team. You want someone who works intensely with strong drive toward the convictions your business is built upon. Find someone with the same personal convictions as your organization’s and you’ll have the perfect employee, right? Right.
But there’s just one problem with this idea: The term “passion” is now tossed around by job candidates like confetti, making it hard to distinguish who has authentic passion for what your company offers and who is using the term to get the job. Here’s how to tell the difference between the two types of candidates, so you can bring the best people (the ones with an intense drive for what your business offers) on board.
Ask About Industry News
If someone is genuinely passionate about what your company offers then it stands to reason that they’ll be highly in tune with what’s happening in your industry. Truly passionate people will keep a daily pulse on what’s going on in your business and the environment in which you operate. They’ll understand the latest developments and innovations. More importantly, they’ll get excited to chat about them with you.
In the job interview, ask about a recent event or discovery in your industry and then watch how the candidate talks about it. Is there a fire in their eyes and excitement?
Ask For Opinions
When you have a strong conviction for or against something, you will have a strong feeling one way or another about the topic at hand. The same is true for your job candidates and their level of passion for your industry.
In the job interview, open the floor to let the candidate express his or her feelings about something industry related. The way the person talks about the matter will help you understand just how passionate he is about your industry. More importantly, it’ll also give you the chance to determine whether his convictions align with your company’s.
Ask About Events Within Your Industry
It’s not enough to talk the talk. You also have to walk the walk when it comes to demonstrating passion. For many professionals, this means attending networking events centered on your industry, or conferences that are specifically industry-related. This happens long after hiring too.
In the job interview, ask about how the candidate has managed his schedule to incorporate these events in the past. Will he need to block out time on your online scheduling app to get involved in these events? Are there regular events he attends that you need to be aware of before you say “you’re hired!”? Consider how he works his passion into his career to get a better gauge of what he’ll expect when working with your company.
Showing the Love
It’s easy to claim that you’re passionate about something but for it to truly shine through, you have to have a strong pulse on what’s happening within the industry. This goes beyond following industry news. It also means having an opinion about important topics and getting involved regularly. Ask about how the candidate does each of these to dig deeper into how authentic his passion is for your business.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.